Page 1218 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 4 May 2022
negotiations are done, the government has not already been told how it must negotiate, because I just do not think that gets the best deal for Canberrans and bus drivers.
The other thing that I would say about this motion is that a healthy chunk of it could have come from me. The first thing the motion calls on was in my last motion last sitting. Would you look at that? The Greens and Labor voted against a Canberra Liberals motion only to debate the same thing less than a month later and rubber-stamp it. Labor and the Greens know that, and Mr Steel has acknowledged it. Certainly, Ms Clay made a very compelling argument on a number of levels about (a) returning to the full timetable; and (b) beefing up things on the weekend. They have acknowledged that, when it comes to returning to the full bus timetable, it is the right thing to do. They acknowledged that when they amended my motion in April to say, “Restore the full bus timetable as soon as practicable,” and now apparently they need another motion calling for the same thing.
Mr Assistant Speaker, I will just refresh your memory. My motion called upon the government to return to the full bus timetable. Ms Clay’s motion calls upon the government to return to the full bus timetable as soon as possible, but adds that this will require more drivers. So it is pretty much the same thing: Liberal idea, bad; Labor-Greens idea, good. I just think it is interesting.
I would like to repeat from the Hansard a couple of things that I said in April when we debated my bus motion, because I think they are extremely pertinent. I said in wrapping up:
We will not support Mr Steel’s amendment. Mr Steel’s amendment basically says, “This would be a cracker of an idea if it was ours.”
It is in line with a lot of the ideas that come into this place in that they are great ideas if they come from the government, but not if they come from us, the Canberra Liberals.
This motion has also tried to predict what the TWU wants from the EBA negotiations. I note that Ms Clay stated that she has consulted with the union, but I am not sure of the depth of that consultation. I know that, as evil Liberals, we are not supposed to be consulting with the union—I do not think we are, anyway—but since I have had the transport portfolio I have always seen the TWU as an absolute key stakeholder, which is shocking, I know! But I guess you could say it is consistent, when we see what the teachers and nurses unions have been saying about this government recently. Based on the discussions, I am not sure that this motion addresses their concerns and what they are seeking to achieve for their members or, indeed, aspects of that are going to lead to a better bus service. In fact, the head of the TWU told me that this motion is unlikely to have an effect on the final result of the EBA negotiations.
So why are we debating those aspects of it? I will tell you why we are. For this mob—and when I say “this mob” I am looking more to the top end of the room than the other side—it is not about outcomes; it is about making people believe that you are focused on outcomes.