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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 508 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

conclusively come down in favour of the eastern route. Mr Corbell has got it wrong. Mr Corbell has, as usual, failed to take into consideration all the issues. Mr Pratt is right in saying that the western route will be a disaster for the AIS, just as I have been saying for some time that the western route will be a disaster for Kaleen.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (4.53): Mr Speaker, the government will not be supporting the amendment circulated by Ms Tucker.

Ms Tucker: I am not surprised.

MR CORBELL: I am sure Ms Tucker is not at all surprised by that. Nevertheless, it is important to explain why, and to respond to some of the comments made by Ms Tucker concerning the issue of sustainability.

The government will not be supporting Ms Tucker's proposal because the government does not accept the view inherent in Ms Tucker's motion that there should be no road. That is the underlying philosophy that drives Ms Tucker's issue.

Ms Tucker: At this point in time.

MR CORBELL: I understand Ms Tucker's argument but I do not accept it. I also understand the view of others who argue that we should not be building any further roads until other things are done. The reason the government does not accept the argument is that you cannot withdraw the provision of infrastructure which is needed now when there are no viable alternatives in place. To not build the road would mean denying residents of part of the city of Canberra infrastructure which is essential to their day-to-day wellbeing.

Ms Tucker: It's about giving them more choices.

MR CORBELL: It would also mean considerable delay before the alternatives, such as light rail, dedicated bus lanes or any other measures, could actually make an effective difference. So there would be delay, and there would be a continuation of circumstances having an effect on Gungahlin residents.

Essentially, Ms Tucker's approach in painting the picture is to say, "We are going to take away the carrots and we are just going to have the stick." I, and the government, believe that you have to have the carrots before you have the stick, Mr Speaker. That is essentially why we disagree with Ms Tucker.

It is unfair of Ms Tucker to suggest that the government is not doing other work in addressing the question of broader transport issues for the city. The government is committed, firstly, to a policy to encourage employment relocation into the Gungahlin town centre. Secondly, it is committed to reforming the existing public transport system through the abolition of the zonal bus fare system. Thirdly, it is committed to seriously examining alternative public transport options, including light rail. A feasibility study is being commissioned to do just that. Fourthly, as part of the strategic plan for the city, it is committed to an integrated transport plan for the city. That is the government's very clear agenda.

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