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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 3 May 2007) . . Page.. 925 ..

We do not want to stay trapped in the past, where you are, without any capacity to look to the future needs of the city. I find mind-boggling this flat-earth approach that is adopted, developed or pushed by the opposition on future planning or transport needs. They stand here and rubbish the notion of planning for a sustainable public transport future, without a single policy initiative or pronouncement on what they would do to seek to ensure a sustainable transport future.

I am happy now to seek a suspension of standing orders to allow you to table your transport policy. Would you like me to give you that opportunity? I am happy to do it. I am happy to suspend standing orders now to allow the Leader of the Opposition to table his sustainable transport policy or a policy of any sort. Let me be more embracing about this: I am happy to suspend standing orders to allow the Leader of the Opposition to table a single opposition policy on transport or anything else. We will be greeted with a very embarrassing shuffle by the Leader of the Opposition.

What we are doing in relation to transport is fundamental to the future planning of this city. We would have been derelict and negligent to not do the work that we have commenced to ensure that in ACTION we continue to develop and refine a public transport system that meets the needs of this city, accepting the extent to which a significant number of Canberrans rely on it now and will rely on it in the future, and accepting that, in order to ensure a genuinely efficient, effective and sustainable public transport network, we need to plan for it. It will not just happen, and it certainly will not happen if you lot ever get your hands on the levers, if this is your attitude to planning for the future. (Time expired.)

Mr Pratt: You destroyed Humphries’s five-year road plan.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, please be quiet.

Belconnen to Civic busway

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Chief Minister and it relates to his previous answer. Chief Minister, if the spending of millions of dollars on the busway so far was merely for a long-term land reservation exercise, why was money spent on detailed design and on the marketing of the project?

MR STANHOPE: It is interesting, isn’t it, how we twist our language to suit a particular circumstance? We have an opposition that is totally opposed to public transport and its provision to the people of Canberra. That is at the heart of the ideological position that is being put in relation to buses and public transport and a determination by this government to support and expand public transport and to ensure a future for sustainable public transport. The work that was done by ACTPLA in relation to the reservation of a public busway or lane from Belconnen is now marketing, not consultation. It was, in fact, consultation but, of course, it is not convenient to acknowledge that the government consulted extensively on the development of a busway, so it is now marketing. We have changed the word. Last week it was “why did you consult?” and this week it is “why did you market it; why did you consult?”

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