Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (5 March) . . Page.. 552 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
ecological footprint and the improved urban and suburban life that comes with a top-drawer public transport system, there is a fair bit more that needs to happen on the public transport front. In the context of a history of transport problems relating to Gungahlin, this motion asks the government simply to confirm that it will make public transport into and out of Gungahlin a real priority in developing its sustainable transport plan.
This proposal could impact on people in the inner-north suburbs as well as the government could also explore how to link the routes, locations and residences under that system with the inner-north suburbs. I do not think that it is particularly fair or useful to say that it would only be something for the people of Gungahlin, although it is absolutely critical that we address their needs. Obviously, it is something that would flow through to the inner-north suburbs. It could also fit into the bus only lanes and so on.
MRS DUNNE (4.05): The Liberal opposition will be supporting Ms Tucker's motion today in an unamended form because it goes to the heart of what we are trying to do, which is to create a cohesive and responsive public transport system. A cohesive and responsive public transport system is an essential element of a cohesive and very active society. We have heard over the years that Canberra is a car town, but we forget that many people in the ACT community, as in any other community, cannot or do not use cars. Cost may be a factor, they may simply be unable or unwilling to learn to drive or they may have some disability.
We need to provide for all people in their transport needs. That means that we need to have a cohesive and responsive public transport system. We need to provide a sensible alternative to people who are at this stage wedded to their car. In doing that, Mr Speaker, we cannot spend our time telling people who use their car that they are doing something wrong. The guilt thing just does not work. They might feel guilty at the time, but they have still got to get up tomorrow morning and get in their car and go to work.
We have to provide them with an alternative which is attractive and appealing. That is one of the principal tenets of changing people's approach to public transport. Those of us who attended the hot topics in public transport seminar last week would have found that one of the messages constantly coming through was that providing a public transport service that is faster than a car, that is more attractive than a car and that is more comfortable than a car is the way to go about getting out of their cars and into buses the people sitting in their cars watching the public transport overtake them. The guilt trip will never work, but this is an approach that may work.
We need to encourage people to use public transport. We need to encourage them to understand that it is in their best interests, both financially and environmentally, to do so. But in talking about the environment to many people one finds that their eyes tend to glaze over. From time to time, we need to appeal to something closer to home. Often the hip-pocket nerve is one of the things that will really make people make a choice in favour of public transport.
To do that, Mr Speaker, we have to come up with an entire smorgasbord of public transport initiatives that link together in a seamless way. Actually, Ms Tucker used the term "seamlessness"and it seems to be the buzzword at the moment, I noticed that the International Union for Public Transport's international conference in Madrid this year is around the theme of seamless mobility. If the opportunity and everything else come