Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3723 ..
Let me tell you, if you were to take this report from any other area of Canberra—potentially, not in the centre—you would get the same results. If you went to any outer suburban area, you would get the same results—complete and utter dissatisfaction from Canberra’s needy and disadvantaged families and just about every other social demographic category that relies on public transport to get them from home to school, to work, to the doctor, or simply to buy groceries. In Canberra, a complete day trip by bus is required to undertake basic life necessities, unless you are fortunate enough to own a car.
There are some pretty solid recommendations in the report, but because of the scope of the report some of those broader issues could not be tackled in this report. This report states that many people choose to walk, ride or drive rather than wait for a bus that would take them three times as long to get to where they need to go. Of course, in a number of cases the bus route does not exist anymore. People have given up waiting, and people who walk or ride cannot even rely on a quality footpath network or bike paths, because, once again, the government has failed.
So when members are considering whether or not to support my amendment—you never know!—they should note that it is pretty straight up and down. It is a factual amendment. It is difficult to argue that this report is not damning of the bus network. There are just shy of 200 negative comments. So it would be difficult to reject the amendment with a straight face—as painful as it may be for Labor and Greens members to accept it. So, do they want to accept the truth, or do they just want to keep looking the other way?
MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (3.15): I would like to thank Dr Paterson for bringing her motion to the Assembly today, and I would like to congratulate her. It is a really important part of our democracy that elected members use their private member’s motions, and this is a really valuable way to use it—on real policy and not scoring cheap points.
This is a great motion. Helping more people use active and public transport will reduce congestion, reduce climate emissions and improve lives. It is so important to identify different barriers for different people. Dr Paterson has done a great job on honing-in on the barriers for women on the southside. Using active and public transport should not be one more chore for women to do, or one more thing to feel guilty about if they cannot. We need to make active and public transport choices that suit women, not the other way around.
I have worked in active transport, and I have been cycling around Canberra as my primary mode of transport for the past two decades. I know about this. I have also been talking for years, socially and professionally, to women who do not walk or ride for transport. In fact, all of my regular bike-riding friends are men. This is not unusual. Here in Australia, more men ride than women. But that is not the case in many other countries, where walking and cycling are an ordinary way to move around a city.
In other places it is how you get to work, do the shopping, get your kids to school and get your produce to the market. People and planners have built their cities and their