Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 November 2022) . . Page.. 3945 ..
it is a relatively short distance from EPIC, in order to potentially go to the nightclubs there, and continue their recreational activities. But the fact is that they did disrupt the light rail line and the buses during that process. It was anticipated that a large number of people would be walking around the roads, and that is why Flemington Road and parts of the Federal Highway were closed off to motor vehicle traffic.
Certainly, there will be learnings for next time—we hope this event will occur again in Canberra, potentially at EPIC—about what could be done further to make sure that the event organisers prevent people from walking on the light rail track, which is obviously an unsafe practice, and one of the reasons why services had to be temporarily suspended. But 25,000 people is a pretty good number, and there were many thousands more that were carried by bus from the venue. All of those different transport modes contributed to people getting out of the city in around an hour, which is pretty good. I have been caught up in lines for way past an hour at Olympic Park, coming out of major musical festivals.
MR COCKS: Minister, would more buses have been able to move the crowds from Spilt Milk more successfully than the tram?
MR STEEL: They were used in combination. I think this goes to some of the misreporting over the last couple of days about what occurred on the weekend. Firstly, there was the misreporting that light rail services completely stopped. They did not. There was a temporary suspension of around 20 minutes before they then continued, and in fact carried more than 2,800 people past 11.45 pm.
The other factual mischaracterisation was around the transport modes on offer. There were 50 buses being provided by Qcity, plus more Transport Canberra buses that were providing access to some of the other parts of Canberra. They were shuttle buses, so they came back to the venue, and 125 busloads were carried into the city interchange.
When you have large events like this, mass transit like light rail does play an important role. It carried thousands of people on Saturday, in addition to buses. But there are always things that the festival organisers can learn, particularly around crowd management. I appreciate that some of those crowds did not want to wait in the lines, but the lines were not that long, and people who did wait got on a light rail vehicle or a bus, and got to their destination.
DR PATERSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, the ACT government has delivered a comprehensive suite of plans aimed at delivering the best start for Canberra’s children. Can you please provide an update on what steps the government is taking to continuously improve our public maternity system?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Dr Paterson for the question and her ongoing interest in how we support Canberra children and families in achieving the best start to life. She is correct that the government have delivered on our election commitment to deliver a vision for the future of services that support the best start to life, from conception and pregnancy to the first 1,000 days and beyond, as Minister Berry talked about earlier.