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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2909 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

I do not think it is in any way reasonable for Ms Dundas to claim that the government is not investing sufficiently in public transport-we are. This government is spending $471/2 million on ACTION over the next four years. That is how much money we are putting into the public transport provider in the next four years. That includes additional money we put into it last financial year. That is the extent of the government's investment.

It includes a major fleet replacement program to provide wheelchair accessibility in a significant proportion of the fleet in order to meet disability access standards. It includes the abolition of the Liberal Party's unfair zonal bus scheme, a scheme that made it more expensive to catch a bus than it did to drive from Gungahlin to Civic and pay for parking. We have invested in addressing that.

We have put in place new safety measures for our buses-the bus door safety program-to make sure they are safe, particularly for schoolchildren. We have invested in new transport communications for the fleet, again investing in both driver safety and passenger safety if buses break down or there is an incident on the bus. These are the investments the government is making in public transport, and I dismiss Ms Dundas' criticism that we are not prepared to invest in public transport in our city.

But buses also need something to travel on: you need to invest in an effective arterial road network for our city; you need to invest in the development of the Gungahlin Drive extension; you need to invest in the upgrade of major arterial roads, such as William Hovell Drive. I would be interested to hear Ms Dundas say, for example, that we should not be duplicating William Hovell Drive, a key arterial road that services her electorate. Is she saying the road should not be duplicated? I am sure lots of people in West and North Belconnen would like to hear her views on that.

The government is establishing an integrated transport strategy for the city, and it is designed first and foremost to address the issue of mode of transport-to look at ways to shift people away from relying heavily on private motor vehicles and towards taking at least some of their journeys using alternative modes, whether that is public transport, walking, cycling or, indeed, journey sharing.

This strategy is going to be developed by this government over the next six to eight months, and it is the first time any government since self-government has sought to do it. I would have thought that would win some recognition from Ms Dundas. At least we are putting it to work; at least we are making it happen.

Ms Tucker raised the Gungahlin Drive extension, and I understand her position on it. She has, as Mr Stefaniak said, persistently advocated her position. I respect her for that, but I do not agree with her. This is not a debate about whether or not the road should be built. The Assembly has had that debate, and the community has had that debate. It is time to build the road and, contrary to Mr Stefaniak's assertion, the government has outlined its timetable-June 2005 is the scheduled completion date in the capital works budget. Go and have a look at it, Mr Stefaniak. The government has outlined its timetable very clearly.

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