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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 3 June 2021) . . Page.. 1671 ..

enrolments, as well as proposed transport network improvements and future transport costs.

As we know, the Molonglo Valley and the surrounding region are growing rapidly. By the end of 2031, we expect that close to 37,000 residents will live there, up from fewer than 5,000 in 2016. We have been working hard to keep ahead of that population growth through our investments in new roads and public transport. We will continue to strategically invest in our transport network today because we know that this will be essential to keeping our city moving and ensuring people in the Molonglo Valley enjoy the same quality of life as those in other parts of Canberra as this new region progressively takes shape.

We look forward to continuing to work with the residents in Molonglo to keep them moving and connected and ensure that Molonglo grows into a vibrant and sustainable place to live. I present the following paper:

Transport investment in the Molonglo Valley—Ministerial statement, 3 June 2021.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (10.20): Molonglo Valley will be one of Canberra’s high-density regions. If we build our transport infrastructure right, we will need fewer cars and we will get more cycling, walking and public transport use. I welcome Minister Steel’s statement today and his recent statements in his public forum. I am pleased to see he is placing active and public transport so high on his list of priorities. I also welcome his separate announcement today about leasing electric buses. It is great to see his ongoing support for climate-friendly transport and it is really important that we get the details of our investment right.

There are already congestion problems for residents in Molonglo and Weston Creek. We all understand that you cannot fix congestion by building more roads. More roads simply fill up with more cars. Cities choke on cars, and Canberra is a rapidly growing city. We need to fix our congestion by increasing public and active transport. There are lots of ways to do this. For active transport, we need separated corridors through Molonglo and throughout all of our regions. We need separated shared paths that provide a continuous route for all of the major roads we are building and extending, like William Hovell, John Gorton and Parkes Way.

We need to spend 20 per cent of our roads budget on building and maintaining our shared paths and footpaths. We need to make sure that we are counting that 20 per cent properly to ensure we are getting new infrastructure that is dedicated and built primarily for active travel not simply getting new accounting. We need to ensure our public transport network takes people to where they need to go. We need stops close enough to people’s homes so they can walk there. We need regular services, cross-town connections and connections to our group centres and suburbs.

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