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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 November 2007) . . Page.. 3576 ..

effect, “We want to make Canberra car-unfriendly and cycle-friendly.” Mr Hargreaves needs to back that up, take it to the people and outline what further measures they have to make Canberra car-unfriendly. What other measures does the Labor Party have, apart from taking away their car parks, that will make it much more difficult for Canberrans to drive their cars and to find a park and that will bash them into submission in order to get them onto a substandard public transport system? Mr Hargreaves has a lot of explaining to do.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (4.18): Public transport plays a vital role in meeting social, environmental and economic goals in the ACT. The role of public transport will become even more critical to meeting community needs in the future as climate change continues.

The ACT population has been growing at a rate of around one per cent per annum. At the same time, household size continues to decline, reflecting changing family structures. The number of new houses is expected to increase at a faster rate than population growth alone would be expected to generate. The ACT population is ageing. In time, this can be expected to result in an increase in the proportion of the population who are unable to, or choose not to, drive their own vehicles to meet all or part of their transport needs. These social factors highlight the potentially important role of public transport in achieving an inclusive community.

In relation to environmental factors, transport in the ACT contributes about 24 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions. There are global concerns about the long-term availability and affordability of liquid petroleum supplies. Public transport has a key role to play in better meeting the environmental goals of the ACT community.

With regard to economic factors, Canberra is going through a boom phase. Commercial activities within the city, town centres and parliamentary triangle area are growing rapidly. The City West area is expected to have an additional 10,000 employees within the short term. This is about 40 per cent of the current level of employment in the city.

The government’s Canberra plan, which includes the spatial plan and the sustainable transport plan, recognises the capacity for public transport to continue to provide positive social, environmental and economic outcomes. Consistent with these strategic plans, the government is committed to providing better public transport, improving ACTION services, building better integrated transport infrastructure, improving public transport safety and improving taxi and hire car services.

The government recently announced a package of measures for public transport improvements, as you have heard—worth around $75 million: the most comprehensive commitment in the territory’s history, spanning bus services, infrastructure, accessibility and safety. Supportive transport infrastructure is an integral component of an efficient and quality public transport system.

The sustainable transport plan identified public transport corridors for progressive enhancement of the efficiency of trunk services to major destinations. Some of these transport corridors incorporate transit lanes and bus priority measures to support

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