Page 4425 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 22 November 2005

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These justifications and the detailed studies that back them up are fully outlined in the sustainable transport plan, in the public transport futures feasibility study and in the public transport elasticity study, all commissioned by this government, which outline very clearly the rationale for proceeding with detailed feasibility work on the Belconnen to Civic busway. Perhaps Mr Seselja should do a bit of homework and look at those documents. They are all available on the web. They are not secret documents. They are not hidden away, Mr Seselja. The truth is not out there somewhere; they are all available.

Mr Smyth: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Standing order 118 (b) says that a minister shall not debate the subject to which the question refers. He is clearly having a debate with Mr Seselja.

MR SPEAKER: He is not having a debate.

Mr Smyth: The question was about whether it would save time or increase patronage.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Resume your seat, Mr Smyth. There is no question before the house, so there can be no debate. This is a response to a question for which the minister has five minutes, during which time he will stick to the subject matter.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, the point I am making in my answer is that, if Mr Seselja wants to understand the justification in terms of patronage gain and addressing issues about the attractiveness of public transport in Canberra, he need only to go to those documents—the sustainable transport plan, the public transport futures feasibility study and the public transport elasticity study—and he will see it all there. Go and read them and go and understand the justification for doing the detailed examination for this type of infrastructure.

That is the basis of the government’s policy. This is not some whim on my part as Minister for Planning. This is the basis of over 2½ years of policy work, which this government commenced in 2001 and which led to the development of the first and only transport plan this city has had since self-government. The challenge for the Liberal Party, as I said in my earlier answer, is whether they are serious about addressing the consequences of increasing car use and energy use for climate change they affect our city, our community and our children as much as they affect anyone else in this country.

The answer to date is that they have no transport policy. They do not support targets on reducing car use or constraining car use. They have no alternatives when it comes to increasing public transport use. All they are prepared to do is to criticise, whinge and complain, but not in a constructive way; it is done in a destructive and carping way. The challenge is on them: how are they going to address the greenhouse challenges our city faces when energy and car use is one of the key issues that we must address?

Schools—west Belconnen

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister for education.

MR SPEAKER: If I hear any more interjections from that side of the house, I will be naming people. Everybody is on a warning. The same goes for the government side.

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