Page 192 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012

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forward are sensible, affordable, realistic and will make a significant difference to transport in Canberra. I ask those opposite to support the motion and implement our plans for a better Canberra.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing) (3.51): I thank Mr Coe for bringing this motion to the Assembly, and I recognise his intent interest in cars, roads and parking.

As the portfolio minister with responsibility in this area, I can say that the government will not support this motion today. It is simply not reasonable that we agree to implement a list of Liberal Party election announcements presented through a vague motion in the Assembly.

Investing of public funds and the associated decision making should always be transparent and be supported by credible information. Both I and the government recognise the importance of developing and maintaining the road network, but it needs to be seen in the context of the overall integrated transport solution for Canberra.

Road upgrades need to be considered in the broader planning context of Canberra and the type of city we need to build for the future. Members who observed the Assembly over the last four years will know that, as a Green, my interest lies in building a Canberra that is sustainable, equitable and resilient to future challenges. We need to be mindful of the challenges of climate change, constrained oil supply, growing congestion, cost pressures and maintaining social inclusion for all of Canberra’s citizens.

I am fortunate that this is an area where I share a lot of common ground with the Labor Party, and together as a government we share a positive transport vision for Canberra. The government has expressed this vision through its transport for Canberra plan, a plan that calls for substantial investment in public transport and a strong mode shift away from private car use towards public transport, cycling and walking.

The parliamentary agreement between the Greens and Labor sets out a strong agenda to help achieve this. It provides for significant new investment in our bus services, new park-and-ride facilities, an increased focus on walking and cycling and, of course, the long-awaited start to a Canberra light rail network. I might clarify at this point for Mr Coe’s benefit that that is a start to the light rail network. He suggested that billions would be spent on light rail just to service north Canberra. In fact, the most recent cost estimate is $614 million, well short of “billions”, and certainly the intent is to expand the network across parts of Canberra that Mr Coe referred to in his speech.

Of course, we cannot do it all in one go, but what I can say is that in this term of the Assembly we are committed to getting a start to that network. We are certainly building it in the most pressured corridor in the ACT, but certainly I see it continuing to other parts of Canberra once we get that first stage finished. Of course, these things are constructed in stages.

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