Page 4059 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 30 November 2022
creating and prosecuting an alternative policy position; and I am focused on outcomes. Certainly, here on this side of the chamber we are focused on broad outcomes, but we are also focused on outcomes for individuals, because it is important that we think about individuals.
It did not take me long, as the shadow minister for transport, to arrive at the conclusion that, under this minister, public transport policy and implementation have very little to do with actual, genuine public transport outcomes. And that is what this motion is about, Madam Speaker. Just imagine for a moment that Canberra’s public transport policy was actually focused on genuine public transport outcomes, because that is not the case at the moment. Mr Steel will speak to this motion and assure us that it is, but we are not sure that that is the case.
As of today, our public transport policies focus on building a legacy project for the Chief Minister, and they focus on fulfilling the Labor-Greens power-sharing agreement at any cost, because money is no object. It does not matter how much money you spend. For the CLAG, it does not matter how much money we borrow, because we will be paying it back with somebody else’s money. They focus on signalling virtue to a group of people who believe that this parliament should be operating in a global space.
This motion gets back to what should be the core purpose of the transport directorate; that is, getting people where they want to go in a timely manner, when they want to get there. And shouldn’t that be the main aim of the government in the transport space? Of course, it should be. It is not at the moment.
This motion calls upon the government to guarantee that the direct bus routes from southern suburbs to Civic will be maintained if and when the tram gets to Woden. Isn’t that just a tad pre-emptive, people? I do not think it is pre-emptive. It is not, because it is based on form, and it is based on history. We know that, prior to stage 1 of the tram commencing its operation from Gungahlin to Civic, virtually everyone in Gungahlin had a relatively direct route to Civic. Once the tram arrived, the direct bus routes vanished. Although the people of Gungahlin were sold a dream of better public transport outcomes with the arrival of the tram, for many people, those better outcomes did not eventuate.
Some people got better outcomes, but most of them did not. Once the tram started its operation, the people of Gungahlin lost the 200 rapid bus, the 202 express bus, the 251, the 252, the 254, the 255 and the 259 Xpresso routes because the government was hell-bent on forcing those people onto the tram.
I am not going to lie; there are aspects of that which make sense. Once you have built the infrastructure, surely, it should be used. But the reality for individuals, the reality for so many of the residents of Gungahlin, is that their public travel times increased because of the tram. I know that there are some instances where frequency has improved, and I think that is a good thing. I think that is a great thing. But for many residents of Gungahlin, their travel times increased.
That situation will be exacerbated on the south side because the tram will dramatically increase the travel time between Woden and Civic as compared to the bus. Mr Steel