Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 2010) . . Page.. 3498 ..
MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary?
MS HUNTER: So, minister, is the busway completed and, if not, what further work needs to be done?
MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Ms Hunter. I think the remaining work—as I said, I have not kept particularly close tabs in terms of structural work that needs to be undertaken—the last of the work that was being done, was finishing off the cycle path as it connected to the footpath on Barry Drive opposite the Australian National University. The last of the work that I understood needed to be completed was finalisation or finishing of the cycleway. It may be that there was also some line marking that needed to be concluded.
As I said, it is now the middle of August. I did discuss it with Tony Gill from Roads ACT. I just asked him casually and he said, “Well, we’re on target for it to be completed in the middle of August.” He did not wish to be more precise than that and I think that is quite reasonable, having regard to the weather and other vagaries.
In the context of the work that has been done, I think it is absolutely fantastic; it really is a piece of what will be the completed or concluded Belconnen to Civic busway in the fullness of time. The next two pieces of the work that will be undertaken in relation to that are to connect it from Clunies Ross Street. The section that has been completed will be fantastic. It will—and money was provided in the most recent budget to—take the work from Clunies Ross into and through the Civic exchange, almost straight through the middle of McGregor Hall, actually, I think, depending on its future. I think that was the proposal. But that work has been funded and we have also funded a consultancy to look at extending it from—(Time expired.)
MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Coe?
MR COE: Yes, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, will you rule out at some point turning the bus lane into a T2 or T3 lane?
MR STANHOPE: Will I rule it out? I will not rule anything in or out, but at this stage the government is now moving progressively through this latest budget quite vigorously to support public transport and enhanced bus-specific lanes and ways throughout the whole of Canberra.
There is, as you know, Mr Coe, in the most recent budget just on $100 million dedicated for directed and specific public transport initiatives. I was once again in Brisbane this week. Again, I had the opportunity to see in operation the amazing busways that have been developed in Brisbane. I do believe that they are the future and they are the future for this city.
One certainly hopes that, in the fullness of time, bus lanes would be convertible to light railway lanes. But the government is committed to enhancing public transport. I think one of the most fundamental requirements—unfortunately, it is very expensive—is dedicated busways throughout the city. I believe that we should be now