Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 14 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 5151..
MS LE COUTEUR (continuing):
Looking a bit more broadly at the transport problems of Gungahlin, there are a few other points I would like to make. Mr Coe was quite correct in saying that the Redex bus will go down the same route as the other buses. He also correctly pointed out that bus bunching is a problem on Northbourne Avenue. The Redex trial by itself clearly is not enough to solve these problems. We would call upon the government-and I believe it is putting some work into this already-to do more in terms of looking at bus priority for Northbourne Avenue-things like a bus priority lane and actually using the space down Northbourne Avenue. My understanding is that the government is working on that.
The Greens do not claim to be traffic engineers. What we would say is that the significant problem down Northbourne Avenue is creating problems for the rest of north Canberra. The Redex trial, as I am sure the government would agree, is not going to fix that problem by itself. We need to have a bigger change that will give more priority for buses and will get people out of their cars and onto the buses, because it is producing a huge problem for the inner north and the rest of north Canberra.
I would now like to move on to what is probably one of the things at the heart of Gungahlin's traffic problems-that is, the fact that there is almost no local employment in Gungahlin. If you can remember back to the Y plan, the idea behind the Y plan was that each town centre would have local employment. So the fact that there were not good transport connections between the town centres was not an issue. There have been a lot of problems with the Y plan. I am not standing up here to defend it, but I am very clearly saying that, to solve Gungahlin's transport problems and to solve quite a few of the problems of Gungahlin, we need some significant local employment. That is what Gungahlin has not got. It has not got a government department there.
You could basically say that if the office development that has occurred at the airport had occurred in Gungahlin we would not be having this conversation today, because a significant number of those people who live in Gungahlin would be able to work in Gungahlin. They would be able to walk or ride their bikes or use the local suburban bus services to their place of work and not cause the impacts that are being felt on both their own amenity and the amenity of the rest of Canberra. I call upon the ACT government to continue lobbying the federal government to move a department to Gungahlin.
Ms Bresnan referred to a bus interchange in Gungahlin. That is something that the Greens have been calling for for some time. Clearly, there is a need for a better bus service in Gungahlin. The Redex is part of it. A park and ride facility that services Gungahlin in a location to be determined and a bus interchange in the middle of Gungahlin would both appear to be a very sensible step forward for the people of Gungahlin.
Looking more broadly at bus travel and transport in the ACT, I have to point out to Mr Coe that Gungahlin is not the only place where we have problems. There is a real need for transport and planning to work together in Canberra. The phrase