Page 4479 - Week 12 - Thursday, 26 October 2017

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I am pleased to table the first legislative review of the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011 today and look forward to bringing forward amended legislation based on its findings in due course.

Public transport

Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM SPEAKER: I have received letters from Ms Cheyne, Ms Cody, Mrs Dunne, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Lee, Ms Orr, Mr Parton and Mr Steel proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Mr Parton be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of having good public transport for all areas of Canberra.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (3.42): I rise to speak on this matter of public importance: the importance of good public transport for all areas of Canberra. What I find when I ride the bus in this town, and the feedback that I get from constituents who ride the bus, is that, by and large, if you are going from town centre to town centre the service provided is more than adequate. That is good. That is what we want.

If I want to get a bus from here to Tuggeranong Town Centre, ideally I would stroll out and catch the 314 or the 315, I think, just here on London Circuit. I can do that pretty much every 10 minutes of the day and it will take me about 50 minutes. That is a winner. That is good. I do note that there have been some further improvements in the rapid network and, again, that is exceptional.

Where the problem arises is the inter-suburban travel. Certainly the feedback that I am getting from constituents is that there are some big shortfalls in our transport system in that area, I dare say on a number of fronts. They are things that the minister has heard time and time again, but we are here to mention them again. The great problems in public transport planning seem to be in the area of suburban links.

This came up during evidence in a recent committee hearing into ACT cemeteries. The point was made that if you live in the Lanyon Valley and you have a loved one buried at Gungahlin Cemetery, if you do not have access to a car your journey to Mitchell will be long and arduous.

When I punched the journey into my phone this morning the first option it gave me—we plucked an address out of the blue, I think on Harry Hopman Circuit at Gordon. We had a 300 metre walk to Knoke Avenue before catching the 18 to Lanyon Marketplace, the 313 to the city bus station and then the 56 to Sandford Street before walking for over 1 kilometre uphill to the cemetery. The whole journey was 2 hours and 3 minutes. So we are talking in theory about a four-hour round trip to visit your loved one buried in your own home city. I do not know if that works for me. That seems a bit big. And don’t anyone believe for a single moment that the gold-plated billion-dollar light rail line to Gungahlin is going to make any difference at all to that journey. As has been exceptionally well publicised, there is no stop in Mitchell.

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