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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2907 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

While the government is not providing adequate night and weekend services people will be unable to assume that public transport will get them where they need to go when they need to be there. People who otherwise could do without a car will still need one for travelling during the off-peak periods.

I hope I am wrong, but I am not yet convinced the government is sending a strong enough signal to the community that public transport is a flexible and reliable transport option. While this budget contains some positive new cycling infrastructure, the government has actually decreased maintenance spending on the existing cycling infrastructure.

Within the Department of Urban Services we also see the sustainable transport and integrated transport strategy for Canberra project being developed-funded twice: half in the territory planning section and the other half in public transport. I hope this division of the money will result in the coming together of the two areas, so that we do really end up with an integrated transport strategy for Canberra.

The government has not formally abandoned the No Waste by 2010 strategy, but its actions belie their words. This year $2.4 million will be spent on a new landfill trench-on a hole. And more will have to be spent on a trench liner next year, possibly another $2 million. Yet the government has committed nothing-nothing-to kerbside recycling of the largest single type of waste going to landfill: putrescible waste. What kind of legacy is this? A hole for waste as opposed to any move towards long-term solutions.

The government has stated that $1.5 million has been allocated over three years to:

an increase in on-ground parks management by Environment ACT

a reliable, scientifically based, natural resource information management system

a strategic review of conservation policies and management policies


support of community partnerships concerning the environment.

As Ms Tucker said earlier, I have difficulty believing that these ambitious can be achieved from such a modest financial allocation, and I was not reassured about this through the estimates process.

I also agree that the government could do a lot better on greenhouse abatement. Spending on implementation of the ACT greenhouse strategy was $0.85 million in 2000-01; in 2001-02 it was only $0.7 million. There is planned spending for 2002-03 of a mere $0.8 million. Since Labor took over, greenhouse abatement spending is on the decline. The government still cannot say when they will actually implement the performance measures that track the very thing they are meant to be reducing-that is, greenhouse gas emissions.

While there has been much talk about water management being the biggest issue in Australia in the new millennium, water barely rates a mention in this ACT budget. Water policy and management remain ignored, and this seems very irresponsible.

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