Page 3600 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 22 November 2022

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Mr Hanson: The minister has been asked a question. He should respond. I do not think the question has anything to do with a press conference by a member of the opposition.

MADAM SPEAKER: He is within the scope of the question.

Mr Hanson: No, he is not.

Light rail stage 2A—traffic planning

MR COCKS: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Transport. I have been contacted by many people living in my electorate who are worried about congestion on the commute into the city on weekday mornings. Minister, how much extra travel time will the preparation works, including the raising of London Circuit, add to the average commute times for people living in Woden, Weston Creek and Molonglo?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. We have been undertaking a very significant amount of preparation and plans, through the disruption taskforce, in the lead-up to major construction works happening, not only on the light rail project and raising London Circuit, but also on other infrastructure projects that are occurring around the southern part of the CBD in coming years. That also includes the National Capital Authority’s bridge-strengthening project. We believe we will need to see lane closures to facilitate the work there as well.

The work that we have undertaken has told us that, from the southern part of the city it will take potentially up to another eight minutes to get into the city. And from the other end of the city it will take up to four to five minutes. We will not know the exact time until we start to undertake that construction, when we will be able to ground-truth the modelling that has been occurring to inform all of the measures that we have been putting in place to mitigate the disruption over the coming period. They include infrastructure investments like signalising the Coranderrk roundabout, which is already a major bottleneck on Parkes Way in our city, and signalising Vernon Circle to enable bus movements onto Constitution Avenue for those detour routes as people find new ways of moving around the city. And we will continue to inform people about this.

We have been very upfront for a very long time that this is going to be disruptive, but it is also important that we get on and build the major infrastructure projects that our city needs, in particular because we are the fastest-growing jurisdiction in Australia, and we need to make sure that we have mass transit that can support the efficient movement of people around our city as it grows.

MR COCKS: Minister, how much longer, compared with 2021, will it take our constituents to drive from Woden to the city during the rest of your decade of disruption, to deliver a tram to Woden that will be slower, less convenient and more expensive than what we had before?

MR STEEL: I think we have just had it confirmed that the Liberals do not support light rail, including a member who literally lives in the electorate that will benefit from light rail. That is an extraordinary betrayal!

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