Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 February 2018) . . Page.. 188 ..
convoluted route which terminates not at Canberra Hospital or the Woden town centre but in Fyshwick.
The minister is either not being briefed on the seriousness of the issues impacting inner south residents or she is choosing to ignore them. Or she does not care. I do not care what she believes; my concern is for the residents of inner south. She has a duty to them, a duty that she is clearly failing.
It is not just the residents of the inner south who are bearing the brunt of these changes, however. I have had a number of residents from the inner north express concern about the lack of certainty and communication about changes in bus routes. They are in the dark about what will happen to their existing bus routes when the tram is up and running. Given the sudden changes to bus routes in the inner south with no communication and no consultation, there is angst among inner north residents that their bus services are next for the chopping block. This does not even begin to touch on the areas across the territory that do not even have a proper public bus service, like Oaks Estate.
This is why I bring this motion today. I call upon this government to do three fairly simple things. First and foremost, I call upon the government to apologise to the Canberra residents who have been, and continue to be, severely impacted, for their lack of communication about the bus route changes, something this minister has admitted in this very chamber. Second, I call upon the government to review the changes and to report on these changes. I note that in her response, which was tabled yesterday in response to the petition I brought to the Assembly last year about better connectivity in the inner south, she said that a review is happening, so I cannot understand how she would be opposed to this. Third, subject to the review, I call upon the government to undertake and give assurances to affected Canberrans that their bus services will be restored. This is what a local government that is elected to serve its citizens should be doing, no less. I commend my motion to the Assembly.
MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (4.36): I welcome the opportunity today to speak with the Assembly and outline the work the government is undertaking in relation to our bus network as part of an integrated transport network. As we know, our city is changing. Canberra’s population is growing quickly and is expected to reach a population of 421,000 by 2020 and half a million by 2033. To support this growth the government understands that our public transport system must also change to meet the needs of our growing city.
We took a clear policy to the 2016 election to expand the capacity of our public transport network, including the introduction of light rail stage 1 and additional rapid bus services. These initiatives will deliver a better public transport system for Canberra, one that is designed to keep Canberra moving and make public transport a genuine alternative to the car.
This year the government will introduce a new mode of public transport to Canberra with the delivery of Canberra’s first integrated and connected public transport