Page 466 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 23 March 2022

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Family Violence Safety Action Pilot—Holding perpetrators of domestic and family violence to account—Ministerial statement, 23 March 2022.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Transport—active travel

Ministerial statement

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (10.10): I am pleased to take the opportunity to make this active travel statement to the Assembly, outlining the ACT government’s active travel priorities for this year. In 2020 the ACT government released the ACT Transport Strategy, where the Chief Minister recognised that “the ACT government supports active travel as a key way that we will make Canberra a better place to live”.

Active travel like walking and cycling is an important part of enhancing quality of life for people in our city. Active travel is great for people’s health and wellbeing. Streets that are good for walking and cycling mean better quality of life for people. They are more likely to be vibrant, safe and interesting streets that are built at a human scale and are prioritised for people, not cars. We also support and promote active travel because it helps to reduce congestion and creates zero emissions. This benefits all Canberrans, no matter how they get around.

It is for these reasons that the promotion of active travel has been recognised in the principles of our new planning system, and it is also an important part of our climate strategy. Active travel is particularly important because our city, and how we move around, is changing. We have a growing population, with more people trying to get to and from the city and town centres, and active travel is one of the most efficient ways to move large numbers of people around.

The pandemic has also accelerated changes in how we work and study. Climate events have heightened the need for resilience and sustainability of our transport system. Fuel prices have also increased significantly due to the war in Ukraine, and those fuel prices may last for some time. Emerging technology provides both new travel options and policy challenges. We recognise that, in the midst of change, this moment presents an opportunity to support new transport habits that will last into the future.

Our key objective is to encourage more people to take up active travel by offering real alternatives for Canberrans to using a private vehicle. There are major historic challenges to doing this in Canberra. The legacy of the “beautiful, garden, radiant” city planning of the 20th century has brought many benefits of having large open spaces to walk and ride for recreation, but it has also meant a low-density, spread-out city, with a poor street layout for active travel and public transport, that means many

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