Page 2213 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 22 June 2011

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(iii) increased accessibility for local traffic;

(iv) more efficient functioning of the ACT’s arterial road network; and

(v) provision of access to all the existing and future developments in the Majura Valley from Majura Road; and

(2) supports the Government’s continuing commitment and determination to build Majura Parkway as a critical part of the ACT’s transport infrastructure and supports its efforts to secure a Commonwealth funding contribution for the project.

There has been some discussion in the last few weeks about reallocating the funding set aside in the 2011-12 budget for Majura parkway for a mass transit project like light rail. This is a false choice, and I shall explain why. In any transport network, freight movement is about efficiently connecting freight generating hubs, such as the airport, Fyshwick and Hume, with the national freight network to ensure the unimpeded movement of freight that would otherwise result in traffic congestion and increased travel times for all road users.

Rapid transport networks serve a different purpose—they are about connecting people from home to major activity and work destinations—the majority of which are located in the city, parliamentary zone and town centres. The rapid transit network for moving people will be located on the transport corridors between the town centres and future development areas. It is detailed in the 2009 strategic public transport network plan, which will be updated as part of transport for Canberra later this year.

So freight is about moving goods, while transit—public transport—is about moving people. Freight and mass rapid transit planning and investments are not mutually exclusive—in fact, they need to be considered as part of a single, integrated transport system developed alongside and forming part of strategic land use planning. Majura parkway is an important, strategic connection to the national freight network and will also help freight and vehicles bypass the central spine of Canberra.

Every major infrastructure project should be considered on its merits and with full consideration of its purpose—in this case, to move people or to move goods. So the ACT government will continue negotiations with the federal government and plan for Majura parkway at the same time as we explore the light rail and mass rapid transit options for movement of people around the urban centre.

Why Majura parkway? The Majura parkway involves the construction of some 11½ kilometres of dual-carriage parkway commencing at the Monaro Highway near Pialligo and ending at the Federal Highway. There are three broad objectives in progressing the Majura parkway project. Firstly, in the national context, the Majura parkway will provide a high-volume, direct connection between the Federal and the Monaro highways, two important freight routes. It will also assist in improving freight access into and from regional New South Wales and Canberra.

As an island city in surrounding New South Wales, we rely on the national freight network to access the goods that keep Canberra’s economy strong. The amount of

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