Page 2863 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 August 2015

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ACT government to “adopt an operating speed standard of 40 kilometres an hour for the rapid service to guide the infrastructure investment program”. The capital metro business case, as well as the environmental impact statement, both indicate that it will take approximately 25 minutes to complete a journey from Gungahlin to the city. Taking 25 minutes to complete 12 kilometres is equal to 28 kilometres an hour. This is an ambitious speed, with Gold Coast’s light rail travelling at just 22 kilometres an hour and Melbourne’s light rail system going considerably less. Minister, has the ACT government abandoned its aim of adopting a 40 kilometres an hour rapid public transport service for Canberra?

MR CORBELL: I am not responsible for the transport for Canberra policy. That, of course, is my colleague the Minister for Planning, but I am happy to address the issues in relation to the operation of the capital metro project. What I would say is that no, the key issue is about frequency and reliability, as well as travel time. Of course, the point to be made is that—

Mr Coe: Buses are more frequent.

MR CORBELL: Mr Coe says that he believes buses are more frequent, but are they going to be more frequent and more reliable if they are stuck in traffic with the cars all the way up and down Northbourne Avenue—

Mr Coe interjecting–

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Coe! Remember you are on a warning, Mr Coe.

MR CORBELL: when the journey from Gungahlin to the city along Northbourne Avenue takes over 50 minutes in the year 2030 under business as usual scenarios? How frequent, reliable and rapid will bus services be then? And that is exactly why we are building capital metro light rail, because in the year it starts, 10 years later, 10 years after that and 10 years after that, it will still be delivering services every five minutes at the same travel time whilst congestion continues to be a problem for other forms along that corridor.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, how many trams will you need to purchase to get a greater frequency than is currently served by ACTION between Gungahlin and the city?

MR CORBELL: I am happy to seek some advice on that for the member but I would also point out to the member that of course building light rail gives you far greater carrying capacity than the bus network is able to deliver. That is particularly the case if the buses are stuck with all the cars, which is of course the Liberal Party’s policy position.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, what work has been completed by the Capital Metro Agency which allows you to estimate a 25-minute travel time?

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