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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (5 March) . . Page.. 563 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

put the public transport needs of Gungahlin at the bottom of the heap. But the second amendment is the sort of bureaucrat-speak that neglected citizens have learned to recognise as code for doing nothing in particular, or business as usual. If you look at the government's proposed alternative wording, the government wants the motion to call on the government to ensure that the integrated transport plan facilitates improved service delivery across the city, including Gungahlin. What sort of commitment to action is that?

If the government is successful in having this amendment incorporated in the motion, although it does not appear that it will be, where is the real commitment to meeting the public transport needs of the people of Gungahlin? In the original motion we put forward the wording that the Assembly calls on the government "to make the public transport needs of Gungahlin residents the first priority for its sustainable transport plan".

While we understand that the government has to govern for all residents of the ACT, rather than those of a particular area, where is the real harm in identifying the clearly unmet needs of the Gungahlin community as the first cab off the rank, because that is where the immediate need is, just as the government did with the inner north in determining priorities for the neighbourhood planning process?

Here is the government's opportunity to show the Gungahlin people its commitment to meeting their needs. If you think that the suggested substitute wording does that, I believe that you are sadly mistaken. Equity does not mean treating everyone the same; it means recognising the differences and fixing them up. We will oppose the second of the government's amendments.

MRS DUNNE (4.49): Apart from the fact that Ms Tucker has said that she thinks that amendment No 1 is acceptable, I would be inclined to oppose it; but Ms Tucker has exercised her prerogative and I will not dwell on that, except to say that it really seems to show that the minister's announcement of a proposal last week was little more than a stunt. He certainly does not want to be committed in any way to his announcement of last week, which does make me confident in the view that he made this announcement because he had to say something about hot issues in public transport and they came up with something off the back of an envelope, made a couple of overheads and that was it.

I cannot and the Liberals cannot support the second amendment for the same reasons as Ms Tucker has given, that is, because it downgrades and diminishes the apparent and very obvious needs of the people of Gungahlin for transport. Their needs are much greater than those of anyone else because the services provided to them are so paltry in comparison with what is provided elsewhere.

The people of Gungahlin are very much Labor's forgotten people when it comes to transport and it is time that this Assembly stood up for the people of Gungahlin and recognised that this area is very much in need of a whole range of transport options. Mrs Burke has spoken about the need for the road. There has been a deathly silence since before Christmas on what is going to happen with Gungahlin Drive and Gungahlin Drive will be part of the transport options; it is unavoidable. Ms Tucker and the Liberals disagree on that and we will have to continue to agree to disagree on that, I suppose. But the most important thing that most come out of this debate today is a recognition of the particular needs of the people of Gungahlin and we will not be supporting the Labor Party's second amendment for that reason.

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