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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 577..


DR FOSKEY (continuing):

about this topic in the Assembly, and no-one has ever said before the things that they have said today.

I have one thing that I would add. I do not think I have heard anyone say it today. I am not sure that I have ever heard anyone say it before, including me. There have been a number of references to City West today. One of the things that I ask-and it is not question time-is more a rhetorical question. I would like to know: with what wisdom has ACTPLA decided, in its redevelopment of City West, not only not to plant any trees but to get rid of the trees? It has some idea that a Parisian-style streetscape is bereft of trees. I can see us erecting all kinds of umbrellas, sunshades and rain shades when what we have got at the moment is nature's bounty: some quite mature trees. I do not think they are over-mature trees.

If anyone wants to see how successful trees can be in the entertainment business, check out the coffee shop at Yarralumla, Beess & Co, where underneath the plane trees is probably their greatest attraction. We should definitely look again at any planning that takes away quite safe, mature trees in the pursuit of some fashion that is here today but-I think it has already gone-certainly is not here tomorrow.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Gentleman): The time for the discussion is concluded.

Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Amendment Bill 2005

Debate resumed.

DR FOSKEY

(Molonglo) (4.33): The Greens welcome this bill which enables the expansion of public transport options in Canberra. Although the ACTION bus service provides a sterling service for many Canberra commuters and the taxi service provides for people in need of more direct, speedy services, it has been widely recognised that there is also the need for a more versatile demand-responsive service. We hope that this bill will make large inroads-do excuse the pun-into solving Canberra's tricky public transport issues.

A spread-out city with large distances, a lot of population density and a first-class road system means that it is a difficult task to convert a car-dependent culture into a public transport using culture. However, it is possible to break down that dependency slowly. This is essential to creating a truly sustainable transport system in Canberra. I do not think anyone in this room would disagree that we need a more viable and integrated sustainable transport system in Canberra to reduce our fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions as well as to provide efficient and affordable transport to people who cannot afford or choose not to own and run their own private vehicles.

We are all well aware that it is not just rhetoric to talk about sustainability in transport any more and that even the hard-headed economic people who have resisted talking about the environment until now are going to have to make adjustments due to higher fuel costs. While, no doubt, there will be some more innovation in cars that use alternative fuels, they are not going to solve the problem. We are going to need to commit ourselves to developing a very viable public transport system.


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