Page 3365 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 23 September 2015

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Again, this does not mean that an upgrade of Cotter Road will not be necessary in the future. Sometimes we have to accept the way that development occurs where we are up to in terms of changing our city, and we accommodate car traffic to ensure our city works, to protect its liveability or for safety reasons. But we should only do so for sound reasons, and we should be clear about what that means for our overarching commitment to sustainability and sustainable transport.

Inevitably light rail will come up in the context of this debate. The Liberals’ hostility towards light rail and public transport goes hand in hand with their promise to pour money into roads. That is some first-rate 1960s thinking, guaranteed to lock us into a sprawling, automobile dependent city until, inevitably, some poor future decision-maker has to spend many years and billions of dollars trying to undo it to protect our health, liveability and economy.

I can confidently say that the Gungahlin to Civic light rail project is completely compatible with all of the principles for which I am advocating. Yes, it is a big project and a big investment, but it looks to the long term and it is consistent with making Canberra a truly sustainable city. It puts the government’s money where its mouth is in terms of achieving sustainable transport mode shift and revitalisation of the city.

The points I have made are reflected in my amendment to the motion. It asks the government to analyse the case for duplicating Cotter Road in the context of its commitment to meeting sustainable transport mode shift targets, to put any spend on Cotter Road in a budget context and to fully explore alternative transport options. To go ahead and simply duplicate the road without considering these matters is neither responsible nor desirable. I particularly invite members to reflect on the statistics I have provided about the capacity of the road. I would urge members to support the amendment that I have moved today.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (10.21): I am pleased to speak today on the motion raised by Mrs Jones and to not only highlight the ACT government’s program for an integrated transport network, which includes the duplication of Cotter Road between McCulloch Street and the Tuggeranong Parkway, but demonstrate what this government has actually been doing to enable this to happen.

Before the development of Molonglo, the ACT government understood that the associated traffic growth would have an impact on the existing road network, in particular on the Cotter Road, which passes through the existing developed areas of Weston Creek, Curtin and Yarralumla. To address this, a feasibility study to upgrade the road was undertaken in 2012 to identify the requirements to upgrade Cotter Road between the developing Molonglo district and Adelaide Avenue.

While a number of upgrades of the section of Cotter Road in Weston Creek directly adjacent to Molonglo have been progressing in parallel with new developments since 2012, the first stage of the upgrade of the Curtin section of Cotter Road between

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