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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2021) . . Page.. 1895 ..

MADAM SPEAKER: The question is that Mr Parton’s amendment be agreed to. Do you wish to speak in closing, Mr Pettersson?

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (4.33): Yes, Madam Speaker. I want to thank all members for their contributions today. I want to take a couple of moments to quickly clarify my comments on the radio. It is alarming when people misuse e-scooters. That is correct. It is also alarming when people misuse cars. It is alarming when people misuse bicycles. People can misuse all forms of transport, and it is dangerous whenever they do it.

I also want to reflect very quickly on the examples that Mr Parton gave. They are all accurate observations; bad things can happen when people use e-scooters. But it strikes me as reminiscent of the way the Canberra Liberals approached roads in this city; they claim to support a technology but do everything they can to undermine it. I ask all members to reflect on that observation.

E-scooters have become an integral part of our cityscape. Many Canberrans have embraced this very quick, convenient and environmentally friendly form of transport. While young Canberrans have engaged the most, scooters also benefit working Canberrans, 31 per cent of whom have used e-scooters to get to work or travel between meetings. E-scooters are a great way for Canberrans to experience an alternative form of transportation, with more Canberrans having looked at buying their own e-scooter or e-bike since the launch of the scheme.

This push towards alternative transport has shown our city’s desire for more eco-friendly forms of transportation. The ease of e-scooters being available for users who live just a little too far away from their local bus stop or light rail stop has resulted, and I think will continue to result, in higher engagement with public transport. Creating links between Canberra residents and local public transport make opting to catch light rail or a bus more accessible for more people.

As the fastest growing region in Canberra, it is understandable that many scooter users would want the scheme expanded to Gungahlin. That does not preclude other regions. I explicitly call for more regions. Bringing e-scooters to Gungahlin and Mitchell will not only allow for more engagement with local public transport but also help the local economy. By expanding the e-scooter share scheme to Gungahlin town centre and to other town centres, we are helping to establish accessible links to public transport and boost economies.

I want to be very clear that I do not think Mr Parton’s amendment is needed. It is already covered in the original motion. My motion today calls on the government to expand the e-scooter share scheme to more areas of Canberra, including Gungahlin and Mitchell. The more the merrier, in my opinion.

This motion also calls for the continuation of the public safety campaign to encourage users to ride and park safely. This is fundamentally important. We have all seen people misusing e-scooters. We need to reduce that. That is not a reason to not expand the scheme.

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