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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 May 2021) . . Page.. 1346 ..


and riding, we should be spending 20 per cent of our roads budget on that infrastructure to make sure that they can do it.

We need to maintain that infrastructure, as well as build it. We need to fill in all of our missing links. We need to remember that if you cannot walk to the bus stop, you are not going to use that bus. And if you are not confident that you can jump on a bus and get home, if the weather suddenly changes and you do not like riding in the rain, you are not going to use the bus and you are not going to cycle; you will jump back in a car. We have really got to make it as easy as possible.

We are really pleased at the transition of the ACT government fleet to modern disability-compliant buses. That is a really important step in reliability for those who really need it. We are glad to see that our modern, fully-accessible bus fleet is almost here. It is a really good compliment to some of the work that we have seen in the housing space by Minister Vassarotti and we are moving to a more inclusive and disability-friendly city.

I am glad to see our zero emissions buses. This is a really important step in not only reducing our emissions but also improving people’s experience of using and waiting for buses. It means that when they are sitting around at the bus stop they have less noise pollution and diesel and they are not breathing in fumes. It is just a better way to run our city. I would really like to see the same policy extended to the entire government fleet. We have got garbage trucks and other vehicles. They can all be zero emissions. The more we move all of our vehicles to zero emissions, the better it is going to be.

I was also pleased that Transport Canberra have committed to stepping up engagement with the community when they are designing and delivering our public transport initiatives. That community feedback is essential. I know, from running businesses, that you need to talk to your customers and give them what they want. It is no good talking to them afterwards and trying to persuade them to buy what you have produced. You need to get that feedback in at the start.

I was also a bit sad. I have heard a few comments from Mr Parton recently about flexible working arrangements and he has made some more today that were a bit more nuanced, which is good. I am a bit concerned that maybe not everybody understands the value of flexible working and the changes that have come through COVID. I have been accessing flexible working for the last 15 years, and it is marvellous. It means I have been able to run businesses and achieve quite large career milestones whilst raising a family. I look around and find I have a lot of friends who are in the same situation.

What it means when you are accessing flexible workplace arrangements is that you tend to have your work meetings in your local cafe. We have seen that during COVID. Many local suburban businesses have actually seen an increase in business and that has been good for those businesses. Obviously, any change means that we need to help people through those changes, but it is a real shame if we are not leaning into the marvellous opportunity that we have from COVID.


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