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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 473..


MR WOOD (continuing):

It had been anticipated that the fence surrounding the construction works for Commonwealth Place and Reconciliation Place would have been dismantled before Canberra Day. That is now unlikely. It is now apparent that the full site cannot be guaranteed in time for the event. This imposes insurmountable problems for staging and public safety for some elements of the celebrations. As a result, these parts of the Canberra Day celebrations have been relocated to the northern foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin adjacent to Commonwealth Park at the bottom of Anzac Parade, to ensure that there is adequate space for the whole event and its expected large audiences. This location offers a splendid setting for the celebration of Canberra's birthday.

Moving these particular activities will also free up more space in front of old Parliament House for the Canberra balloon fiesta, which is promising to be bigger than ever this year, with some 40 balloons likely to participate. The highly popular FM104.7 Skyfire-crackers-will also take place around Lake Burley Griffin on the preceding weekend.

Other events in the week leading up to and on Canberra Day will take place at a range of locations, including Taste of Canberra in Commonwealth Park and the Canberra Times outdoor art show in Glebe Park. The National Capital Authority has been very supportive of the Canberra Day celebrations and has facilitated approvals for both the northern foreshore site and the balloon fiesta in front of old Parliament House.

I would like to thank the Canberra Day Celebrations Committee, chaired by Ms Betty Churcher, for their work on the event. In particular, I would like to urge all Canberrans to attend and enjoy and celebrate Canberra Day, our birthday, for 2002. Members might also remember that that day is also a celebration of a significant and happy yearly event for one of our members.

ACTION bus services

MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Corbell in his capacity as transport minister. Mr Corbell, the 1997 Graham report into ACTION services considered at length flat fare structures for public bus travel. This report was then analysed by independent transport economists Booz Allen and Hamilton. Their advice to the former government was that flat and single zone fares were not a viable option for Canberra public transport. While some customers were advantaged because those who travelled short distances subsidise those who lived in outer areas, is it not true that, according to departmental advice, your intention to introduce single-zone timed bus fares would adversely impact on low income earners who do not qualify for concessions? Is it not also the case that timed fares encourage short trips by private car?

MR CORBELL: I don't see how reducing the bus fare can adversely impact low income earners. I do not understand the logic. The government is not of the view that reducing bus fares will adversely impact low income earners.

Mr Humphries: You are not decreasing the bus fare in every case.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Humphries! Mrs Cross asked Mr Corbell a question. I am sure she wants to hear the answer without interjections.


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