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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 173 ..

MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

affected by the road being built. Our commitment was to proceed with the road and to see the road built by 2004 and along the western route. This commitment was reached after extensive consultations with the community, and it was endorsed by the election result.

As previous speakers in this debate have said, ACT Labor supports a comprehensive transport plan. In fact, during the campaign we announced that such a plan would be prepared to serve the ACT. We agree that the Gungahlin Drive extension is not the complete solution to the transport difficulties faced by people in Gungahlin or around Canberra. The solution will be reached only if we look at transport options in a strategic and planned way. It is obvious that there is a need for various options to be analysed and implemented.

Whilst we went to the election with a commitment for a transport strategy, that transport strategy will look at a five-year medium-term strategy and a 10-year long-term one. These strategies will include looking at ways to restrain growth in private motor vehicles and to increase non-motor vehicle options. It will also look at how to address some of the cycling issues and how to promote cycling, which is certainly an area of interest for me. Already we have announced some of the ways we are going to deal with cycling and promote safe cycling in the ACT community.

Whilst Labor will look at different transport options and encourage people to use transport methods other than private motor vehicles, the reality is that for many families private motor cars remain the most efficient transport method at the moment. This is partly due to the deficiencies in the public transport system and transport options, but it is also due to the differing needs of Canberra residents and Canberra families. For instance, a family in Gungahlin needing to transport children to various locations every morning before getting to work themselves rely on a car to meet those various commitments.

To delay the building of the Gungahlin Drive extension would greatly disadvantage the Gungahlin community, who have been waiting for this road for many years. We need to proceed with the Gungahlin Drive extension whilst acknowledging the need for other solutions to meet Canberra's growing transport needs.

The latest newsletter by the Gungahlin Community Council has on its first page a comment on the Gungahlin road. It says:

Now would be a good time to write to members of the ACT Legislative Assembly to remind them that Gungahlin residents need a road sooner rather than later.

Mr Speaker, we are happy to support the amendments Ms Dundas has put forward.

MRS CROSS (4.40): Even though some of Ms Tucker's suggestions are laudable, the fact is that for some time Gungahlin residents have needed a road desperately. The majority of Gungahlin residents use cars as their choice of transport. During my campaign I was inundated with requests by Gungahlin residents to build a road as a matter of urgency.

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