Page 3399 - Week 09 - Thursday, 24 August 2017

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Planning for Woden’s population growth and urban renewal is a priority. We know that light rail will reduce congestion on our roads and provide commuters with a quick, practical and efficient alternative to driving their cars. Since our re-election we have invested $3.5 million in early planning, and a further $16.5 million to carry out detailed scoping and route planning, just a part of the investment in stage 2 light rail in this budget.

As I noted in my statement just a couple of weeks ago, multimodality is critical to fully functioning public transport in cities. The ACT government is committed to continuing investment in a range of active travel infrastructure and initiatives to provide more opportunities to walk, cycle and scoot, and to improve the health and wellbeing of all Canberrans.

We have allocated $4 million over four years to improve Canberra’s community path networks and identified high-priority areas. They will include pedestrian refuges, pram crossings, cycleways and age-friendly walking and cycling improvements. The budget will also extend Canberra’s 3,500 kilometres of footpaths and cycleways by starting work on the Belconnen bikeway to link a range of important institutions around the Belconnen town centre and within the town centre itself.

As we know, and as many members have noted, we understand the importance of Canberra’s amenities to residents and families. That is why we have committed more than $23 million in this budget to provide better suburbs for Canberra under a range of initiatives. They will include better road maintenance, better safety in school zones, better weed control, graffiti prevention, and better playgrounds and sporting facilities.

We will also soon start a broader engagement with the Canberra community about how we deliver better suburbs. Encouraging more children to walk, ride or scoot to school has many benefits, including better health and wellbeing, reduced traffic congestion, particularly around school zones, increased safety and more active communities. I was pleased last month to host a forum at TCCS with a range of stakeholders looking at the design of our school crossing supervisor program and also the range of other activities we have underway around school zones. The government will spend around $3.2 million to implement these safety measures.

We are also investing in our town centres. As members have noted, there is $3 million to continue the upgrade of the Tuggeranong town centre, building on the work that was recently completed; $3 million for the Gungahlin town centre, particularly to pedestrianise the lower end of Hibberson Street, which is a great project for the Gungahlin Town Centre, in addition to the many other exciting upgrades underway in the town centre itself; and $2 million for Kambah Village. I have to note Mr Steel’s fantastic efforts with all the residents of Kambah in promoting and encouraging their involvement in the design of this really important infrastructure upgrade at Kambah Village. The combined works will provide Canberrans in these regions and town centres with improved safety, access and amenity: improved access for pedestrians, lighting, seating, playgrounds and a range of other infrastructure.

Over two years we have also funded two important and major improvements to the Woden Library, as Ms Le Couteur noted. The Heritage Library, currently located

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