Page 4422 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 22 November 2005

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Belconnen to Civic busway

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Planning. I refer to the minister’s answer to my question last week on the busway, in which he claimed that there would be an approximate 15-minute time saving between Belconnen and the city when the busway is completed. Minister, can you inform the Assembly what the expected time saving will be on an express bus service between Belconnen interchange and the city interchange, a trip which currently takes around 17 minutes, as a result of the introduction of the busway?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Seselja for the question. I thought Mr Seselja might follow this up. What is really interesting about the Liberal Party’s position on this whole issue is that in no way are they putting forward any alternative when it comes to improving public transport in Canberra.

Mr Seselja: He’s not going to tell us.

Mrs Dunne: Answer the question.

MR CORBELL: I have five minutes to answer this question, and I am going to take all five minutes.

Mr Smyth: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Under standing order 118 (b) the minister cannot debate the issue. He has to answer the question. Talking about the Liberal Party has no relevance to this answer.

MR SPEAKER: The minister can respond to the question provided that he confines himself to the subject matter of the question.

MR CORBELL: The government has put forward a comprehensive program for public transport improvement through the sustainable transport plan. All we have from the Liberal Party is a constant series of knocking, criticism, and nay-saying when it comes to public transport in Canberra. Where is their alternative? Mr Seselja seems to think that it is all right for everyone to drive around in their car as much as they like. That seems to be his position: bugger the greenhouse gases; bugger the warming of the planet; we’ll just keep burning fossil fuels willy-nilly. That seems to be the Liberal Party’s position on this issue.

In my answer to the question that I was asked last week, I indicated that the time saving that the government is anticipating through the Belconnen to city busway project and the Belconnen interchange improvements is—

Mr Seselja: No, you didn’t. Be careful! Be very careful!

MR CORBELL: in the context of up to 15 minutes—and I challenge Mr Seselja to go out to anyone who lives in Charnwood or Dunlop or Fraser and say, “Oh, by the way, I don’t agree with reducing your bus travel time by up to 15 minutes.”

Mr Seselja: Don’t mislead; don’t mislead again.

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