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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 3 Hansard (21 March) . . Page.. 1049..


MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (4.04): I thank Mrs Dunne for bringing this motion to the Assembly. While the motion essentially asks for data that is typically collected through the questions on notice process, the Greens support a call for this information. It is always useful to see data on the amount of traffic and levels of congestion on roads around the ACT.

These are issues the Greens have asked about quite often through questions on notice. In June last year, for example, I asked the government through the questions on notice process what modelling it had done on traffic congestion and travel speeds on the GDE. I asked a number of related questions on this topic as well, such as what impact the government expects the completion of the GDE duplication to have on the future transport modal split of Canberra, and Gungahlin in particular, and whether the government has done any modelling or analysis of the expected impacts to modal splits from the duplication of the GDE.

The responses to these questions in June last year indicated that the government was planning to undertake daily vehicle counts on William Hovell Drive for a two-week period in November. This has now been done. When this matter was debated previously, the government was going to move an amendment to Mrs Dunne's motion to reflect this. If that occurs, we would support that because we have a situation where the data has already been collected.

I also understood that the government would make this data available to Mrs Dunne and the Assembly, and that it would also provide all analysis of that data and of delays experienced by motorists during peak times. This fulfils the motion except for the part that requires the government to collect that data again. I believe it is unnecessary to collect the data again when it was just done in November last year, which is obviously very recent.

Mrs Dunne has already spoken on this matter in the previous sitting when the motion was first introduced. I listened with interest and noted her concern that the duplication of William Hovell Drive did not satisfactorily solve the congestion issues on that road. Interestingly, Mrs Dunne said that this was a test for all the doubters that traffic at this particular intersection could get that bad. I am also aware of concerns about the GDE in that congestion and bottlenecks are still occurring.

I want to make a point, which I have made before—focusing on expanding roads inevitably leads to increased congestion problems. The best approach is to have a strong focus on building a city based around sustainable transport, and I am pleased to hear that Mr Corbell has been stating the same in relation to the release of the recent transport strategy.

I am somewhat concerned that the Liberals' attitude appears to be that public transport does not work, can never work, so we should essentially abandon it. In fact, I would like to point out that this has been the expressed transport policy by Mr Coe on a number of occasions. He has said a number of times that Canberra was built for the car and we need to accept it. Not only is that a negative, pessimistic attitude, but it is also incorrect. Mr Coe even said in a recent speech that Walter Burley Griffin


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