Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Friday, 23 April 2021) . . Page.. 1178 ..
MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, have the needs of vulnerable Canberrans shaped the government’s thinking about transport and city service delivery in Canberra?
MR STEEL: I thank Mr Pettersson for his question. The ACT government is committed to ensuring that our city is accessible for all Canberrans and that everyone can access services, jobs, socialise and contribute to our community safely, efficiently and with ease. We recognise that for some members of our community the design and delivery of services and infrastructure is a critical factor in how easily they can leave the house, attend appointments, move around safely on our streets and engage in the everyday activities of community life that many of us take for granted.
We also understand that some Canberrans often rely on services like public transport even more than other members of our community do. The recognition of the vital importance of accessible public transport and city services is front of mind of our government when we are undertaking ongoing work to strengthen and expand Canberra’s public transport network, improve local community infrastructure and deliver better services for our suburbs.
The government has a really ambitious agenda ahead over this term of government in Transport Canberra and City Services. We want to make sure that the views of all people are at the forefront of design and provide an important lens. A range of different groups come to mind. They include people with a disability, the voices of children and their parents as their advocates and older Canberrans, as well as women. We want to make sure that that is an important lens as we go through a whole range of different infrastructure projects, programs and services that we intend to deliver under this term of government.
MR PETTERSSON: A supplementary. Minister, can you please outline what the government is doing to ensure the needs of vulnerable Canberrans are met in the design and delivery of public transport and city services?
MR STEEL: I thank Mr Pettersson for his supplementary. I have recently met with a number of groups representing Women with Disabilities ACT and the ACT Down Syndrome Association. I have been speaking with my colleagues Tara Cheyne and Ms Orr in her previous capacity as Minister for Disability. It has become clear to me that we need to ensure that the views of these groups and others who speak for diverse communities are given appropriate weight when key decisions on transport and city services are made.
That is why I am proud to announce that the ACT government, through Transport Canberra and City Services, will be establishing an accessibility reference group to ensure that Canberrans with different kinds of circumstances have access to the public transport and city services they need by being involved in the design process from the beginning. This group will build on the existing disability reference group established by Transport Canberra and City Services.