Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 September 2015) . . Page.. 3371 ..
people signed the petition. Going to the listening to the community on the issues—and it has been raised a number of times by the opposition about listening to your community and expressing their view in this place in a number of different ways—I absolutely believe that it was the right thing to do.
I also agree with the debate here that both the government and the opposition are expressing the views of the Weston Creek community and their desire to see Cotter Road duplicated. I do agree, as Minister Gentleman has said, with the spirit of Mr Rattenbury’s amendment but unfortunately cannot support that today.
Certainly the approach from this government is very clear: an integrated public transport network is what we need. I find members of my community understand that. They understand that it is about relieving pressures. Those pressures can be relieved in a number of ways: through road upgrades and duplication, through walking and cycling opportunities, through bus services and through light rail. Again I think it is very clear that if you get the right balance across a public transport system you provide more people with more choice.
I agree that particularly in the case of people who have small children—and a lot of people in my part of the community have and I know increasingly, as our suburbs renew and as new suburbs come online, particularly in the Molonglo valley, people there have—you need different transport choices at different stages of your life. I am certainly looking forward to the day that all three of my kids can catch a bus on their own, walk and cycle on their own. But right now that is not an option that is available to us.
I just make one more point in supporting the motion today on the government’s commitment to expressing this through funding: yes, it is very important to find the right balance, to do the work, to base it on evidence and to deliver on what you promise. And if we are talking about roads and we are talking about integrated public transport one of the most significant contradictions I see coming from the opposition is their sole focus, it appears to be, on roads and just building more and more and more. But one way to add to the mix and to deliver on a significant promise made by this government is to deliver light rail.
MRS JONES (Molonglo) (10.45): I speak to the amendment and close the debate. I thank all members for their contributions to the debate. We in the Canberra Liberals are all for a mix of modes of transport and I thank Ms Fitzharris for agreeing that the balance is not right in some areas. After 14 years of Labor government the balance is not right and that is why we end up with a situation where a new Labor member is raising a petition to ask her own people to do something that should have been done a long time ago.
I think it is fascinating that we now, maybe for the first time in this whole term, have seen a proper split between the Greens and Labor. Maybe we should be celebrating because there is actually a diversity of opinion. Mr Gentleman was on the radio straight after our announcement this week saying that he is glad the Canberra Liberals are supporting this plan. “I am glad we have committed to it and we will fund it in our election promises.” I hope we do see it in next year’s budget because the people of Weston Creek and Molonglo deserve it.