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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (4 March) . . Page.. 453 ..

MRS CROSS (continuing):

please indicate whether you have done any polling as to from where the greater vote yield will be derived for the ALP; and can you confirm whether that polling is playing any role in the government's priorities for public transport.

MR CORBELL: I thank Mrs Cross for her question. I have to say that this government does not conduct matters of public policy as a result of opinion polls. The simple fact is that this government has not ignored the transport requirements of the Gungahlin community. Indeed, this government has put in place a range of very important measures to improve transport outcomes for people who live in Gungahlin. That includes, on the public transport side, significant investment in the single zone bus fare structure, which has seen an increase in the number of passenger boardings in Gungahlin of 22 per cent-a 22 per cent increase in the number of people boarding buses in Gungahlin as a result of the single zone fare structure; a very significant incentive and a more attractive way of encouraging people to get on a bus.

The previous government delivered a fare structure for residents of Palmerston, for example, where it cost more to catch a bus to Civic than it did to drive their car to Civic and pay for parking. That was the legacy of the previous Liberal government-I see that the members opposite are all very quiet now-when it came to bus fare structures for Gungahlin. It cost more to catch a bus than it did to drive a car. How sustainable was that?

Mr Smyth: Prove it.

MR CORBELL: Prove it? Well it costs eight bucks over there to pay for parking; quite frankly, it cost more than that to catch a bus. Now you pay $2.40 one way to get to Civic. So that is one measure that the government has introduced.

In relation to the issue of light rail, the government has said quite clearly that it is going to put all the options for improving public transport on the table. The government has not made any definitive decisions about whether or not light rail should even proceed but we do believe it has to be considered. It is interesting to observe that if I had not said anything about light rail at the forum last week, Mrs Cross would have asked me, "Why aren't you considering light rail? Why are you talking only about buses?"That is probably what Mrs Cross would have said if I had not raised the issue of light rail. This government is not afraid to put light rail back on the agenda. This government is not afraid to consider light rail as a potential transport mode for this city. To that end-

Mrs Cross: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I did not ask Mr Corbell to talk about the zonal bus fare system. I did not ask Mr Corbell to tell me what he said at the forum, which in fact I attended after he spoke-I was not there when he spoke, and he probably would have noticed that if he had looked properly. I asked in my question why the inner-north all of a sudden has become a priority for the government rather than Gungahlin, when in fact the ALP went to the election stating that Gungahlin would be their first priority when transportation needs had to be addressed. That is what I asked Mr Corbell. I did not ask about the bus fare system.

MR SPEAKER: I do not think that is a point of order. Mr Corbell is still answering the question and I am sure he will take into account the points that you have raised.

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