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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 May 2021) . . Page.. 1345 ..

continuing rollout of light rail. In doing so, I am echoing the words of the Chief Minister in this chamber yesterday, this morning and on ABC Radio this morning that the Morrison government will be contributing $186 million towards ACT infrastructure projects, including $132.5 million for light rail stage 2A. I think that is to be applauded.

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (11.23): I was really pleased to attend Minister Steel’s forum on the ACT transport recovery plan recently. It was great to hear the plan being delivered and broken down by a lot of public transport experts that we had in the room, and it was really good to hear some of the questions that we had from the audience. I think Canberrans are well-educated and are really keen to engage with how we can improve the systems that we have.

The challenges we have had from COVID have been enormous. I would like to thank TCCS staff for their hard work. I join with Mr Parton in that. They have kept the network running and they have risen to a number of challenges. TCCS have also done a lot of very smart things. They helped people who were out of work during COVID by expanding our cleaning program and creating jobs. That was a marvellous health move, but it was also a great jobs move. I am also keen to see upgrades to our ticketing system and I look forward to seeing its release in 2023.

I am pleased to see Canberra expanding our public transport network by increasing our bus services and expanding our light rail. I am glad that we are now finally committed to that project and we are rolling it out. We still have improvements to make in our network design. We still have some problems with the timing of services. I am sure everybody gets regular constituent complaints, just like I do. People are very frustrated when they miss a connection.

Changes need to be made when we need to improve efficiency, but every change is quite difficult for people to adapt to. We need to make sure that we are making those changes where we need to and that our connections are connecting smoothly at the hubs. Reliability is really important too if we want to encourage new people onto the network.

I am particularly keen to see an increase in our cycling and active travel as well. I think sometimes this is an aspect of our public transport system that we have not really focused on enough. Most people do not use simply one means of getting to work. Even if you drive, you are going to walk at some point to get into your car or out of your car, and most people are combining trips. That is actually the way of the future—multimodal travel.

We need to make sure that we are supporting our active travel infrastructure and network in the same way that we support our roads. Anecdotally, we know that walking and cycling increased a lot during COVID, whereas public transport use decreased. I know that public transport is going to bounce back, but I hope that we maintain that high level and interest in walking and cycling. Many people have taken to our shared paths and footpaths, often for the first time. We need to invest more in that shared path and footpath infrastructure. If we want 20 per cent of people walking

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