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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 August 2018) . . Page.. 2987 ..

I get it. As parents we will always worry about the safety of our kids. It is natural. But I also believe that Canberra is a place where we look after each other. We must teach our kids to be safe as they move around our city. After all, thousands of kids already do it every day. Saying that private school kids are not as capable as state-based public school kids of using a public bus system seems more of an insult to them, rather than a position the Liberal Party would take.

Public transport takes cars off the road in peak hour but it also makes sure everyone in Canberra can get to school, work, appointments or just to catch up with friends and family. A good public transport network is not just made up of frequent direct routes like the rapids. It also makes sure as many people as possible have a service near their home. One of Canberra’s charms is the unique approach to planning taken by our predecessors, but it does make the bus routes a bit complicated. Making sure we get this right is an important part of Minister Fitzharris’s consultation process. I commend her for the transparent, consultative approach that she has taken to improving our public transport network.

I have to agree with some of what Ms Fitzharris has already said today and has included in her amendment to Miss C Burch’s motion. It is really important that the Canberra community continue to have their say. They have told us what they think, and I think Ms Fitzharris stated that there were over 8,000 comments made to the Transport Canberra consultation process.

It is now a matter of looking at what we are doing. It is a matter of looking at what has been said and trying to work out how best to build our public transport system to meet the needs of the wonderful Canberra community that we all grew up with, love and stand in this place every day to represent.

I am happy to be able to support Minister Fitzharris’s amendment to Miss C Burch’s motion. It is a wonderful amendment. It brings you online. It commits the government to providing us with some of the feedback to ensure that the consultation is listened to, as Ms Fitzharris has continuously explained that we are doing.

MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (4.17): I thank the minister for her response. However, I would like to assure you, Mr Assistant Speaker, that this is not a scare campaign. We are not being irresponsible. We are representing our constituents, and I applaud Miss Candice Burch for advocating for this issue in the Assembly. With the most recent changes, this government is not just threatening commuters but also schoolkids and those with mobility issues, like our elderly and our disabled.

Yesterday I was pleased to support a petition from the residents of Crace, along with my colleagues Mr Coe and Miss Candice Burch, to ensure that changes to bus route 54 do not limit and restrict elderly residents’ freedom and mobility. I was pleased to see that the government supported our motion to refer this petition to an Assembly committee. I hope common sense prevails and that Transport Canberra thinks carefully before removing suburban stops. Along the same lines, the decision to reduce school buses is one that they need to review very closely.

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