On a day when the Legislative Assembly will debate three motions from three parties regarding proposed transport solutions for Gungahlin, the ACT Greens transport spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan MLA, released a discussion paper – A Better Transport Solution for Gungahlin and Wider Canberra.

The paper argues for a greater commitment to sustainable transport and critically analyses the Government’s approach to transport planning.

“The ACT Greens want to see real transport solutions – solutions that will create convenient, sustainable and equitable ways to get around Canberra,” Ms Bresnan said

“We are arguing for investment in and prioritisation of a rapid, high capacity public transport network. This is the long term solution for bringing convenient, effective and sustainable transport to North Canberra.

“It is troubling that the Government’s arguments for building the Majura freeway are not standing up to scrutiny. The Government hasn’t assessed issues such as the benefits that quality public transport would have compared to a freeway. Nor has it properly assessed future traffic congestion on the road, the greenhouse gas emissions it will generate, or the impacts on Canberra’s urban form.”

Dr Paul Mees, one of Australia’s leading experts on urban public transport, backed the Greens paper, saying: “At a time when other Australian capitals are giving priority to public transport, Canberra’s planners seem trapped in a 1950s mindset. Canberra should be a model of what’s good in urban planning. A first-rate public transport system would cost less, and create greater travel time savings, than the proposed parkway — and that’s before we even consider the environmental benefits.”

“We’ve called on the Government to have an independent expert in sustainable transport planning analyse these issues before we commit so much of the ACT’s transport funding to this motorway.”

“In Australia, and around the world, the lesson to learn from the evidence presented by planning experts is that good public transport is the best way to tackle congestion,” Ms Bresnan said.