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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2825 ..

Sustainable transport plan

MS MacDONALD: My question is to the Minister for Planning, Mr Corbell. Minister, ACT Labor went to the last election promising to develop a sustainable transport plan for the territory. Can you inform the Assembly of the progress of this initiative?

MR CORBELL: Yes, I am very pleased to answer Ms MacDonald's question, because this government is the first government since self-government to seek to develop a strategic transport plan for our city-a transport plan that looks not only at public transport activity but also at the whole range of transport modes across the territory and how we can shift to a more sustainable framework for transport policy and planning in our city.

The government is already developing a sustainable transport plan. This will be part of the broader spatial planning exercise the government has initiated, which will see a major forum on planning issues on 4 September this year. A subset of this work is the development of the public transport futures feasibility study. Members may recall that this Assembly passed a resolution earlier this year asking for comment on the terms of reference for the public transport futures feasibility study. A number of members were kind enough to contribute comments, and the government has taken them on board in developing the terms of reference for this very important piece of work.

I am pleased to advise members that the government has appointed the consultants to undertake the public transport futures feasibility study. Halliburton KBR Pty Ltd have been appointment by the government to do this work. Their work will include developing strategies to increase the use of public transport and to plan for future public transport needs for our city over the next 20 to 30 years. This is a very important subset of work which will inform the sustainable transport plan, which will inform the spatial plan for our city. I say that so members understand how this hierarchy works.

The strategy will look at a range of elements, including roads, public transport, parking, bicycles, pedestrians, travel demand management, transport regulation, land use planning and integrated investment assessment. Public transport options that will be investigated include bus-only lanes between Civic and Gungahlin and a light rail system to link all of Canberra's town centres.

This is a very important piece of work, and I am very pleased that the government has put transport planning back on the public agenda after a seven-year hiatus. For seven years the previous government paid no attention whatsoever to investment in public transport, let alone planning for the future of public transport in our city.

Mrs Cross: I wonder if that had something to do with the deficit we inherited.

MR CORBELL: We always get a rise from the Liberal Party whenever I make that point, but unfortunately it is the sad truth. It is the sad truth that the previous government ripped millions of dollars out of ACTION. It is the sad truth that the previous government canned the previous Labor government's investigation of light rail. It is the sad truth that they took no steps to develop integrated public transport planning for our city. That is their legacy, and it is the legacy this government is now determined to wipe away in improving public transport planning in our city.

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