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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 May 2021) . . Page.. 1343 ..

and the best technology outcome for Canberrans. Providing contactless payment options will also help to minimise the risks of further outbreaks and support the ability of Health officials to undertake contact tracing. In making this transition, we are focused on ensuring that the new cashless system works for all of our passengers, including the most vulnerable.

We are in the process of establishing a new Transport Canberra and City Services accessibility reference group to ensure that the needs of people with a disability, older Canberrans and other vulnerable groups, like children and families, are considered from the start and are fully met so that public transport remains accessible for everyone.

The ACT recovery plan does not just deal with the immediate challenges in front of us. It takes a longer perspective that aligns with our transport strategy as well. A key focus of that strategy is making future-focused decisions which progressively shift investment towards public transport, cycling and walking. We recognise that infrastructure investments are crucial for rebuilding the economy. Public transport will need reliable financial investment to provide quality of service and revive passenger confidence.

Light rail is a great example of this. We are investing now in light rail stage 2 to Woden so that we have the right infrastructure in place before congestion brings Canberra’s south to a halt. Building light rail to Woden will give Canberrans on the south side more options on when and how they travel and cut transport emissions to support our transition to net zero emissions by 2045. It will also help to create better city spaces along the line where people can live and work, well connected by public transport.

In a survey earlier this year, around a third of light rail passengers said they had never used public transport before hopping on board stage 1. That demonstrates how much light rail can be a catalyst for more people choosing public transport, and we want to spark that same shift on Canberra’s south side.

Our choices today should help drive a long-term and sustainable shift to public transport in the future. As the “new normal” takes shape, we will focus on making services more adaptable and flexible so that our networks are robust enough to attract and sustain strong patronage in the years to come. That is what the ACT Transport Recovery Plan is all about, and that is what our investments in the coming years will seek to deliver. I present the following paper:

ACT transport recovery plan—Ministerial statement, 12 May 2021.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (11.19): Can I firstly applaud Transport Canberra, Canberra Metro and all associated staff for holding things together so well during what has been a difficult 12 months. As the minister made mention of, transport

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