Page 101 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 15 February 2006

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adjacent to the Belconnen Mall. This is all part of the work we are doing to improve public transport in Canberra.

Mr Pratt made some comments in the debate about the availability of other services. He mentioned Hall, and I want to address Hall very quickly. First of all, Hall does have a bus service. If Mr Pratt were on the game, he would know that. Hall does have a bus service provided under contract by Transborder. I can tell you what the patronage is of that service. It is less than one person a day from Hall. There is a regular service there already used by fewer than one person a day. I cannot justify putting in place a public transport service to Hall that would be used by fewer than one person a day. I just cannot justify that, and I will not. We will continue to work with the Hall community to improve public transport, wherever possible, but with demand at less than one person a day, I cannot justify running a bus service from that location.

Dr Foskey also commented in her speech that the sustainable transport plan does not mention transit-oriented development. In fact, it does. It goes into quite some detail about it. She also criticised the targets. She said that 16 per cent of all journeys by public transport by 2026 is unachievable or too low a target. An “unreasonable target” I think were her words.

These are the highest targets in Australia. As a city we have set ourselves high targets for modal split. In fact, we aim by 2026 to have 30 per cent of all journeys to work in Canberra not by car. In a city designed for the car, that is a very high target. Of course, if we see ourselves heading in a direction where we are going to exceed targets, it is only an incentive to do more and to lift the target. But give credit where credit is due. No other government has set itself a target, is prepared to hold to that target and to invest in public transport. We are getting the results. We will continue to focus on getting those results and building a more sustainable transport system for our community.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (11.13): Let us reflect on the fact that, while some in this place who travelled to work by car this morning were stuck in traffic jams because of accidents, Mr Corbell was travelling smoothly, without stress, without wasted time, without hassle and without concern because he was travelling to work this morning on an ACTION bus.

Mr Pratt’s assertion that there is nothing efficient or convenient about the ACTION bus service is a very offensive thing for him to say. It is also incredible. I travel by ACTION bus from time to time myself. Mr Pratt’s assertion could not be further from the truth. I find it very convenient. I come out of my house and get on a bus. I travel without hassle, without concern and without stress. I arrive outside the Assembly. I walk across the road and I am at work.

Many commuters are literally voting with their feet and doing the same. Last Wednesday and Thursday, 23,000 adult passengers used the service. Mr Pratt is playing the fear card again. He obviously rushes up to the house on the hill and takes lessons from his friends up there on the hill—our Prime Minister, for instance. Mr Howard daily plays the fear card. He plays it because he knows it is the only one he has to keep him in government. It appears that Mr Pratt, having taken the requisite lessons from his erstwhile colleagues on the hill, is hoping that by playing the fear card he will get into government.

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