Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (27 October) . . Page.. 2311 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
I think, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, it would be fair to say that Gungahlin residents are getting a bit fed up with the lack of effective transport links in their area. They have been patient. In fact, they have been more than patient. The population of Gungahlin is now approximately 15,000, yet it is serviced by two roads, which are narrow, single-lane roads in each direction. They are connected to another road, the Barton Highway, which for the last kilometre or two of its length is single carriageway, connecting to Northbourne Avenue.
It is an issue of concern for Gungahlin residents that the ACT Government has continued to refuse to seriously address the concerns of constituents in Gungahlin in relation to decent road links. I met recently with the Minister for Urban Services and told him of the concerns of Gungahlin residents and of the fact that on Gungahlin Drive there have been two head-on collisions involving fatalities in the past six months and another accident this weekend - fortunately not a fatality, but still a serious accident.
Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is time for this Government, in its capital works program, to seriously address the issue of better transport links for Gungahlin. By that I am not suggesting that you go to the most expensive option, the option that this Government often likes to put forward, which is the John Dedman Parkway. There are other solutions that the Government should be looking at prior to its consideration of the long-term issue of John Dedman, and they are better arterial road links along the existing road corridors of Gungahlin Drive and Gundaroo Drive; the duplication of those roads; and the possibility of opening a third road link into the Gungahlin area off Flemington Drive, connecting into the new town centre. Apart from providing another option for the Gungahlin residents in terms of how they get out of the town centre area and into other parts of Canberra, it would also provide a good transport link directly into the town centre. I am sure that members of this place would agree that the development of a town centre is central to developing an effective new town, which Gungahlin is. Without good transport links, you simply do not have those synergies created which allow a town centre to develop and grow.
Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Government must consider these issues more seriously than it is doing at the moment. It must be looking at the issue of bus services as well. I commend Mr Guy Thurston for his efforts in providing better bus routes for Gungahlin residents; but I raise concerns about the problem of zones for Gungahlin residents and the fact that, if you live at Palmerston, you will face a 100 per cent fare increase to catch a bus to Civic.
All these issues are becoming matters of extreme concern in the Gungahlin community. I will be taking every opportunity to raise them in this place and directly with the Minister and to urge the Government overall to start addressing Gungahlin's transport links seriously. The problems will only continue to compound if this lack of action we are seeing from the ACT Government continues.