Page 4095 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 18 November 2015

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complicated. ACTION tells me, for example, that adult patronage has grown while tertiary student patronage has fallen, probably reflecting the fact that a lot of students now live in accommodation close to the universities. We have seen in recent years concerted efforts to build more on-campus accommodation. In light of that, obviously, university students will not be taking the buses. So I think it is a little more nuanced than has been suggested in this place today. There are a range of other factors as well, including the comparative ease and cost of using different transport modes.

Various other findings of the Auditor-General are already being dealt with. For example the Auditor-General noted that there needs to be a data survey to get better data about transport patterns and mode shifts. I strongly agree with this recommendation and am pleased to reiterate for the Assembly that one of the initiatives in the transport improvement plan announced recently by the Chief Minister and me is a public transport survey which will serve exactly this purpose.

I also note that the Auditor-General points out that ACTION buses are being delivered at the desired frequency on rapid services but not on the frequent local services which feed into the rapid services. Again I note the recent announcement by the Chief Minister and me that there will be a considerable reinvestment in the bus network of all the bus kilometres saved through the introduction of light rail. This is a significant investment in the bus network, intended to increase bus services right across Canberra and to achieve improvements such as more frequent feeder buses.

While I do agree that the Auditor-General has provided useful recommendations and analysis of the implementation of the transport for Canberra frequent network, I cannot agree to Mr Coe’s motion. It just makes an obsessive call to cancel light rail. Really, the issues are rather more complicated than that and require a thoughtful response, and the government has started positively in its response to these issues.

I think it is worth reflecting on the improvements that have been announced and that are underway. Certainly in question time yesterday I discussed many of the improvements that have been made to the ACTION network, because this is not an either-or discussion. We need an integrated transport system in this city. That is what the government is setting out to do, and that is why I will be supporting Mr Gentleman’s amendment today, which speaks to these points that have been reflected both in my comments and in the points that he made in introducing the amendment.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (10.45): I am pleased to rise to support Minister Gentleman’s amendment to Mr Coe’s motion this morning. Mr Gentleman’s amendment speaks to the importance of an integrated response to what is a very challenging and difficult issue for our city. Our over-reliance on the use of private motor vehicles presents significant challenges for the delivery of public transport in our city, and it also highlights the complexity of achieving a successful modal shift from the private motor vehicle to other forms of transport provision. But we do understand––or we should––the importance of making this transition.

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