Page 3611 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 22 November 2022
harder, and they may be unable to balance their jobs and school drop-off. Minister, how are working parents supposed to cope with your promise of record congestion and slower commutes?
MR STEEL: Our government has committed to build the infrastructure our growing city needs to move more people more efficiently around the city so that we do not end up in traffic gridlock like other cities—like Melbourne and like Sydney, in particular. That is why, in the transport strategy, we set out this principle of future-focused investment, particularly in public transport, so that we can shift more people on to sustainable, efficient forms of transit. What that means, even for road users who continue to use the roads, is that fewer people will be on the road. There will be fewer cars on the road over time as our city grows. This is an important investment in Canberra’s future.
Of course, any major project around the world, around Australia, has disruption associated with it—any project of this scale. That is why we have been engaged for such a long time, through the Disruption Taskforce, in planning and preparing for the experience that people will—
Mr Cocks: Madam Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order. The question was specifically about the impact on working parents. The minister still has not come to the point on how working parents are supposed to cope with his promise of record congestion.
MADAM SPEAKER: He is within order. It was around congestion, the time and the disruption. The minister is answering to those points.
MR STEEL: I reject the premise of the question. We are working to make sure all people have the information they need to be able to move around our city during this next period ahead. We are providing them with up-to-date information on a regular basis and making sure we have better surveillance and intelligence about our traffic networks so we can provide them with information on the road to make sure their commute in to work is as smooth as possible, whoever they may be—whether it is a family with children or otherwise.
We have been talking to workplaces about what they can do under our workplace program to make sure that we encourage people. (Time expired.)
MR COCKS: Minister, did you consider the impact on working parents, who are trying to keep up with the cost of living and balance work and family life, before you announced your commitment to record congestion?
MR STEEL: Our commitment is to try and reduce congestion as the city grows by building infrastructure that will help us to do that, including by investing in roads and light rail mass transit to move more people around our city more efficiently. That is the commitment we have made at the last three elections, and that is what we will continue to deliver.
As we build those projects, we will be working with the community by providing them with the information they need so their commute is as easy as possible.