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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2371 ..

Questions without notice

Light rail—traffic planning

MS LEE: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, in relation to light rail stage 2A construction, you were recently quoted as saying:

That’s going to mean a significant amount of congestion that our city probably hasn’t seen before in its history.

You went on to say that commuters’ options could include using public transport. Minister, under the massive levels of traffic congestion and disruption you have warned us about, how will public transport perform any better than a private motor vehicle?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her question. Our government is getting on with our city’s largest ever infrastructure build, which is focused on providing better public transport for our city, building a more vibrant, sustainable and connected city in the future as our population grows. As we do that, we have been up-front with the community that this is going to have a significant disruptive effect while we construct the project.

That is why we have established the disruption task force, a task force that will be looking at how we can minimise the extent of that disruption to the community—not just those businesses and people who live, work and go for recreation around the western side of London Circuit but also people in the broader community. That is why the disruption task force is looking at better public transport options. It is looking at a range of different things, which I have said—I have been very clear—we will announce over the coming months.

In addition to that, they will be looking at behaviour change, encouraging shifts in the way that people work. People will have to rethink their routes and rethink their routines during the period. We will be clearly communicating with the community and business every step of the way as early as possible about the options that will be available so that people can reduce the impact on themselves and help to keep our city moving. Our government will be putting in place the infrastructure investments that we can in the short term on our road network to reduce the extent of disruption. That work is ongoing. The group has been meeting for some time as we undertake significant preparation and planning ahead of work starting later this year.

MS LEE: Minister, are you going to create additional bus lanes on Kings Avenue, Parkes Way and Morshead Drive to allow public transport to operate better on these routes?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her question. We are considering a range of different options to provide public transport as an option, as a way that people can help make their commute into the city and into the parliamentary triangle easier and help minimise the disruptive effect that the construction will have as we seek to build an infrastructure system with public transport which will benefit Canberrans for generations to come.

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