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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 24 August 2017) . . Page.. 3390 ..


does, from what I gather, provide a particularly good seal. That is what engineers have told me.

The backlog has grown by over 400 per cent since 2010-11. In 2015-16 the backlog was counted at more than 2.1 million square metres, which is equivalent to nine per cent of the total road pavement in the territory. In effect, one in 10 roads in the territory needs work but it has not happened as yet. It is predicted that the cost to repair the backlog will rise to $71 million by 2019-20. It is only going to increase, of course, as construction costs increase as well.

This year the government has allocated $1.5 million under the initiative “building a better city—fixing local roads”. The commonwealth provides funding for roads. However, the budget states that there is uncertainty and shows reductions in the funding. That is in budget paper 3, at pages 236 and 364. The Labor-Greens government need to start making significant investments towards the maintenance of public roads. They cannot purely rely on the commonwealth to prop them up. The commonwealth funding for roads is meant to be supplementary, not the only pool of funds that are used.

With the limited number of school places in the Gungahlin region, it is not uncommon for constituents to be travelling in the opposite direction to their work to complete a school run, a childcare run or the numerous other things that people do before and after work. Having access to a car is the only reasonable way for some people to travel in Canberra. Whilst it is all very well to have aspirations for everybody to be using light rail or other forms of transport, for the time being and for the foreseeable future, the car is the only way that most families will be able to do all that they need to do, according to the layout of our city.

As the city keeps growing, not just in population but geographically, the task does not get any easier in terms of public transport. It is all very well for the government to talk about having a spine for public transport, but it is not going to do a great deal for you if you happen to live in Denman, or if you happen to live in Taylor—

Ms Lawder: Banks.

MR COE: or in Banks or Evatt. That is true for the vast majority of Canberrans. So whilst we always need to make sure that we are investing in reasonable public transport, we have to be mindful of the fact that, for the vast majority of Canberrans, the car will be the only option they have in order to maintain their current lifestyle.

There are serious questions surrounding the current spending on transport and road infrastructure. The budget, of course, demonstrates big spending on light rail, but I think that there are some serious shortcomings with regard to other areas of the portfolio, especially with regard to the maintenance of infrastructure.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (5.00): Transport Canberra and City Services is clearly core business for the ACT government, so I am very pleased to have the opportunity to reflect on some of the things the government is spending or not spending money on. First off I will look at our management of public open space of


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