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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2528..


MR CORBELL: Mrs Dunne should refer to the answer to the question on notice I provided to her during the Estimates Committee process. The answer is detailed in full in the answer to the question on notice she asked during estimates.

Public transport

MR HARGREAVES: I would like to ask a question of Mr Corbell, the best Planning Minister we have had in seven years. Minister, the executive director of the International Association of Public Transport spoke at a forum at the weekend advocating some interesting positions on public transport. Can the minister advise if the issues raised at the forum are being addressed as part of the government's transport policy?

MR CORBELL: I am very happy to answer the question, and I thank Mr Hargreaves for asking it. In an attempt to play catch-up on transport policy, the Liberal Party shadow minister for transport, Mrs Cross, hosted a public transport forum at the weekend. They invited Mr Peter Moore, who is the executive director of the International Association of Public Transport, to speak at their forum.

Unfortunately for the Liberal Party, Mr Moore effectively debunked the last seven years of Liberal Party transport policy in the territory. Mr Moore advocated the need for the government to invest more in public transport. Mr Moore indicated that priority needed to be given to buses and that paid parking needed to be introduced in Canberra.

He also went on to criticise the Howard government: while cars had got cheaper since the introduction of the GST, public transport had got dearer. I can imagine that Mrs Cross was squirming in her seat while she heard Mr Moore effectively debunk all of the policies of the previous Liberal government when it came to transport planning.

Over the past six years of their government the Liberal Party cut funding to ACTION. They made catching a bus more expensive than car parking for residents, say, of a place like Gungahlin, and they dismissed out of hand the need for light rail planning for the future of our city.

It was not long ago that Mrs Cross was being very vocal in arguing against the government's plans for paid parking in other parts of the city, but at the forum she hosted they actually had an expert advocating and supporting this government's proposals for introducing a wider range of paid parking measures as a way to effectively communicate the true costs of transport in this city.

So, even when the Liberals try to play catch-up on transport planning-something they neglected for seven years-the expert they get debunks their previous government's policies and instead effectively endorses this government's approach to transport planning in the city.

Let me outline why. Mr Moore said government needs to invest more in public transport. What did the Liberal Party do when they were last in government? They were proposing, if they had been re-elected in October last year, to cut ACTION's base funding by an additional $18 million. An additional $18 million cut to public transport funding was programmed into their last budget, and here their expert is saying that we need to invest more. They were going to invest less, Mr Speaker.


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