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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 9 Hansard (18 September) . .

Page.. 2948..

... how are these improvements delivering better bus services to the residents of Canberra?

MADAM SPEAKER: Okay. It was primarily a question about network 14. I am trying to draw the connection between that and Dr Bourke's question. I am assured that there is a connection. Do you need the question repeated, Mr Rattenbury?

MR RATTENBURY: It is fine, thank you. Madam Speaker, on that point, to coincide with the launch of network 14, ACTION has launched a flexible bus service, a community transport model which seeks to assist those passengers who would struggle to use the regular bus service. Some of those come through the straightening out of the routes to make them more direct; some people find themselves further from a bus stop. Particularly for older residents or residents with mobility problems, that might be a challenge. Similarly, some of our older residents need to make specific trips, and the day-to-day ACTION network may not serve that.

The new flexible bus service is designed to provide essentially a door-to-door service for people with particular needs. It is a free service; people can simply ring and make a booking by calling ACTION on 6205 3555. The intent is that if people need to get to a particular health appointment or access a particular service and they have accessibility issues, they can be taken. It includes a hospital drop-off on request. The minibuses are wheelchair accessible. So again it is really targeting those people who would struggle, who perhaps cannot drive themselves and, through their mobility issues, would struggle to even make use of the regular ACTION network.

The initial response has been that the system has worked quite well. We have not heavily promoted it at this point, as we are allowing it to bed down and trying to get the system working smoothly. But already word is spreading. I have had reports that in the early weeks those who have used the service have found it a very positive experience. And the informal word has been getting around through a range of organisations such as organisations where older people particularly congregate, where somebody has used it and started to tell their friends and fellow club members about it.

I expect this service will continue to be popular and will grow in popularity. We will need to monitor the uptake to make sure we have the capacity.

Ms Gallagher: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answer to question without notice

ACT Ambulance Service—case management service

MR CORBELL: Yesterday in question time Mr Smyth asked me about the circumstances surrounding the electronic case management system for the ACT Ambulance Service called VACIS. In his question Mr Smyth asserted that many other Australian jurisdictions were now using version 3.0 of VACIS rather than the version used by the ACT Ambulance Service, version 2.2. Mr Smyth asked me why the system had failed during the upgrade. He went on to ask me: when will the system be fully back on, and is it true that the ACTAS version of VACIS is now so old that it is not supported by the provider?

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