Page 1238 - Week 04 - Thursday, 26 March 2015

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The ACT government recognises the benefits of encouraging public transport use and active travel and is doing a lot of work to increase public transport patronage and to encourage more active travel in Canberra. The government is investing in improved public transport, including capital metro stage 1 light rail from Gungahlin to the city. And it is also investing in improving walking and cycling infrastructure such as the Civic cycle loop and improving information on our walking and cycling networks.

I also am pleased that today the government has committed to establish an active transport coordination office and a coordinator who will provide a high profile public contact for walking and cycling issues. This will ensure there is a clear, active transport infrastructure and planning decision-making framework for the territory.

These projects, and further investment in future projects, are helping to shape Canberra as more accessible and connected place where it is easy for everyone to get around and interact. Improving Canberra’s transport system is crucial to the city’s development and to building connected communities.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (3.49): I must say that I was somewhat pleasantly surprised when I saw the notice paper this morning and/or the blue this morning and saw this MPI topic. I thought, “We have won again. The Labor Party’s agenda is again being prosecuted in this place.”

I must say, given it was only a month ago that any mention of the words “urban renewal” would attract a snigger and the usual interjections from those opposite, it is pleasing to see that at least one member, Ms Lawder—and it would be Ms Lawder—is on board with the government’s agenda. And I do note, of all members of the opposition who have to suffer through these dark days of opposition, Ms Lawder is the one who rolls her eyes, as we all do, the moment her colleagues are making yet another ridiculous point about one thing or another. It is Ms Lawder who is the one who is perhaps the most progressive of voices within the opposition.

So it is no surprise then that today Ms Lawder is the first Liberal aboard the government’s urban renewal agenda. And I do thank you, Ms Lawder. You are somewhat apart from your colleagues in your progressiveness on this issue.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Dr Bourke): Mr Barr, please address your remarks to the chair.

MR BARR: Sorry, Mr Assistant Speaker. On this issue I must say it was indeed a pleasant surprise to see Ms Lawder bringing this to the Assembly as a matter of public importance. So I am glad that at least one member opposite has recognised how important urban renewal is and is supporting the government’s agenda. She is leaving the chamber now, not even staying for her whole MPI.

The Minister for Planning spoke earlier in the debate about the work the government is doing to make Canberra a more livable city. I am sure everyone here is glad that

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