Page 1952 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 27 June 2023

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Mr Parton: Was that here in this parliament?

MR BARR: It was your spiritual leader, the former Prime Minister, Mr Parton.

Mr Parton: Is Julie Collins your spiritual leader?

MADAM SPEAKER: Both sides, please stick to the question and the answer.

MR BARR: I accept the point that there would be value in having an online calculator. That is a fair point to make. As we get closer to the implementation, I think there should be one available.

Budget 2023-2024—active travel

MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, how is the ACT government investing to make walking and cycling easier and better for all Canberrans?

MR STEEL: I thank Ms Orr for her question. Our government wants to provide more opportunities for Canberrans to take up walking and riding to improve their quality of life and the quality of life more broadly in our city. As part of this year’s budget, the ACT government has already announced that we are investing more than $26 million to deliver a series of new upgrades and also maintenance investment to the ACT’s famous cycling and walking network. This investment demonstrates that the ACT government is making active travel safer, accessible and more convenient by building the safe walking and cycling infrastructure that our growing city needs. A component of this investment is an additional $5 million which will go towards maintaining Canberra’s path and cycle network. This represents a 42 per cent increase in annual path maintenance funding, which will help to fix some of the safety hotspots that have recently been identified through a comprehensive audit of the over 3,000 kilometres of our path network.

The ACT government is also investing in a number of strategic network improvements, including new connections through the $10.4 million stage 1 of the Garden City Cycle Route in the inner north, which will better connect people on the eastern side of Northbourne Avenue. The budget also includes $3 million in the delivery of path upgrades around Lake Ginninderra following a comprehensive feasibility study. Also, there will be a $2.6 million investment in a shared path link along the Kingston Foreshore between Cunningham Street and Bowen Park, as well as an investment of $1 million in lighting infill and missing community path links.

MS ORR: Minister, how does this investment complement the ACT’s first Active Travel Plan?

MR STEEL: This budget initiative is an important first step in delivering the actions outlined in the ACT government’s first Active Travel Plan, which is currently being finalised following community consultation. The draft plan outlined ways to make it safer, more accessible and convenient for Canberrans to enjoy choosing walking, cycling or micromobility, whether for commuting, exercise or recreation.

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