Page 2614 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 25 September 2007

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It is an interesting concept, and if it proves to be successful I might get a paper drawn up … by one of my experts down the track.

Minister, the city of Beijing has a population of 17 million, with a subway system that has the capacity to handle over a billion people per annum, a bus system that has a fleet of 20,000, and 67,000 taxis. With regard to public transport and traffic management, there is clearly no correlation between Canberra and Beijing. Of all the cities in the world, why did you choose to compare Canberra to Beijing, and just how much will this “paper” cost the taxpayers of the ACT?

MR HARGREAVES: Firstly, the relevance of the trial in Beijing is the way in which they will be addressing the level of atmospheric pollutants due to emissions from motor vehicles. It would be closed-minded of anybody to see a pilot in action and not to see whether or not the results could have some or all application in the ACT, and I am quite keen to see that.

The opposition, through Mr Pratt’s press release, which I have here, says:

This is an ideologically driven, typically impractical idea on the part of the Stanhope Government.

Well, if protecting the atmosphere around the ACT is ideologically driven, we are guilty as charged. We do not mind doing that. It says:

The Opposition’s solution to helping the environment is by gradually minimising car usage …

How? No explanation.

… overhauling the public transport system …

How? No explanation—

… as well as addressing the urgent safety issues, convenience and frequency of the system …

How? No explanation.

… in order to attract ACT residents out of their cars and on to public transport.

These are really good aspirational targets, Mr Speaker—absolutely no context, no subject matter, no costings, and no idea of what on earth they are talking about.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Hargreaves, the question was not about Mr Pratt’s press release.

MR HARGREAVES: I do apologise, Mr Speaker, but I was drawing the inference that we have in fact looked at a number of issues around how we can address getting people into public transport and getting people out of their cars. We are very

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