Page 4230 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 24 October 2017

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I am not aware of—and to my recollection I have not received any correspondence from—any parents have been unable to receive special needs transport in that context. If Ms Lee is aware of any parents who have a concern about special needs transport I invite her to let me know.

MS LEE: Minister, for any NDIS participant who does not have transport, officially or otherwise, included in their package, will the ACT government be providing that service?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Transport is included in people’s package under what is called a core support. Participants have flexibility within the core support element of their package to use that to fund transport or other items. That has led to some difficulty with some participants and, indeed, providers navigating the provision and the access to transport. Over time, my understanding is that that is ironing itself out as people improve their understanding of what they are able to purchase under the core support elements of their plan and as providers become better able to adjust their business models to provide transport on an individually funded basis.

I should also, however, add that the ACT government continues to provide transport services for people with disability as well as other people with mobility issues, for example, the flexible bus service provided through Transport Canberra, for which I lobbied during the election campaign to have extended to the inner north, and that has now been delivered.

Transport—light rail

MR STEEL: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, could you please provide an update on the progress of stage 1 of the city-wide light rail network?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Mr Steel for the question and I am delighted to update the Assembly on progress of building our city-wide light rail network. Madam Speaker, as you know for the past decade the ACT Labor government has been committed to building a state-of-the-art, integrated transport network for Canberra, including public transport, active transport, community transport and, of course, private transport.

It is very exciting to think that in about a year from now Canberrans will have an integrated transport system linking our buses, light rail network and forms of active travel. Progress is becoming more obvious every day to those of us who work near, drive past or, indeed, live near the corridor. A great deal of work has got us to where we are now. The vast majority of utilities along the corridor have been re-located. Almost 5,000 metres of track slab has been installed. Wall cladding and roofing on the depot buildings are continuing in preparation for the delivery of the light rail vehicles later this year. I have it on good advice from the Chief Minister that they are, indeed, fantastic vehicles.

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