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Work begins on a sustainable transport plan

By johnboy - 24 July 2009 22

One might think that with all of Canberra’s plans and strategies we’d have already dialled in sustainable transport.

But this very morning the Chiefly Stanhope has announced that he’s kicking of the process to develop at “new comprehensive sustainable transport plan”.

Having successfully defused the vexed issue of kangaroo culling the ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment, Dr Maxine Cooper, is going to guide this process to replace the 2004 Sustainable Transport Plan.

From the media release here’s the difference from last time around:

    For the first time the plan will aim to integrate investments in transport infrastructure and services with land-use planning, to deliver more sustainable transport options closer to home for more Canberrans.

    “Strategies relating to transport infrastructure, parking, cycling, walking and public transport will be combined into one comprehensive plan to help the ACT meet its legislated sustainable transport targets.

They’re starting it off on monday with a roundtable including bodies from the ACT Council of Social Services, Australian National University, Canberra Taxi Industry Association, CIT, Heart Foundation ACT, National Capital Authority, NRMA, Pedestrian Council Forum, Planning Institute of Australia, Property Council of Australia, Queanbeyan City Council, Transport Workers Union and University of Canberra.

But fear not, “an extensive community consultation process” is promised.

UPDATED: Zed Seselja is unkindly pointing out that starting the process again now is something of an admission of failure with past efforts.

What’s Your opinion?

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22 Responses to
Work begins on a sustainable transport plan
Horrid 2:24 pm 24 Jul 09

“The members of the roundtable as listed in Corbell’s press release don’t include Pedal Power, ACT Light Rail or the Conservation Council.I wonder why these groups have been left out.”

The Ministers original media release said that participants “include”… followed by a list of attending organisations- ie it did not claim to be a full list of who is attending. Today’s Canberra Times story confirms that Pedal Power will be there. I would have thought their participation so obvious that they scarcely needed to be listed.

PigDog 2:23 pm 24 Jul 09


I never claimed that there is a public transport system that makes a profit (there might be some, but I agree that it is not realistic in Canberra), nor did I say cars are any better or worse for society.

I just think they should use terms correctly and don’t like the spin. Don’t say it is sustainable when you actually mean ‘towards sustainability’ – even the electric car people say ‘more sustainable’. And unless they are talking light rail, why do we say public transport instead of bus? We can say walking instead of self propelled human propulsion, but instead of bus we say public transport.

What I do claim though is that it is a plan to make it harder for me to park my car. That’s what I like to do with it when I am not driving it. They are not offering incentives for me to use these other options beyond a disincentive to drive.

housebound 1:53 pm 24 Jul 09

It’s the same old story, if you stack a board with the people who give the right answers, then you can be confident of getting the right answers.

RayP 1:08 pm 24 Jul 09


Why then do the Pedestrian Council Forum and the Canberra Taxi Industry Association have places at the table?

They also seem to be “one trick ponies” – they seem to have specific transport interests.

And why the ACT Council of Social Services, which represents a range of groups, but not the Conservation Council, which also represents a range of groups?

S4anta 12:35 pm 24 Jul 09

RayP said :

The members of the roundtable as listed in Corbell’s press release don’t include Pedal Power, ACT Light Rail or the Conservation Council.

I wonder why these groups have been left out.

One trick ponies Ray. Let them put in submissions to cover their respective interests rather than clag up a boardroom eating cucumber sandwiches.

arescarti42 12:28 pm 24 Jul 09

PigDog said :

Futto – couldn’t agree more.

How can a bus that runs on fossil fuel, at a financial loss, be ‘sustainable’?

It isn’t, but if that bus means that 20 cars aren’t also driving around burning fuel and occupying road/parking spaces, it seems like a move towards sustainability to me.

There are only a handful of public transport systems the world over that don’t run at a loss. It’d be silly to think Canberra’s would be any different. Travel by car runs at a greater net loss to society anyway. Don’t think for a minute that fuel taxes and registration come anywhere near covering the cost of maintaining the road system, and that’s without including the costs to the environment or businesses.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 12:13 pm 24 Jul 09

I like how ‘sustainable’ is such a buzzword these days. What they really mean is “how can we make it work and meet community expectations”.

RayP 12:13 pm 24 Jul 09

The members of the roundtable as listed in Corbell’s press release don’t include Pedal Power, ACT Light Rail or the Conservation Council.

I wonder why these groups have been left out.

PigDog 11:53 am 24 Jul 09

Futto – couldn’t agree more.

The plan will reaffirm the goals outlined in the 2004 Sustainable Transport Plan toincrease [sic] walking, cycling and public transport from 13 percent of work trips in 2001 to 20 percent in 2011 and to 30 percent in 2026. Why don’t they say bus? Is there another form of public transport in Canberra I am unaware of?

How can a bus that runs on fossil fuel, at a financial loss, be ‘sustainable’?

If they were serious with this they would just make it illegal to drive on Fridays – bam! 20% of trips! However, as Futto says it is just a plan to replace parking spaces with office blocks.

housebound 11:39 am 24 Jul 09

futto said :

Two words i can’t stand at the moment…”sustainable” and “twitter”.

Sustainable twits then?

LG 11:27 am 24 Jul 09

so why’d we waste time with the previous plan? is this another one that will be shelved / not implemented? probably!

PM 11:24 am 24 Jul 09

So how about actually planning for light rail?

I know it costs money and might not be delivered today, but if the govt’s in favour of the principle they should at least not prevent it’s building in the future.

futto 10:05 am 24 Jul 09

is it sustainable to continue to remove all the car parks in Civic and replace them with high density office blocks? I bet the report will say YES!!!!

Two words i can’t stand at the moment…”sustainable” and “twitter”.

housebound 9:49 am 24 Jul 09

I thought we had a sustainable transport plan that was shelved, not discarded, but never actually really implemented (other than to increase parking fees in civic and to promise then shelve a busway).

barking toad 9:49 am 24 Jul 09

Soooo, they’re thinking of running buses from where people live to where they work.

Amazing concept.

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