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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 3 June 2021) . . Page.. 1672 ..

Our bus network needs to cater for those who are not just commuting between Civic and the suburbs in peak hour. It must also cater for those who are taking local trips outside of peak hours. We need to look after parents, seniors, people with disabilities, shift workers, students and people of all abilities at all stages of life and in all different types of employment. We also need to give public and active transport traffic priority to make it easy and convenient for people to use.

Transport habits are formed when people first plan their home purchase and move in. In our new suburbs it is incredibly important to offer the best services as soon as possible. People form their habits early, and they need to know they can rely on these services. If they do not feel confident, they will buy a car or a second car, and they may not come back to public and active transport at all after that.

Our connections between Belconnen, Molonglo, Weston Creek and Woden will become incredibly important as the development of this region makes a more connected urban area between these town centres. We need to invest for the future now. Building public and active transport infrastructure and getting the best grade-separated shared path infrastructure is incredibly important. We cannot lose sight of that while building more multi-lane roads. We are looking forward to the ACT government consulting with user groups, residents and stakeholders on how we can improve our transport plan in the Molonglo Valley and all through Canberra.

DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (10.24): As a local member for Murrumbidgee, I am always interested in matters affecting my local constituents. Molonglo Valley is the ACT’s newest greenfield development, with a population that is consistently growing and will continue to grow considerably over the next decade. As with any of our urban access areas across the ACT, the travel and transport patterns and needs of the community are diverse and complex. Due to the growing nature of the Molonglo Valley population, transport issues and initiatives affecting Molonglo Valley residents also affect those in the neighbouring areas of Weston Creek and elsewhere.

I thank Minister Steel for the work he is doing, together with the excellent work across the ACT government and within the Transport Canberra directorate, to address traffic issues and congestion in the Molonglo region. Following recent traffic monitoring and surveys, there have been a number of improvements implemented, including changes to the sequencing of traffic lights on Cotter Road. Constituent feedback about these changes has been very positive, with a noticeable reduction in congestion in the morning peak hour.

I look forward to the government’s large-scale and major project infrastructure outcomes that will continue to address the needs of the growing population in the Molonglo Valley. Some of these works, as noted by Minister Steel, include the bridge over the Molonglo River and the extension and completion of John Gorton Drive. Connecting the Molonglo Valley to Belconnen through the duplication of sections of William Hovell Drive will help relieve pressure from Cotter Road and the Tuggeranong Parkway.

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