Page 894 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 March 2005

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Transport reform

Ministerial statement

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (4.01): I seek leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement concerning the implementation of sustainable transport reform.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: The government’s sustainable transport plan has set the direction and policy framework to achieve a more sustainable transport system for the ACT over the next 25 years. The plan seeks to maintain the high levels of accessibility that Canberra enjoys, by achieving a shift towards more use of walking, cycling and public transport. It sets out to increase the use of sustainable transport modes—walking, cycling and public transport—from 13 per cent of work trips in 2001 to 20 per cent in 2011 and 30 per cent in 2026. Work trip targets are used in this plan because they are the most reliable data source and can be monitored using the Australian Bureau of Statistics journey to work data. It is, however, expected that similar mode shifts will be achieved for total trips.

This plan will not to be achieved by adversely restricting the use of cars, which provide the community with significant benefits, but by making other transport modes more attractive and competitive with the car. New roads such as the Gungahlin Drive Extension and Majura Parkway will also maintain accessibility levels in Canberra and provide corridors for public transport and cycling. In addition, a balanced approach to the management of parking and to future road investment will help achieve the goals of the plan.

The sustainable transport plan outlines a package of mutually supportive initiatives to create a cultural change for transport, based on making the alternative modes more attractive and easier to use. The range of measures outlined in the plan includes busways and bus priority measures; real-time information for bus services; improved public transport interchanges; improved cycling and walking facilities; TravelSmart programs; and integrated land use, and, in particular, the achievement of the contained urban form through implementation of the government’s spatial plan.

The initiatives identified in the transport plan are a comprehensive package of complementary measures designed to have maximum impact in achieving a shift towards a more sustainable transport system. The implementation of these projects and programs requires funding from the government for capital and ongoing operations and maintenance. Consistent government investment over several years is needed to achieve the plan’s goals. The plan provides the framework for this investment. ACT government agencies will prepare annual budget proposals for transport in line with the plan, beginning in this financial year 2004-05.

The key projects currently in progress as part of the implementation of the plan are the Belconnen to Civic busway, the Gungahlin to Civic busway, bus interchange upgrades in Belconnen and Woden town centres, bus system improvement, including real-time information system for the bus network and demand-responsive feeder services, bike

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