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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Friday, 23 April 2021) . . Page.. 1179 ..

I will be doing some further consultation in relation to this new group and then I expect an expression of interest process will begin. The terms of reference will also be released soon. I expect it will include the groups that I have mentioned—people with a disability and their advocates, children and those representing children, as well as women and older Canberrans—to ensure that as we design and develop future public transport projects and initiatives, including our new ticketing system, wayfinding services, infrastructure specifications and flexible demand-based transport services in future, this group can feed into the development of those programs, policies and infrastructure going forward. We need to make sure that we are meeting the diverse needs of our community. With this approach we hope that we can include that from the very beginning.

DR PATERSON: A supplementary. Minister, could you please outline what the government is doing to ensure the city infrastructure is accessible to vulnerable Canberrans?

MR STEEL: I thank Dr Paterson for her question. The ACT government continues to work hard to ensure that all Canberrans are able to access services and community infrastructure when they want or need it. For example, local shopping precincts are an important priority when it comes to accessible improvements for Canberrans. In a recent shopping centre refresh program, one of the fast-track stimulus programs last year, we have delivered accessibility upgrades at 11 local shops, including Gordon, Hackett and Kambah. A large part of those was replacing old, non-standard, non-compliant ramps, for example, and improvements to footpaths to make sure there was accessibility. We will continue to do that type of work going forward at other shop upgrades as well.

We have also recently improved accessibility around bus stops. There are dozens of new and upgraded shared paths and cycleways across the city. We upgraded several intersections, including the installation of pedestrian signals, and we installed priority cycle crossings in Yarralumla and Woden. As an action under the government’s transport strategy we will also look at how intersection design can be improved to better prioritise the needs of vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists as well.

We look forward to continuing to expand the Age Friendly Suburbs Program to support older Canberrans to navigate our streets. It is simply based on the principle that what is often designed that is good for older Canberrans and for children is good for the entirety of our community and the accessibility of our entire community. I think that is the same principle that Minister Vassarotti announced this week with her commitment to universal design across residential buildings that she is advocating for nationally. The same principle applies here as well with public spaces. We are getting underway to design and construct new, accessible and safe public spaces around Canberra. We look forward to hearing from the diversity of our community as we do so.

Mr Barr: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

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