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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 28 October 2015) . . Page.. 3761 ..

The increasing costs of congestion and the burden of continually building major roads to keep pace with growth will steadily increase in the future and threaten the current high quality of life that we enjoy in this city. This will bring significant economic, social and environmental challenges. We cannot build our way out of these challenges only with more and more roads and parking. Proper investment and focus on public transport will be the only way to effectively manage congestion over the next 25 years. We heard in question time today, articulated by Minister Rattenbury, the Canberra Liberals’ view on how to just keep duplicating major roads and arterials across the territory. It is unsustainable. I support many of Mr Rattenbury’s views in that conversation.

We have heard from Infrastructure Australia, which has also recently noted future challenges. It found that without additional investment the cost of road congestion in the ACT will increase from $208 million per annum in 2011 to $703 million per annum in 2031.

The economic, social and environmental impacts of increasing travel times will have wide-ranging impacts on our city if we do not do something about it now. The government is investing in leading infrastructure to meet those challenges. Canberrans deserve a convenient, integrated, reliable, efficient and affordable public transport network to meet their needs for the future. The government is building an integrated transport network by ensuring that in the future light rail will be provided in corridors requiring high-capacity, high-frequency rapid transport services to connect key centres, supported by an integrated bus network and easy access by walking and cycling.

I welcome the release of the government’s plan to improve the coordination of our public transport system. It is very important that public transport services across different transport modes are coordinated across the city. This will ensure that decisions are coordinated; that timetabling, routes and ticketing are complementary; and that future investment decisions support and maximise the performance of the entire public transport network.

The new transport Canberra agency will work to combine smart ticketing for light rail and buses and also help coordinate tram and bus routes around the city. Work is already advanced to ensure that there is a one ticket, one network approach across buses and light rail, to enhance the passenger experience and present an integrated and seamless system for users. Transport Canberra will be designed to promote strategic management capabilities, and it will be well placed to take this model forward. In particular, major changes to services need to be considered in the context of the role that ACTION has in providing coverage services in conjunction with rapid transport.

The light rail network plan lays the central framework for an efficient and integrated public transport network to support Canberra as it continues to grow. The plan explores how the light rail network could be expanded across Canberra in the future in a way that best services the city. Light rail is being considered in Canberra’s busiest public transport corridors, where high-capacity, high-frequency rapid transport services are required. These corridors where light rail will be delivered over time

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