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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 May 2010) . . Page.. 1816 ..

know that our planning laws require developers to build multiple car park spaces in apartment blocks and that this of course increases the cost of housing? In fact, you could call it, as they have been calling a different charge today, “a massive tax on homes”.

Do the Liberals or Mr Seselja consider how planning for more roads and more driving disproportionately impacts on Canberra’s low income families, who already own fewer cars and who are less able to afford to run them? What about the fact that car-reliant societies foster social exclusion because the disabled and the disadvantaged cannot travel. It would be great to see the Liberals’ own ideas for improving sustainable and active transport and tackling these problems.

Mr Stanhope responded to the launch of our active transport plan by saying, “They’re all things which are incorporated into the briefings and the planning which we’ve shown to the Greens, so basically what she’s doing”—and he meant me in that—is just trying to steal thunder from the fact that we’ve done all this work.”

Mr Stanhope, the work in our plan does not come from briefings or planning shown to us by the government. In fact, we have not been briefed or shown planning on these issues, and the government clearly has not done all the work already. Just look at the 2004 sustainable transport action plan, which had so many good ideas—but many, many of its key actions have been ignored. There is a lot to be done, and that is why the Greens have written an active transport plan. We really hope that now the government will start addressing the problems, not just writing about the problems.

I will just take a couple of examples from the Greens’ active transport plan. The plan asks the government to sign on to the International Charter for Walking. The charter sets out principles for policies and planning which help the walkability of our city. For example, it says we should put pedestrians at the heart of urban planning and give slower transport modes priority over fast modes, or human-based modes priority over vehicular modes. It talks about ensuring that pedestrian networks link people’s homes, shops, schools, parks, public transport interchanges, green spaces and other important destinations. I raised this with Mr Stanhope in the Assembly last year, but there has been no action.

The plan also calls for conversion of appropriate parts of Canberra into shared spaces. These have been shown around the world to improve our urban environment for walkers and riders, and the general community. There is still no action on this front, despite the Greens calling for it for over a year. Others that have been echoing this call as well included the Gungahlin Community Council, who would love to see a shared space in Hibberson Street, and Pedal Power, who have been campaigning for this in Bunda Street.

The plan calls for the introduction of a sustainable transport contribution fund for commercial developers. It would allow developers to put money into a fund for sustainable and active transport-related initiatives and infrastructure, instead of having to always build parking spaces in new developments. The ACT territory plan notes the possibility of such a scheme, but the government has never actually used it.

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