Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 4 March 2008) . . Page.. 438 ..
Clearly this government understands the importance of planning for the future of Canberra through its comprehensive planning regime, and the effective implementation, monitoring and review of these plans bode well for the future of Canberra.
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (4.27): I do not really quite know where to start in response to that, but I might start by responding to what Mr Gentleman had to say about the advantages of public transport demonstrated this morning on Adelaide Avenue. I was also stuck in traffic on Adelaide Avenue and I am not sure that the buses would have done anything for you, given that the accident had blocked off Adelaide Avenue. Progression was extremely slow and, I am sure, as slow for bus commuters as it was for car commuters.
As to the importance of planning for the future of Canberra, who could argue with that, I suppose? Mr Gentleman is, of course, the man with the plan. He is the man with the plan to become the Speaker and it is worth talking about the government’s record on some of its planning in a number of areas. I am sure my colleagues will be able to expand on some of the areas that we cover.
Mr Gentleman talked about the sustainable transport plan and I will come back to that in a little bit. It is interesting to read the sustainable transport plan and to try and measure some of the success. Mr Gentleman spoke about improving the public transport system, yet we have seen in the past couple of years, under this government, the public transport system, our bus system, go backwards. It has gone backwards at a rapid rate. It has been referred to as the worst public transport system in the country and there is no doubt that the community is seriously disaffected with the way that the public transport system has been managed. So, in terms of a plan for public transport, you have failed.
When it comes to the busway, which is part of the sustainable transport plan, of course, the sustainable transport plan actually talks about short and medium-term priorities being busways all over town. So, if we were to look on that score, the sustainable transport plan is a complete farce, because we are not seeing short and medium-term busways, partly because they were deemed to be a waste of money, but we have seen the government, through the former minister, Simon Corbell, in particular, go out and spend millions of dollars on the busway that was never going to happen.
When it comes to the sustainable transport plan, when it comes to planning for our future transport needs, there is an example. It brings me to, of course, the great, wonderful future planning that has gone on with the GDE. Of course, the GDE was planned long ago, as we are always reminded by the Chief Minister, but few Canberrans, I am sure, would have thought that, after spending as much money as the government did, over $100 million, and after such a long delay in getting the GDE, we would have a one-lane road each way.
There are few things in recent weeks that I have had more comments from the public about, particularly my Gungahlin constituents. They are just a little bit surprised that,