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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 March 2021) . . Page.. 704 ..

MR STEEL: Madam Speaker, I think that breaches the standing orders. I have outlined our approach, which is that we will consult with the community. We have put forward funding for the design of these upgrades in the budget, and we are getting on with it. We are the ones that committed to do this project. The opposition did not commit to a range of different infrastructure projects. They are not even prepared to put a commitment forward to see infrastructure built in our city. Only our government is making sure that we meet the needs of the community—creating jobs, making sure that we are supporting local businesses during the pandemic recovery and making sure that we have thriving local centres.

Transport Canberra—Lawson bus services

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. For five years Lawson residents have been told they must await the completion of stage 2 to have a bus service in their suburb, but the government has failed to find a buyer for stage 2. In hearings we learned that the land will not be back on the market until early to mid-2022, pushing the expected completion of the suburb to 2026 or later. For houses in western Lawson the nearest bus stop is in Bruce, but there is no direct developed footpath that people can use. Lastly, the Labor-Greens government announced in June 2018 that Lawson would be getting a demand-responsive, flexible transport service, but this service has never been implemented. Must Lawson residents wait another five years to get a bus route in their suburb?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her question. The ACT government is committed to providing good public transport throughout Canberra, including to new suburbs. There are existing bus routes that service the Lawson suburb, which was built in the established broader region of Belconnen. So there are a range of bus stops available, both across the road in the University of Canberra and on adjacent streets. At the moment the buses, because of their size, cannot easily access the streets in Lawson. That is why the stage 2 development is so critical. We will continue to work with the Suburban Land Agency on the timing of future network planning and making sure that the suburb has access to bus stops. We are also currently looking at further work around footpath connections between Lawson and public transport stops. We will continue that work.

MRS KIKKERT: Minister, what happened to the demand-responsive, flexible transport service that Lawson residents were promised in 2018?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her question, but we do have a flexible bus service currently available for those who have mobility issues and maybe cannot walk down to the local bus stop because it is too far away. That is already available for all residents across the ACT to use. It was our government, our Labor Party, that committed at the last election to consider an on-demand transport system to enhance the existing flexible bus service. We look forward to doing that feasibility work over the term.

MR BRADDOCK: What other suburbs in Canberra have been designed where buses cannot easily traverse those streets?

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