Page 3041 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 October 2022

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Under the initiative, we will install electrical infrastructure at the Tuggeranong and Belconnen bus depots to house the additional 12 battery electric buses that are being leased. We will also plan for further transition in the fleet by undertaking a feasibility study on a future fourth bus depot in Canberra, in addition to the new bus depot planned for Woden, and the technical studies on upgrading existing depots to ready them for more zero emissions buses coming into the fleet as we move towards our target of transitioning our whole bus fleet by 2040 or earlier—well ahead, I should say, of other jurisdictions like New South Wales. I think they are currently scheduled for 2047.

I note Ms Clay’s comments in relation to the Woden bus depot. I disagree with her comments. We made a deliberate decision to electrify the bus depot, based on the Zero-Emission Transition Plan for Transport Canberra. That was the right decision to make in relation to the design of that. That has, as a result, taken a little bit longer to complete. I think that was the right decision to make. If she has comments about that, I encourage her to come and speak to me and get a briefing on how those things are progressing, ahead of putting out media statements and statements in the Assembly on those issues. These are really important decisions and they have been informed by expert technical guidance. I think they are the right decisions to make to support the zero emissions transition, which I know that she supports in principle. But it is important that she supports the technical transition pathway as well.

The government will continue the weekday flexible public transport services to support accessible transport needs for eligible Canberrans, including through the continuation of part-time drivers and support staff. This will ensure that services are maintained while we complete an evaluation of the service and a feasibility study on options to deliver an improved on-demand service model, which, again, was an election commitment which we are getting on with.

Through the budget we are also continuing to invest in our city maintenance program to keep our city looking good. We are piloting a rapid response mowing team to address community feedback about the importance of keeping Canberra tidy. This is an extra investment in mowing that we are making during this very wet period. The team of 10 increases the existing mowing capacity and targets areas where extra maintenance is needed, based on community feedback through the year. This is a reactive program, in addition to the regular, scheduled, planned mowing that occurs throughout the year. This one-year pilot will test the rapid response model for possible future expansion on an ongoing basis.

We will also expand the City Services depot in Holder to enable an increase in our agenda to plant 54,000 trees by 2024. The expanded depot will support staff in the expansion of the urban treescapes unit and the facilities will ensure that the City Services team can continue providing services like weeding, litter picking and cleaning of local shops as our newer communities like the Molonglo Valley continue to grow. We continue to increase funding for these services, with the growing city. That is part of the City Services budget, which Ms Lawder mischaracterised in her statements.

This record investment in community infrastructure and public transport that we are making is really important for our growing and evolving city. I look forward to

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