Page 1585 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022

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MR CAIN: Minister, has this drift back to public transport inspired a more definitive date for the end of the interim bus timetable and the resumption of normal services?

MR STEEL: It has been a very gradual shift back to public transport. I was at a conference in Sydney the other week, talking with other transport operators about the return to public transport. They are experiencing, in cities like Auckland and other cities around Australia, a similar very gradual shift, but we are still quite significantly down on what we were. From the patronage figures that I saw the other day, it is about 38 per cent down on where we were in 2019, which is of course the year before the pandemic that we are comparing ourselves to. So there is a long way to go.

What we are not going to do is bring back services to a full timetable if we cannot deliver those services, because it is critical, if buses are timetabled, that they actually show up. The interim timetable is giving us a level of flexibility to be able to still deliver those services while we have around 35 bus drivers furloughed or off on leave at any one time, caring for others who may be sick as well. We will not be stepping up until we have the certainty that we can deliver the services under the full timetable. Of course, services already run frequently. The rapids still run frequently and the route bus services on weekdays. We will be stepping that up as soon as we have the reliability that we can offer to the community.

Crace Community Recreation Park—lighting

MR BRADDOCK: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. We have been corresponding about a constituent concern regarding the lighting at Crace Community Recreation Park, and I would like to thank him for adding those lights to the regular inspection program. My question is: when, as a result of this program, will those lights be operational again, so that constituents will be able to utilise those facilities after dusk?

MR STEEL: I will take that on notice.

MR BRADDOCK: Can you please advise why these lights were not already in the regular inspection program?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. My understanding is that, with this particular place, the recreation park, the custodian of this asset changed hands to Transport Canberra and City Services, away from the sport and recreation facilities area. As a result it was not on the regular inspection program. That has been corrected. We do not think this is necessarily a systemic issue elsewhere; it has been an issue specifically related to this park, and that has been resolved. I will get back to you in relation to the specific issues regarding these lights and when they will be fixed.

MS CLAY: Minister, which parks around Canberra are part of the regular inspection program?

MR STEEL: I think the member asked me which are not on the regular inspection program?

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