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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 796 ..

ACTION - Gungahlin Services

MS HORODNY: My question is directed to the Minister for Urban Services, Mr De Domenico. There are currently no ACTION bus services that go directly to Civic from the suburbs of Gungahlin outside of Palmerston. Residents of most of Gungahlin who wish to travel to Civic by bus, therefore, must take a wider route via the Belconnen bus interchange. I have received complaints from Gungahlin residents that they have no alternative but to find the money for a second car where they do not have one, because they cannot rely on the public transport service in Gungahlin. Does the Minister believe that an increase in the number of cars on the road, particularly through the streets of North Canberra, is preferable to the provision of a good public transport service to the expanding suburbs of Gungahlin?

MR DE DOMENICO: I thank Ms Horodny for her question. Yes, I am aware of the media release issued today in which you have spelt Gungahlin wrongly. I do not blame you for that; you probably do not even know where it is. It is spelt wrongly, for a start. In answer to the second part of the question, the answer is no, we do not think cars come first; we think people come first.

Let me also correct you on your assumption that the only services available serve Palmerston. I can inform you that direct services are available from Gungahlin to Civic in the form of route 500, which serves Palmerston, and also route 750, which serves Ngunnawal and Nicholls. Other Gungahlin residents are served by routes 510 and 511, which travel to the Belconnen interchange, where they can readily connect to Civic bound 333 services which leave every three or four minutes in the peak periods and every seven or eight minutes in the off-peak periods. It is possible for routes 510 and 511 passengers to interchange in Gungahlin with route 500, to travel more directly to Civic.

Gungahlin is a growth area, as you are aware, and bus services are being progressively upgraded in line with population growth. Services were expanded in October 1995 and will be significantly upgraded again in Network 96 - and I can tell you that that is planned for mid-April - and in the future as the suburbs grow.

MS HORODNY: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Are there plans to introduce express buses from Gungahlin directly to Civic?

MR DE DOMENICO: I will take that one on notice. I do not know. But I can tell you that express buses at this stage travel only out of interchanges. There is no interchange in Gungahlin. I doubt whether there are express buses from Gungahlin to Civic; but, as I said, direct services are available already from Gungahlin to Civic on route 500, which goes through Palmerston, and on route 750, which goes - - -

Ms Horodny: That is one suburb.

MR DE DOMENICO: Hold on; I have not finished - on route 750, which goes through Ngunnawal and Nicholls. So it was incorrect for you to assume that it was only through Palmerston.

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