Page 3736 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 28 October 2015
get-togethers. Any ACTION bus driver can tell you about some of the people that they meet every day using our public transport system being part of our community in a way which is not possible in many other places. It is also a great backup when the car is not an option for some reason.
A couple of months ago there was a power outage across four suburbs in west Belconnen, which meant I could not get my car out of my garage, so I caught the bus. It was a great way for me to get into work. I caught up with another lady who volunteers at Vinnies at Belconnen. The bus delivered her straight to Vinnies in Belconnen where she does her volunteering each week. After she got off the bus another fellow sat next to me who was studying at ADFA and we had a chat about employment opportunities for engineers in the ACT. Providing all sorts of different options for different types of public transport in the ACT really gives us a chance to talk with each other about our lives and share our experiences.
There is also a person I regularly meet up with in my neighbourhood who lives in Charnwood. For the Canberra Liberals to say that they want to stop light rail means that he, his children and people like him and their children all across the city who have been excluded from some of the choices that each of us make every day will not be able to go beyond insecure and casual work. Light rail and the plan and the vision that the ACT government has at the moment—and the vision over the next 25 years for a network that will expand across our great city—mean that this person and people like him and their children will have generations of secure employment. That means that they will have more choices and the chance of further inclusion within our community.
It is a shame that the Canberra Liberals, rather than taking the chance to bring our community together, are choosing to actually divide it. They have decided to create fear and division across our community between the north and south, pitting suburb against suburb and neighbour against neighbour. When it comes to providing a chance for people to be included in our community, the ACT government is leading the way.
The ACT government has put out a press release today through the Chief Minister’s office which talks about the Canberra Liberals becoming increasingly isolated with their backward-looking position on transport in Canberra. Today is the chance for the Canberra Liberals to choose whether they want to join the rest of Canberra in the 21st century and support this Assembly motion in favour of public transport or vote against it and come clean to Canberra that they are the party that is hardwired to choke our streets with congestion.
Madam Speaker, that is the choice of those opposite. It is the choice of white-knuckle rides in their Audis across from Gungahlin to Tuggeranong—just like travelling through the congested city streets of Sydney and Melbourne—or taking a relaxing, healthy bike ride or a walk. Parking at the park and ride, the park-ride stop at Gungahlin, and catching the light rail into the city, catching up with their friends, they might even run into their old mate Malcolm Turnbull. He might come for a ride on light rail in Canberra. The choice that the Canberra Liberals have to make is between—