Page 4062 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 30 November 2022

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As former Labor chief minister …

Rob does not say which one; I do not know whether it was Katy Gallagher or who it was. He says:

As former Labor Chief Minister … told ABC radio … $80 million for prisoner reintegration and $238 million annually for hospital and health has disappeared, sucked into the vortex that is light rail funding.

That is according, third hand, through Rob Chalmers, to this former Labor Chief Minister, whichever one it was. Daryl Jones says:

This headline is very clickbait. Parton raises good points, ACT govt cut public buses in Gungahlin to only then reinstate them after public backlash, he’s asking (very rightly so) that the same mistake not be made again.

If it’s going to take an extra 5-10 minutes to commute by tram, why bother? The bus is a better option.

That is a smattering of the comments that appeared on that RiotACT story when it was published earlier today. I would like members to seriously consider the things that are put forward in this motion, and I hope that we can arrive at a sensible point of agreement.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (3.08): No, we will not be supporting the motion. The ACT government has committed to delivering an integrated public transport network. It is in our Transport Strategy, and it is ludicrous to propose that we retain an old bus network without taking into consideration a new mass transit corridor once it is developed.

Having an integrated public transport network means that we take into consideration all transport modes, including light rail, buses, active travel, rideshare and private vehicles. This is further evidenced through our development of a multimodal network plan, which will help us to identify modal priorities and gaps in the integration of transport modes, using the movement and place framework that we have identified in the Transport Strategy.

As I have said so many times now, the government will be extending light rail to the south side to create a mass transit spine from Gungahlin through to Woden and beyond, through our city-wide light rail network. This will ensure that Canberrans on this first extension, with stage 2 to stage 1, can travel to key destinations, including employment centres north to south, along the line in a single trip without transferring between modes.

Not only will the extension of light rail to Woden provide south side residents with the same high-quality, frequent, reliable service that we have already provided Canberrans living on the north side; it will also allow our north side residents to access the extensive employment centres along the light rail stage 2B alignment, including Barton, Deakin, and Woden and beyond.

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