Page 189 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012

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MR COE (Ginninderra) (3.43): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that the:

(a) vast majority of Canberrans depend on cars as their primary mode of transport;

(b) ACT government has failed to maintain and improve the road network in pace with Canberra’s growing population;

(c) Canberra Liberals announced plans to:

(i) bring the total roads capital works budget to $700 million;

(ii) fund the duplication of William Slim, Athllon and Horse Park Drives;

(iii) enhance the street sweeping program;

(iv) install flashing lights in school zones; and

(v) provide thousands more parking spaces; and

(2) calls on the ACT government to improve Canberra’s road network by implementing the Canberra Liberals’ policies.

The vast majority of Canberrans depend on private vehicles, cars, for their primary mode of transport. This is a fact of which the ACT Labor-Greens government are in denial. They have failed to comprehend that for most Canberrans, by every survey, every indicator, every anecdote, there is just not a genuine alternative to driving cars.

The Canberra Liberals accept that most people who drive in Canberra do not do so because they are going for joyrides or because they enjoy spending money on their vehicles. They use their cars as a way of facilitating their complex lives. People drive from home to work via school, childcare, shops, the post office or other intermediaries. Public transport does not meet this demand. Whilst we could try to pretend that buses or even light rail could facilitate this, I think it is not reasonable to think that, for most Canberrans, public transport in Canberra will be a substitute.

As part of the agreement with the Greens, the Labor Party has committed to spending billions on light rail to serve just parts of North Canberra. Light rail is not going to help residents of Belconnen, South Canberra, Woden, Weston Creek, Tuggeranong, or neighbours in Queanbeyan, Jerrabomberra, Murrumbateman, Yass and others. The government is spending money on the ideological crusade without fully understanding the cost benefits of such a scheme, nor how much taxpayers are going to have to spend to prop up this regime.

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