Page 1695 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 9 May 2018
I will make a couple of comments on Mr Milligan’s contribution. He asked for an integrated, efficient and modern transport network. That is exactly the type of network that was the subject of considerable public debate in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, and subsequent to that. I am curious to note that Mr Milligan is still running the same line about light rail in our shared electorate of Yerrabi, which clearly was not a view the majority of members of Yerrabi supported just 18 months ago. The support from the Yerrabi electorate for light rail was fairly overwhelming. I also note that we are not ignoring Moncrieff. That is something I am working on as we speak, and I look forward very much to continuing to deliver an integrated, efficient and modern public transport network to all Canberrans.
MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (3.48): I stand today to speak in support of the motion brought forward by Miss Burch. Canberra is indeed a modern city, but too often it does not feel like one. In a city of only 400,000 people, too many parts of everyday life just do not seem to work right. This definitely includes our transport network. On more than one occasion, I have stood in this place and spoken at some length about the inconveniences faced by schoolchildren, seniors, shiftworkers and the mobility impaired as they seek to get from point A to point B in a timely manner in this city of ours.
Complaints about public transport options are common from my constituents, and the impossibility of travelling in the evenings and on the weekends is frequently brought up as well. Recently a senior resident of Page who regularly takes the train to and from Sydney shared with me his frustrations that when his train arrives in Kingston, there is no bus to meet it. This problem confronts all interstate commuters who arrive on the evening train seven days a week. Clearly, we do not need a bus to stop by the train station repeatedly throughout the day, but it seems it is such a small but very important thing to make sure that those who are already reliant on public transport for interstate travel can expect service once they arrive in Canberra. This cannot be hard; there are only three train arrivals each day.
Similarly, many residents in west Belconnen have repeatedly spoken to me about their frustrations in not having access to a rapid bus on the weekends. I note that a new rapid route, R2, has been proposed to come online later this year that will fix this problem by operating seven days a week at both peak and off-peak times. I assure this government that the residents of west Belconnen are expecting this promise to be fulfilled.
In conclusion, our public transport network needs to be better in serving Canberra residents, especially those who rely upon it for their daily travel. For this reason I support Miss Burch’s motion.
MISS C BURCH (Kurrajong) (3.50): I thank all members today for their contributions. While I appreciate Ms Le Couteur’s support for my original motion, once again we have seen a lot of toing and froing today on various amendments that have been circulated by the minister at very short notice. Again they add very little value to the original intent of the motion. The minister spoke a lot about moving to a seven-day network, and while that will certainly go a long way to address the lack of