Page 594 - Week 02 - Thursday, 24 March 2022
MR PARTON: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, you recently announced an intention to install transport monitoring technology across central Canberra. You said this will provide reliable real-time information to help commuters make informed choices on alternative routes during upcoming disruptions. Minister, how will this system help commuters get to their destination on time when your construction activities will create an unprecedented and impenetrable gridlock?
MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. This is just one initiative that the ACT government will be undertaking as part of work to minimise and mitigate the effect of disruption coming from major public and private infrastructure projects right around the city. This is just one part of what we are planning to do in addition to investing in our public transport priority in places like Vernon Circle, for example, to provide bus priority. We will be encouraging people to get onto public transport because it is a very efficient way to move large numbers of people across the traffic network. It benefits everyone—the person catching public transport, but also commuters on the road—by reducing the number of vehicles there.
Of course, we will be providing very clear communication, probably on a daily basis, on the radio and social media, and through the variable message signs that we have invested in, in the budget review, to provide commuters prior to taking a trip on the road network and also during their trip, information about the alternative routes available to them. That information is already provided on some parts of our road network—on the Tuggeranong Parkway, for example, providing options to go on the Cotter Road, with the journey time indicator on those variable message signs, or onto Parkes Way, depending on which one is quicker.
We are giving people in their cars better options to move around the traffic network. This is an investment that benefits us not only during this disruption period but well beyond—into the future. Our intelligent transport systems are systems that other cities around Australia and the world have put in place. We will be doing this ahead of the disruption to make sure that we mitigate the effects as much as possible as we build this transformational infrastructure for our city which has been designed—particularly through light rail—to make sure that we have great transport alternatives so that we can become a sustainable city.
MR PARTON: Minister, what is the point of attempting alternative routes when your workplace is located in an area potentially gridlocked for three to four hours a day?
MR STEEL: We will have better information, through the intelligent transport system, to understand the extent of that congestion, because we will have the sensors in place right across those areas where we expect congestion to occur. That will provide better information to people about rethinking their routine. That might mean going into work slightly earlier. It might mean working from home. It might mean going into work slightly later or choosing, with the better data, a different route that they may not have considered. You can criticise our government for putting in place