Page 4487 - Week 12 - Thursday, 26 October 2017

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of days a week for a few months, and they are going to be working full time on this project with engineers with world-class experience. That is just another part of the light rail project that is bringing so many benefits to our city. I could talk more on active travel—I know Mr Parton has a keen interest in that—but I thank Mr Parton for bringing this motion forward.

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (4.08): Thank you, Mr Parton; what a fantastic matter of public importance: public transport for Canberra. I am a keen advocate to ensure that Canberra has some of the best public transport, and Ms Fitzharris has just finished saying that we are delivering. I spoke about this yesterday in my motion. Public transport across Canberra has improved dramatically. As I have said numerous times before, I grew up in this city and I remember that the old Woden bus interchange was pretty run down and ordinary. Growing up in Kambah, Woden was our closest shopping centre, and it would take about 45 to 50 minutes, sometimes an hour and a half, to get from Kambah to Woden. That is an awfully long time. Now you can do it in about 15 minutes on a bus, maybe 20, and maybe half an hour on a weekend. That is pretty good to get from Kambah to Woden; it does not take very long.

I thank Mr Parton for all of the positive information he provided about our wonderful Canberra public transport network. Mr Parton has been really positive in what has been a somewhat negative opposition this week, so it was really lovely to hear some great positive stories, particularly about the rapid transport services but public transport in Canberra in general.

Mr Assistant Speaker, you were with me over the weekend when we were approached by many residents in the new Molonglo suburbs who could not thank the government enough for the wonderful new bus services that have made life so much easier for them. Getting from the Molonglo Valley into the city then to Barton has become a much easier option on a bus for many, many residents I know you, too, Mr Assistant Speaker, were given that same feedback over the weekend, which was really encouraging.

It is great that we are working so closely in having Transport Canberra and city services in one portfolio and having the one minister responsible for both areas. Public transport in this city cannot happen on its own; it needs to be planned well and it needs to be included in some of the new design and work that goes along with road maintenance so we have the ability to ensure that our new suburbs flourish. We have seen that a lot over the last little while.

Like Minister Fitzharris, I think light rail is great. I was pleased to hear her talk about the engineering students who have joined from the University of New South Wales. I have been lucky enough to meet with Engineers Australia on numerous occasions, and to offer students the ability to work on such a ground-breaking infrastructure project here in Canberra is fantastic. I applaud the government for doing that; it is wonderful.

Delivering light rail to our area in Woden will help people from further south in the Tuggeranong suburbs by making their travel to the city and Belconnen and Gungahlin much more reliable, faster and more economical.

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