Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 4 Hansard (6 April) . .
Again, I reiterate, the idea of expanding the bus network, adding more rapids and frequency, is something I strongly support. The Greens are the strongest supporters of public transport in this place. But I need to know that these commitments are genuine and will be achieved in a fair and effective way and without painful cuts or other hidden traps. At the moment it looks as though that is going to be the case, because of the failure to cost.
I conclude by saying that the Greens really will deliver an excellent public transport outcome, combining both buses and light rail. We have secured extra funding for buses in the parliamentary agreement. We have promised light rail and we are getting on with building it. We have always pushed for more and better public transport.
Our plans are about high quality, efficient, sustainable, integrated public transport, focused on buses, light rail, and walking and cycling. They are about an integrated public transport system where we have highly patronised and dense spines and frequent buses delivering the rest. Plans are costed, deliverable and well underway, with construction on light rail starting this year. That is a real plan for transport in this city, not a map with coloured buses on it, but a real plan that is costed, has a time line on it and will deliver for the people of this community.
MR COE (Ginninderra) (3.29): It is a pleasure to respond to these fiercely negative speeches by those opposite. You would not think a motion calling on the ACT government to prioritise buses as the most effective and efficient way to serve all Canberrans by public transport would be an opportunity for those opposite to put forward 25 minutes of negativity about the Liberals policy. You would think, in actual fact, they would use it as a great opportunity to talk about how good buses are, how good ACTION is and they might be able to throw in a little bit of light rail jargon in amongst it. Instead, in the 25-minute go at the opposition being negative, they were, of course, totally negative themselves the entire time. For 15 minutes they each said, "You guys are so negative. You're so negative. You're so negative". Well, I hate to break it to you, but you might be guilty of the very thing that you are accusing us of.
It is interesting that we should get Mr Rattenbury saying we need to be technology neutral. If they were technology neutral, surely the BCR for bus rapid transit being double that of light rail would kick in. If you are taking a pure approach to this, a technology-neutral approach, you would see a BCR of double for buses over light rail and you would say, "Bang! I'm going to go with that." Instead, they are not being technology neutral at all; they are quite biased, in fact. They are blindly going with light rail despite the fact that all the evidence suggests that buses are superior when it comes to the benefit-cost ratio.
We also heard from Ms Fitzharris that light rail is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars to cancel. It is interesting, because apparently this figure is not actually known. She said, "I do know it's going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars". Well, how do you know that? The Chief Minister and the Minister for Capital Metro have said it is not known yet. You said it is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Therefore—
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