Page 390 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 14 February 2017

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will be upgraded to a new orange rapid from Woden to the city via Weston Creek in 2018.

Labor introduced the rapid bus network, and we will grow the rapid bus network. As we outlined in our costed bus plan that we took to the electorate last year, the rapid bus network will grow from two services to nine over the next four years, in addition to stage 1 of our city-wide light rail network. The first additions to the rapid bus network will be delivered this year with the extension of the blue rapid to Lanyon, completing the link from Kippax to the Lanyon valley, a new green rapid from Woden to the city via Manuka and Barton, and the black rapid from Belconnen direct to Gungahlin. More rapid bus services will follow as we reallocate the 1.2 million bus kilometres that will be freed up by the first stage of the light rail network.

MS ORR: Minister, what are the latest patronage figures for the free city loop bus?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Ms Orr for her question and her ongoing interest in bus services and her wonderful blog—which I am not sure if she is continuing—on her bus travels from Gungahlin to the city every day. I am very happy to update the Assembly on the free city bus loop service.

As some members would remember the Transport Canberra free city loop service commenced on 4 July last year, providing a service of around 10 minutes between 7 am and 7 pm Monday to Friday in a loop across our city. I am very pleased to advise that the free city loop has been a great success and this month has carried over 52,000 passengers in total, with an average of 1,722 passengers per week.

Perhaps not all members of the Assembly were here when the service commenced, so many of you may not know that the Canberra Liberals planned to scrap this successful free service if they had won last year’s election. This is probably not surprising because, more significantly, they also promised to scrap the light rail line, meaning a light rail network and integrated transport network for our city.

I was surprised to see recently on WIN News the new opposition leader and his team, along with former opposition leader Senator Seselja, out promoting the Red Explorer Bus. I have no doubt that this privately operated tourist service should be supported as it provides a great service to all Canberra’s main tourist attractions. But the opposition must think we have short memories because as recently as July last year Mr Coe released a bus plan that would have put the Red Explorer Bus service out of service.

At the time the operator was quoted as saying, “There is no doubt that my business will have no future if this service goes ahead.” Luckily for Mr Williams, his service is going ahead because the Canberra Liberals failed again to win the support of the Canberra community. (Time expired.)

Gungahlin—sporting facilities

MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the Minister for Sport and Recreation. The minister, in response to a question without notice late last year, stated that the feasibility study was being conducted for the Gungahlin indoor recreation centre.

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