Page 3463 - Week 11 - Thursday, 15 November 2007

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MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question from Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can the minister inform the Assembly whether there are other government initiatives that complement these transport improvements?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I thank Mr Gentleman for the supplementary question. Mr Speaker, we have bike racks on the buses to support the government’s climate change strategy initiative of free travel for bike users using bike racks for the government. The government will provide $70,000 for ACTION to purchase a further 50 bike racks to ensure greater service reliability in its bike rack equipped buses on the intertown 300 series. The initiative of free travel for bike users is proposed to commence on 1 December.

The government’s Canberra plan, which includes the spatial plan and the sustainable transport plan, recognises the capacity for public transport to contribute to positive social, environmental and economic outcomes. Consistent with these strategic plans, the Stanhope government’s key transport priorities are: better public transport, which involves improving ACTION services, building better public transport infrastructure, improving public transport safety and improving taxi and hire care services. We would also like to improve the manners of those across the chamber. Sadly, we cannot do it.

Other key transport initiatives are: a safe and efficient road network, which involves managing parking demand, enhancing the capacity of the road network through key capital works and improving the management of heavy vehicle access to the network; cleaner, safer and healthier personal transport, which will be made possible by encouraging greener and healthier personal transport, educating safer road users and planning for the future. This involves reviewing and developing transport plans integrated with land use planning and creating future transport opportunities over the longer term.

We have taken a range of measures. Since 2002 the Stanhope government has provided $22.84 million towards ACTION’s fleet replacement program. We bought 54 new wheelchair accessible compressed natural gas buses and 20 new wheelchair accessible diesel buses. In July of 2002 we introduced the single zone bus fare, and I congratulate my colleague Mr Corbell who stuck to his guns and said that people do not want the hideous zonal system imposed on them by the former government. It has been the single most successful initiative in public transport in this city for many years. Another important government initiative was the extension of ACTION’s ticket transfer period in 2005 from one hour to 90 minutes. The extension makes it easier for people to use ACTION as part of their daily errands.

Earlier this year the government secured a deal by which 241 state-of-the-art bus shelters would be built across town. We have also provided $1.8 million to ACTION to retrofit its fleet with CCTV. We provided $8 million in the 2007-08 budget to replace ACTION’S ticketing system. The new ticketing system is a fundamental building block to a better service, as well as providing greater assurance that the government’s revenue is properly collected.

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