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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2529..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

So what has the government done? After close to seven years of Liberal neglect of transport policy, this government is taking the steps that need to be taken to better invest in public transport. We are investing $8.8 million to implement a flat fare structure, so that it does not cost more to pay for a bus than it does to pay for parking in Civic, if you live in Gungahlin. That is the investment this government is making. We are investing $20 million in a new bus fleet, which is far in excess of the previous arrangements the Liberals cobbled together as part of their free school bus scheme. We are injecting $18 million into ACTION's base funding to reverse the cuts inflicted on ACTION.

Mr Smyth: We'll see!

MR CORBELL: You say, "We will see." It is in the budget, Mr Smyth. Are you going to vote for it, or are you going to vote against it? This government is serious about investing in public transport.

In addition to that, Mr Moore called for a strategic approach to transport planning. This government is the first in the history of self-government to develop an integrated transport plan for the city. The sustainable transport plan is currently being prepared by the Department of Urban Services and is due for completion in June next year. For the first time we will have a plan to provide a comprehensive and holistic assessment of transport issues in the ACT and to develop programs to address these issues and meet our city's economic, social, environmental and, indeed, sustainability goals for the next 30 years. That is the commitment this government has to transport planning.

What were you doing? What were you doing for seven years apart from ripping money out of ACTION, apart from making it more expensive to catch a bus than it was to pay for parking, apart from not doing any strategic transport planning? That is your very sad legacy when it comes to transport planning, and that is what the government is committed to reversing.

In addition, the government has established a public transport futures study, which is a separate consultancy focused particularly on improving public transport provision. It is looking at dedicated bus lanes, something Mr Moore wholeheartedly recommended to the Liberal Party at their forum; it is looking at light rail-

Mrs Cross: We've been advocating that for months, and you know it!

MR CORBELL: You have been advocating it for the last few months! We were advocating that before the election.

MR SPEAKER: The interjections will cease, and ministers will quit responding to them. Being baited by interjections is as disorderly as the interjections.

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. This government is putting in place measures that are a long-term response to the transport challenges of our city, a central part of addressing sustainability issues for our city and a real contrast to the seven years of neglect of the previous government during which they cancelled the light rail study, proposed to remove $18 million from ACTION in their last budget, which made bus travel more expensive.


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