Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2021) . . Page.. 1891 ..
MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (4.20): I thank Mr Pettersson for bringing this motion before the Assembly today. I am not surprised by the large percentage of Canberrans who support the introduction of shared e-scooters into Canberra; I personally love them. Nor am I surprised by the fact that many would like to see the scheme expanded to other areas of Canberra. I would like to see that as well.
I am happy that, when the scheme was first introduced, a portion of my electorate of Ginninderra was included. But currently the use of shared e-scooters is limited to Belconnen town centre and small parts of neighbouring suburbs such as Bruce and Macquarie.
This motion calls on the ACT government to enhance the current scheme by expanding its geographical coverage. Gungahlin and Mitchell are mentioned by name, but I rise to add my request that the areas where the scheme operates in the Belconnen district also be increased. This could include expanding the area of usage from around Belconnen town centre towards the ANU or Civic. It could also include other areas of Belconnen that could profitably support shared e-scooters. This expansion would require increasing the number of permitted e-scooters in the scheme, a request in this motion that I likewise support. I commend the motion to the Assembly.
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (4.22): We will not be opposing this motion from Mr Pettersson, though I will be moving some amendments.
I cannot speak on behalf of the Prime Minister, but I am sure that if Mr Morrison had a ride on one of these scooters, he would say—I can almost hear him saying it—“How good are e-scooters?” That is what he would say. How good are they? They are easy to ride. They are a lot of fun.
I know that a lot is made of emissions reduction from this new transport innovation, and I think at some stage we will get there. I would say that the early numbers are not really showing that. The government’s own survey on the Neuron and Beam rollout showed that 84 per cent of trips were purely recreational. And without wanting to put a dampener on things, it is possible that there could even be in part a health negative from e-scooter use in that those who are using them for mainly recreational use may be doing so instead of walking or riding a bike.
That aside, the early going on this new transport innovation has been extremely positive, and it has been solidly embraced by the community. That showed up in a survey that the Canberra Liberals did through Elizabeth Lee’s office. The Lee office survey showed majority support by Canberrans for the scheme to continue; however, it also showed that there are major safety concerns for many Canberrans around e-scooter use.
The survey received a diverse range of views with some common themes, including near misses with cars and pedestrians and a call for lower speed limits at all shopping centres in high pedestrian areas. The survey was used to get good insight from the broader community about what works and what needs to be improved so that Canberrans can get the most out of e-scooters. A lot of older Canberrans said that they