Page 4485 - Week 12 - Thursday, 26 October 2017
million bus kilometres and we are putting these to work to deliver a faster and easier public transport network that will reduce congestion and protect our livability as our city grows.
Transport Canberra introduced a new bus network earlier this month, and many comments have been made which I will respond to in just a moment. The network changes are the first of a series of improvements towards us developing an integrated public transport system and delivering that for the nation’s capital. We have altered some of those peak services to allow for considerable roadworks across our city and improved bus frequency to allow for a better journey for passengers.
Comments have been made about the October changes. I note that some of those comments from the opposition did not mention services in your electorate, Mr Assistant Speaker, the green rapid, the first time there has been a third rapid route providing public transport in Canberra. It goes through the inner south and into the city. And the black rapid is the first rapid service between Belconnen and Gungahlin.
In response to the changes for Narrabundah residents, Ms Lee is incorrect. I have acknowledged on a number of occasions, including in emails that I have responded to from people and many members of this Assembly, that such a service change will have an impact and that we could have done a better job communicating those. Perhaps one of the reasons some Narrabundah residents were so confused was because of some of the other information they were receiving in addition to that provided by Transport Canberra. Ms Lee noted in her comments the lack of services along Kootara Crescent. If she looks at the new network she will see that route 4 captures Kootara Crescent. In hindsight, rather than referring to the cancellation of route 5 we should have instead done a better job to inform Narrabundah residents that they were getting an upgraded route 4 and an upgraded route 6 as new services in their suburb providing increased frequency in Narrabundah and significantly increased connections.
We continue to look at ways we can inform the Narrabundah community about the changes. Route 5 has been a service many people have been used to for some time. For many residents, including those on Kootara Crescent—where there is a bus service provided—there has been very little change to their service. There remains a bus service along Kootara Crescent, and I note that Ms Lee mentioned that in her previous comments. Significant information has been provided to Narrabundah residents. As I have said in response to much of the correspondence that I have received, we will continue to work with the Narrabundah community about the changes and how they have affected them.
I also note that I have received a number of messages of gratitude and thanks for the introduction of the green rapid, including from a number of residents of Narrabundah and what I know locals call Old Narrabundah as well. The opposition, as is their job, are inclined to let us know of concerns in the community and may not as often receive those congratulatory messages the government receives. I acknowledge that any network change brings change, and if we can learn anything from this it is that in suburbs where there has been a service for a considerable period of time we can do a better job.