Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 March 2010) . . Page.. 998 ..
MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Hargreaves. In the time since we came to government in 2001, we have invested in excess of $700 million in transport infrastructure in the ACT. That is in all forms of transport infrastructure, but it is reflective, over this last eight years, of the importance that we place on this issue and its significance—that transport infrastructure represents probably the single greatest area of government investment in the ACT since we came to government.
That investment quickly represents an investment in buses, with an investment in 115 new, far more environmentally friendly, wheelchair accessible buses, including those that I have just spoken about. It includes, for instance, the million dollars which were provided in last year’s budget for a trial of a Redex route, a new, frequent service which is very much in line with our strategic public transport network plan. Indeed, it is pleasing that a couple of weeks ago Redex had its highest single day boardings, of 2,559 in the day. It is a sign of just how popular Redex is.
We have invested $3 million in community transport initiatives, most particularly in the community on-demand buses that have been provided to community services. We have instituted free travel for over 75-year-old Canberra residents through the ACTION gold card. We are in the process, hopefully later this year, of taking delivery of a new ticketing system which is costing $8 million. We are rolling park and ride out progressively. And we have invested significantly in alternative modes, most particularly on-road and off-road cyclepaths. Just the Cotter Road, Adelaide Avenue and Stromlo park cycle lane improvements cost $4½ million.
MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Porter?
MS PORTER: What measures will the government take in the future to achieve its sustainable transport targets, minister?
MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Porter for the question. Indeed, the government, as members would be aware, has been working for much of the term of this Assembly—indeed, I think the entire term of this Assembly—on a new sustainable plan for Canberra. Indeed, we will almost certainly pilot transport for Canberra when it comes to release, which we hope now will be in May.
We will be releasing in May a whole new blueprint for investment in transport—public transport and all aspects of transport—consistent with the detail of the planning which has been consulted on in fine detail for much of the last year, in relation to which we engaged internationally acknowledged and acclaimed experts through, most particularly, Jarrett Walker and his consultancy company, McCormick Rankin Cagney. I will not go into the detail of that now, other than to say that public transport or mode of shift, in all of its aspects, does represent significant challenges for government. It is reflected in the way in which the issue has been dealt with I think since perhaps the establishment of the territory—not just self-government but the establishment of the territory—in relation to the challenges that are reflected in the way in which this town has grown, the way in which it has formed.
We do have some significant challenges in finding the resources to invest at the level that we know we will need to invest to achieve significant change in community