Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (15 March) . . Page.. 617..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
What did the minister do or say about that? So far as I can see, nothing. He had nothing to say; he declined to comment; and, to this day, I do not know whether he has agreed with the Transport Workers Union that there should be a safety audit of the Woden interchange. While we are about it, there should be a safety audit of the other interchanges.
The ACTION bus service is only part of our public transport system. Just over two years ago, the then minister for transport introduced his sustainable transport plan, which set some targets and had some good things about it and some not-so-good things about it. It was a bit of a curate's egg. I have been critical of the sustainable transport plan because I do not think that the targets are hard enough and that if we have easy targets we are almost certain to meet them.
While we are in the process of inquiring into the operation of the bus service, we should be looking also at the entirety of the sustainable transport plan, to make sure that the targets that we have are appropriate, that we are on track to meet them and that they are reasonable and are doing what we set out to do, which was to increase the modal mix in favour of public transport so that we will have a substantial reduction in the proportion of greenhouse gases which are emitted by public transport. My concern is that, while we have a sustainable transport plan, it is on the shelf gathering dust, while this minister for transport is undermining the sustainable transport plan by undermining the ACTION bus service.
This is why this Assembly should be taking advice from the planning and environment committee. The planning and environment committee's job is to advise us on matters in relation to transport and environment. The minister will not take advice from the Transport Workers Union. The minister will not take advice from members of the public who are inconvenienced and are saying, "You have to have a better system."Perhaps the planning and environment committee will take on board that advice and come up with some recommendations that this Assembly can do something with. Perhaps we can force this minister to do something to improve the quality of our public transport.
At the moment, our public transport is a disgrace. The changes that we have seen since December last year are an absolute disgrace. The litany of complaints, which other members, I am sure, will take the opportunity to discuss, shows how poorly we are served in this territory. This is why we must have a proper inquiry, with real recommendations that this Assembly will take on board so that we can see a better public transport future soon.
Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 24 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.
Sitting suspended from 12.21 to 2.30 pm.
Questions without notice
MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Chief Minister. Over the past few weeks, you have consistently stated that cabinet was not warned of a potential serious impact