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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 May 2021) . . Page.. 1339 ..

Midwives provide an important service to improve maternal and child health and care, and to achieve the best outcomes for mothers and babies. I am one of the lucky women that Minister Stephen-Smith referred to who has had three healthy babies, safely delivered, and in the wonderful hands of midwives at the Canberra Hospital.

The international days for midwifery and nurses are also an opportunity to support the cause to ensure appropriate education and resourcing for people working in this sector. It is to the benefit and advantage of all of us that investment is made in appropriate resourcing, providing opportunities for professional development, and to show the value of the work of nurses and midwives. Now, more than ever, it is a great time to recognise and thank our nurses and midwives.

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, before I put the question, and with some level of indulgence, can I say that I am sure all here thank and appreciate the nurses and midwives across our community. Can I personally recognise my daughter-in-law, Bianca Warner, who works in a cardiac unit in Perth.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Transport—recovery plan

Ministerial statement

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (11.05): Last week we released the ACT Transport Recovery Plan, an important step forward in planning for Canberra’s post-COVID recovery. Public transport is central to making Canberra a more connected, sustainable and vibrant city.

Transport currently accounts for over 60 per cent of Canberra’s harmful carbon emissions, so it is essential that we work to reduce the number of private car trips taken across our city each day. As Canberra grows, encouraging more people to choose public transport will also be important for preventing the traffic gridlock that so many other cities struggle with.

The ACT planning strategy maps out a clear direction for limiting Canberra’s urban sprawl and the impacts on our environment by delivering the majority of new housing in and around our major town centres and along transport routes. This goal will be supported by better public transport links that mean Canberrans can move around easily and sustainably, without needing to rely on their cars.

The ACT Transport Strategy, released last year at the height of the pandemic, outlines our plans to support this shift through an emphasis on strengthening public transport and active travel. We recognise that, for people to choose public transport as their preferred mode of travel, it must be convenient, reliable, comfortable and safe. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged community perceptions about whether public transport is a safe way to travel. This is understandable when clear health advice throughout 2020 emphasised avoiding non-essential travel on Canberra’s buses and light rail.

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