Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 March 2011) . . Page.. 1062 ..
We have made very good progress, most particularly in relation to walking and cycling. Currently, we have amongst the highest levels of walking and cycling to work of any city in Australia. We still do not match some other cities in relation to public transport and we are, of course, committed to our targets. I have every expectation that we will meet them, but I do not deny the depth of the challenge in ensuring that we do achieve that modal shift from motor car to bus.
MS LE COUTEUR: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.
MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you. Minister, in your assessment of transport emission reductions, how are you factoring in induced emissions—that is, the concept that when you build new road infrastructure that this actually encourages more and longer car trips and thus increases greenhouse gas emissions?
MR STANHOPE: In a formal sense, Ms Le Couteur, I cannot answer the question. I will take advice on it. It is obviously an active issue and an issue for consideration, as is, of course, the need to ensure that we do have a road network—a transport network—that meets the needs of the city. Of course, we adopt, as I am sure you would applaud, a triple bottom line assessment of these issues. We are very much concerned about meeting all of the needs of all of the people in relation to their daily lives, including, of course, their need for us to act responsibly in relation to greenhouse gas emissions.
But we are also conscious of the economic importance of ensuring a road network that is as efficient as it can be in terms of the economic advantages and, indeed, the economic costs that would bear through an inefficient road and transport system. We look at a suite of issues as we consider investments in road infrastructure, including the economic impacts of not investing. They are able to be assessed through economic modelling and they are severe. Roads that choke throughout the day have a very high quantifiable cost to the economy. Road networks that do not work have a very significant social impact on a community. We are mindful of meeting the community’s expectations in relation to their capacity to move easily throughout the city.
We do not deny, Ms Le Couteur, the obvious environmental costs of continuing to build roads at the expense of encouraging public transport, but it is a question of balance. There is a whole range of levers that governments have. One of them is, essentially, to reduce demand by making a system that does not work particularly well at a certain level. Another, of course, is to continue to deal with the issue of paid parking.
Minister for Health—statements
MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, on 10 March, Mr Doszpot asked you a question without notice in relation to your statement of