Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 May 2022) . . Page.. 1219 ..
On female drivers, I am with Mr Steel and Ms Clay. I would love to see more female drivers. But, I have to say, when I first saw the headlines in the Canberra Times around this motion, it read as though we are a mile behind the rest of Australia when it comes to gender diversity in this specific workforce. I scratched my head and thought, “Really? I don’t think that’s the case.” I had to go and have a look. We are not a mile behind at all. The national average is 13 per cent. We are sitting at 11 per cent and, given the size of the entire workforce in this space, what does that equate to? A dozen, 15 or 20 drivers? I am not sure. But it is not a huge gap.
Sure we should be pushing to address that but, having reviewed the mechanisms and the processes that Mr Steel referred to—the mechanisms and the processes that the transport directorate are undertaking to attract more female drivers—they look pretty solid to me. They really do look pretty solid to me. Certainly, the conversion rate of applications to actual drivers is very good. I would go so far as to say—and you do not often hear me saying this in here—that I applaud the minister and the directorate for the come-and-try days and for the genuine focus .that they have had to recruiting female drivers. They will get a little push along in that direction from this motion. They will stay on the game; they will stay on track. They will know that Ms Clay is looking closely at it and they will know that I am looking closely at it. I think that they are doing a pretty solid job in that space and we look forward to some further positive outcomes.
I would note that Ms Clay is correct when she says that the lack of flexible rostering is a problem for many female drivers. I get that. Ms Clay has raised what is a very pertinent point. Mr Steel gets that; he is fully aware of that. He has been reminded of it by Ms Clay today; he gets it. Mr Pinkus probably gets it too. I am not sure that he would be prepared to admit it publicly, but I am sure he gets it as well. I would assume that this is already being discussed as part of the EBA discussions. We will let that process unfold, as it should, and we look forward to the outcome.
The Canberra Liberals will not be opposing this motion. We do not see that it is going to achieve a great deal. There is nothing in it that will make our bus network much better and nothing that is going to make it much worse.
MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (4.37), in reply: I am happy to be accused of being inpatient when it comes to the climate; I certainly am. I think we need to do as much as we can as fast as we can, and that includes our public transport. We have been told by every expert body in this field and we just know it is so in Canberra.
It is interesting that we are getting a bit bogged down on when and whether we are calling for certain measures. In the Greens we have been for hourly weekend buses for quite a long time now. It was certainly in our 2020 election campaign. We have put it in the parliamentary and governing agreement, and it is ACT government policy. We have not delivered it, but we have certainly committed to it. So this is absolutely not new.
I understand it is awkward sometimes to talk about public issues when there is a negotiation going on, but it is fairly normal to talk about public issues when there is a