Page 1968 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 June 2015

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Debate resumed.

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo) (3.16): I speak in opposition to the member’s motion. Yesterday the ACT Labor government delivered a budget that invests in transport infrastructure across our territory. For those who walk or ride, the budget has delivered. For those who catch the bus or drive, this budget has delivered. For those who believe in investing in the diverse future of an integrated transport network, this budget has delivered.

I will talk a little about our focus for transport in this budget. Our strong focus is on the future of our territory and that of an integrated transport network. This is something to be proud of. The $375 million capital contribution to light rail shows that this government is serious about our transport future. Light rail will not only attract more Canberrans to public transport, but it will also free up buses to provide connections to other areas of the territory. Light rail will ease congestion and deliver almost $1 billion in benefits to our community.

For those who walk and cycle, the budget is investing an additional $1.5 million to improve our shared walking and cycling paths, including $600,000 to construct new paths through Bowen park, connecting to the Kingston foreshore and improving the loop ride around Lake Burley Griffin. Belconnen and Tuggeranong will also share in $300,000 for feasibility studies into improved walking and cycling path connections for locals visiting their town centres. For those who catch the bus, an additional $500,000 will be invested in continuing services for older Canberrans and Canberrans with a disability. This money will also invest in continuing the popular flexible bus service. For those who drive, we have ensured the quality of our roads are invested in and supported.

For residents in Tuggeranong, $24.6 million will be invested in the duplication of Ashley Drive. For residents in Gungahlin, $31.2 million will be allocated to duplicate stage 1 of Gundaroo Drive, an investment I have personally advocated for in this chamber and in the community, and I am proud to see it funded in this year’s budget. Stage 1 of Gundaroo Drive, along with the improvements we have already funded for the Barton Highway-William Slim Drive-Gundaroo Drive roundabout will vastly improve the commute along this road and improve congestion. This is part of $333 million in this year’s budget that is dedicated to roads and transport services.

There is an additional $18 million to start the duplication work on Horse Park Drive, and another $14 million for the Gungahlin town centre upgrades. This is inclusive of the $90 million in new roads projects in this year’s budget. This, as part of the $333 million for roads and transport networks in this budget for Canberra, includes the maintenance and upkeep of 3,300 kilometres of roads in the territory. We are investing $2.5 million for safer roads. We maintain 960 bridges and 800 kilometres of on and off-road cycle lanes. The significant investment in roads and transport infrastructure will vastly improve the flow of traffic and general congestion around the city, especially in Tuggeranong and Gungahlin.

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