Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 1 Hansard (15 February) . . Page.. 99..
MR PRATT (continuing):
should not be letting local centres die. We should be encouraging people to walk and cycle. Why is this kind of planning still occurring in Canberra?
MR CORBELL (Molonglo-Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (11.03): I welcome Ms Porter's motion today about sustainable transport in Canberra. Both the government and the community recognise that, for Canberra to be a great place to live, to work, to invest in and to visit, our transport systems need to enhance the city's accessibility and be based on greater use of more sustainable nodes. This government is the first government to set out a comprehensive transport plan for the cities since self-government. It was released in April 2004 and sets out our commitment to a more sustainable transport system for Canberra. No other government had done this, and I am proud of our commitment to put a concrete plan into action.
The plan shows how we can make transport more sustainable, with a stronger role for public transport, walking and cycling. Replacing some of our car travel with walking, cycling and public transport trips will have major benefits for our environment. It will help us as a city to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and climate change and will make Canberra a more liveable place.
Planning for transport is a great challenge because it impacts in a complex way on so many aspects of our community, economy and environment. To plan effectively for our future transport needs, we need clear goals to help us achieve the outcomes that we are seeking. That is why we put the transport plan together.
The plan identifies these goals, targets and actions and provides a strategic framework for more sustainable transport in the ACT. The range of measures outlined in the transport plan include: busways and bus priority measures; real-time information; improved public transport interchanges; improved cycling and walking facilities; the use of TravelSmart programs and the use of integrated land use, in particular, the achievement of the contained urban form through the implementation of the Canberra spatial plan. A major thrust of the plan is the progressive improvement of the public transport system so that it becomes a more attractive and viable alternative for many people and for many trips. As congestion on our roads increases, the improved public transport system will be able to accommodate more of the demand with a lowering of greenhouse gas emissions, less air pollution, fewer accidents and, therefore, overall less health cost for our community.
A major initiative now under way to plan for the improvement of the public transport system is the planning for busways on trunk routes throughout the city. Busway, or transitway, projects currently include routes between Belconnen and the city and Gungahlin and the city, with the long-term goal of having a transitway across the whole of Canberra. These transitways will be a combination of exclusive bus roadways, bus lanes, transit lanes and buses sharing with cars, along with bus priority measures at traffic signals and intersections. We have already allocated $5.5 million to undertake the detailed planning and design of the Belconnen to city transitway link. This has the potential to redefine the nature of Canberra's public transport system.
In her comments Dr Foskey said that we should be doing light rail. Go back and look at the studies that looked at the feasibility of light rail for Canberra. We have not ignored this issue; we have not walked away from this issue. We have a detailed and