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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 332..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

This is the state that we have got to with our bus system in the ACT under John Hargreaves, the Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services. Here today we spent most of the morning talking about greenhouse. The single biggest contributor to greenhouse gas in this town is private transport. What should we be trying to do? We should be trying to get people onto public transport. At the time when everyone is talking about this, John Hargreaves is making it more and more difficult for people to get onto public transport. That is why we should be looking at the appalling bus timetable that he has lumbered the people of Canberra with and revert to something which provides a better service.

The timetable as it currently stands provides a service to people who work nine to five jobs, Monday to Friday. The minister can come in here and extol the figures, but they are very selective figures indeed. Mr Hargreaves talks about journeys to work and will not talk about adult boardings at all.

At 6.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted and the resumption of the debate was made an order of the day for the next sitting. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly was put.

Adjournment

ACTION bus service

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.00): I am glad that in early discussions Mrs Dunne raised the issue of ACTION again. I am very pleased to be able to bring to the house some comments on ACTION bus services. I recently attended both the Tuggeranong Community Council and the Lanyon community forum meetings on the topic of ACTION services. The services were the main focus of the last two meetings. The issue is ACTION services and the effect that the new bus timetable and route system is having on drivers, commuters and drivers of other vehicles on the road. I have also received inquiries from my constituents in relation to the new bus timetable, route systems and, just as importantly, the working conditions of ACTION bus drivers.

Following these inquiries, I want to relay to Assembly members people's encouragement, constructive criticism and general opinions. I want the minister to listen to these people and take notice. I was encouraged to hear the minister's responses earlier today and yesterday when questioned about this issue. It is pleasing to hear that Minister Hargreaves is willing to listen to the people who are involved and who are affected most by the recent changes.

Let me first elaborate on my interpretation of what the minister said yesterday. He mentioned that the new system is not a system designed to suit everyone. No system is. It is almost inconceivable—it is unrealistic—to think that a transport system with a limited budget can service every individual's needs in a community the size of the ACT.

What has to be done? The needs of those affected most must be heard and investigated to the full capacity of government. Again, it is pleasing to hear that the minister is willing to do this through his consultation with the relevant parties. The minister mentioned that the government is in the process of creating greater utilisation


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