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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 November 2015) . . Page.. 4092 ..

There is an irony in this motion from Mr Coe. The Liberal Party have been perpetually hostile towards sustainable and public transport initiatives. They have been hostile towards the transport for Canberra plan and the sustainable transport strategies that it embraces. Yet when the Auditor-General critiques the implementation of this plan, suddenly Mr Coe is interested in it. I would argue that the Canberra Liberals do not actually want the sustainable transport aspects of the transport for Canberra plan implemented, and are not really interested in improving public transport. Anyone with a history in this Assembly will know that.

Let me give a historical example from 2009. At that time the government introduced a $1 million trial of the Redex bus service, which, as most of us would know, is now the red rapid or the 200 route. The trial came from the Greens and Labor parliamentary—

Mr Coe: You called it “express”.

MR RATTENBURY: I have not even started the example and Mr Coe is interjecting. It is going to hurt more when I get to his hypocrisy that this example reveals.

Mr Coe interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Coe! Mr Coe, come to order.

MR RATTENBURY: The trial came from the Greens and Labor parliamentary agreement. That red rapid service is now one of the most successful routes in the network. In his comments earlier today Mr Coe described it as one of the two best buses in the network. It is certainly one of our most successful, carrying a large number of people between Gungahlin and the city. It has been continually improved to try to meet the demand. The next stage is upgrading that route to become Canberra’s first light rail line.

I hear Mr Coe talk about this red rapid service and how successful it is. In fact he says it works so well that it would be silly to replace it with light rail. What did Mr Coe and the Liberal Party think of this Redex or red rapid initiative at the time we introduced it? They were completely against it. Mr Coe went to great lengths to try to point out all the reasons it should not happen, and all the things that he claimed were wrong with it. He said it mirrored routes that already existed—the 51, 52 and 59 services. He said it would have to contend with traffic and lights and would not be rapid. He said it would mean people would have to interchange instead of getting a single bus. Here is a quote from Mr Coe in relation to the red rapid—

Mr Coe interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Coe! You will have an opportunity to speak.

MR RATTENBURY: Here is the quote:

It seems absurd to me that anyone would actually use this service.

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