Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (5 March) . . Page.. 550 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Having an economically viable light rail inner city network would assist in that promotion. But if I was a Gungahlin resident who was tired of driving fairly long distances for most goods and tired of banking up at peak hour every day to get into and out of Gungahlin, paying $1.06 a litre for petrol now, I might feel rather excluded from this fashionable city life, even if I, too, worked in the triangle with all the up-market inner city residents.

What I am describing here is a combination of reality and perception. The reality is that getting into and out of Gungahlin has not been as easy as most other travel round Canberra. The reality is that there has been more talk than action over the numerous roads, freeways and rail systems that are to link Gungahlin to major employment and retail zones. The reality is that houses were built and sold well before the services or transport links were ready.

The perception for many people who live in Gungahlin is that the town centre will be an unsafe combination of traffic and pedestrians, that the Gungahlin Development Authority and the ACT government do not work in partnership with residents in planning and development, that the promised freeway is long overdue and may never happen, and that the people of Gungahlin will never get the consideration that comes as a matter of course for people in central Canberra. That is the perception of many in Gungahlin.

Those perceptions were reinforced when the minister fairly abruptly rejected an Assembly motion in the last sitting week calling for him to hold off on the town centre development until traffic and pedestrian issues had been addressed. While it may be argued that such difficulties could be resolved without putting a hold on any of the plans, it seems the ACT government was happy to send a signal that getting on with its program was preferable to working with community-based concerns. That is why the ACT government really ought to be looking for opportunities to work more concretely with Gungahlin residents.

When it comes to the ACT's sustainable transport plan, the issue is really about sustainability; in other words, enticing people onto public transport permanently; to be specific, putting in place public transport that is quicker and more convenient than cars, and not just round central Canberra, where people aren't travelling that long a distance anyway.

We have the whole debate about the roads issue. The Greens' position is quite clear on that. One of the major concerns and issues driving this debate is the transport needs of Gungahlin. The roads debate has significantly failed to stress the fact that having another road is not going to solve the problems. Even though the Greens and other groups in the community have stated and restated it, I will remind members that the road option is not going to deal with the problems; it is going to create further traffic jams, just in different places.

I remind members also of the Maunsell projection that if Gungahlin reaches its projected population-even if it does not, but it gets to about 80,000-we will have a need for three more major roads if we continue to use cars in the way we are at the moment. We will have the Gungahlin Drive extension, changes to Monash Drive and Majura Road, and three lanes of extra traffic on existing roads. We will have congestion, we will have increased greenhouse gas emissions, we will have increased inequity in our community

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .