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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 25 March 2010) . . Page.. 1536 ..

Gungahlin through the city into Kingston and Barton. So that of itself is very significant—that Redex has attracted 28 per cent new custom.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary question?

MS BRESNAN: Will the government consider expanding the Redex service to include other areas in Canberra?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Bresnan for the question. I think as members are aware—indeed, I am aware, Ms Bresnan, that you are aware—the government are currently working through budget cabinet on preparations for the upcoming budget. As the Treasurer has been indicating and outlining now for some time, we face a difficult budgetary environment. We face a significant deficit over the forward years, and that will affect decisions we take in this budget.

Having said that, the government have been working hard on a sustainable transport action plan for Canberra, and that certainly does envisage a significant rolling out of rapid and regular services across Canberra. All of the indications we have to date is that the Redex trial has been a very successful initiative, and we would hope that, through this coming budget, we can expand the Redex service. That is our hope and our intention. I cannot pre-empt the outcome of the final decisions that we will make, but it is part of the broader transport plan for Canberra that we have been working on, most particularly in concert with Jarrett Walker, who has been very significant in providing us with expert advice in relation to network issues and the establishment of a genuine all-of-Canberra transport network that will meet our needs.

As I have been saying, the government accept that we must enhance or lift the level of investment in public transport and in forms of transport other than the motor car to actually meet the sustainable transport targets that we have set. We are working very hard through this current budget in the hope that we can fund significant new public transport or other transport initiatives.

MR COE: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Mr Stanhope, why do the people of Casey not deserve a bus service?

MR STANHOPE: All the people of Canberra deserve bus services. It is interesting, in the context, as the Treasurer has noted, of questioning over the last few days in relation to spending too much or not spending enough—here we have it again—we have finite resources. We have a very difficult budgetary environment. We will continue to enhance the network and expand the network as suburbs grow.

Indeed, in the context of the massive investment, the $50 million investment for a start, in new buses that has required the expansion of our workforce, we have employed 60 new ACTION staff, mainly drivers and support staff, over the last year to meet the needs of a significantly expanding network and to meet the needs of the Redex trial.

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