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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 9 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 3874..


MR BARR (continuing):

faster and more effective, that go to respond to a number of the issues that she has raised. She would be aware also that the Land Development Agency is undertaking some important work in the Molonglo Valley in relation to just the issues she has raised. The government will continue to progress work in this area.

ACTION bus service—effectiveness

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Transport. Would the minister please advise the Assembly what steps the government has taken and is taking to improve the effectiveness of delivering bus services to the ACT community?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank Ms Porter for her continuing interest in this important subject. I was very pleased to receive a question from Ms Porter on this yesterday to outline some of the rationale in relation to negotiations that are currently underway with the Transport Workers Union and other unions in relation to enterprise negotiations that are currently underway, which are not proceeding as rapidly as I think many of us would like, but which are being conducted in good faith. The government, of course, remains hopeful that we will receive mutually agreeable outcomes from that process.

I might go into some more of that today, but I think it is important that we do understand that the government are determined to continue incrementally and, to the extent that we can, to continue to invest in public transport options and the effectiveness of ACTION within the ACT. We do not wear blinkers in relation to ACTION and its effectiveness and the need for us to continue to invest. The government accept that we will need to continue to invest increasingly. In the most recent budget, we identified $97 million of funding explicitly for our public transport network. We know that we will need to invest more than that, and indeed I have signalled that I would anticipate investments of a similar order in coming budgets, without committing the cabinet or the government to those quantums. But that is what we will need to do in order to increase the reliability, the frequency and the extent of the network and in order for us to meet some of the primary infrastructure needs, even to the point of continuing to increase the number of bus seats in order to ensure that there are bus seats and bus shelters and disability able buses.

There is a whole range of issues that we need to invest in increasingly to meet targets in relation to disability access. We have committed, for instance, that, by 2012, 55 per cent of our fleet will be accessible buses. We have committed that, by 2012, 55 per cent of our bus infrastructure—in other words, the seats and the shelters—will be fully accessible and consistent with our obligations under disability discrimination and other legislation. And we are on target to achieve those outcomes. The next deadline in relation to arrangements that states and territories have made to ensure that their public transport infrastructure and fleets are disability able or accessible is 2012, and we are on track to meet the targets in relation to infrastructure.

As I have said, in order to ensure that we do attract more people to ACTION, that we do increase the number of people that are travelling to work by public transport and, indeed, that are walking or cycling or actually getting to work otherwise than by car, to meet our sustainable transport targets, we need to continue to invest. There is an


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