Page 2034 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 28 June 2023
MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. We are in the same situation as many other bus operators right around the country, with the very low unemployment rate and workforce shortages, particularly in the transport sector. We are currently out recruiting more bus drivers. We have been more successful than other jurisdictions in doing that, but there are certainly still challenges in that. Providing them with good rates of pay and conditions is part of that.
We are engaged in an enterprise bargaining negotiation at the moment, which is not over and which we are looking forward to concluding, potentially providing better pay and conditions to that workforce so that we can have bus drivers available to deliver services at times when Canberrans want to use them. We have heard that Canberrans want to use them at the weekend and late at night. We want to provide more frequency during those times. That has been a major topic of discussion, as part of that interest-based bargaining process that we have been going through with the Transport Workers Union and other employee representatives.
MR BRADDOCK: My question is to the minister for city services. Minister, I am very grateful for the budget announcement to increase lighting around Yerrabi Pond. Can you please provide some further detail on this and on how people will be able to walk, ride or scoot their way around the pond safely?
MR STEEL: I thank Mr Braddock for his question. This brings together two of his passions—Yerrabi Pond and lighting—into one question. Yes, I was pleased to announce $3.2 million in upgrades to Yerrabi Pond, delivering on some of Labor’s election commitments to improve parking around the pond, better picnic facilities, new toilets on both sides of the lake, and some more lighting. I am informed that the intent is to provide lighting right around the lake so that people can engage in recreation, walking, cycling and other activities all the way around the beautiful Yerrabi Pond. We are looking forward to delivering those, and I look forward to updating Mr Braddock on the designs as they progress, before construction begins.
MR BRADDOCK: Minister, will this include lighting for the skate park, as I called for in a petition?
MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. I am happy to consider that request, as part of the design. We are certainly aware that it is not just about people walking and cycling on the existing paths around the pond; there are other activities happening. I am happy to consider that request.
MS CLAY: Minister, can you tell me whether you will be improving lighting around Lake Ginninderra?
Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, that is two in a row calling for announcements of policy. They are both out of order.
MADAM SPEAKER: The minister is yet to answer, but I am sure he can answer within scope and without breaking the standing orders.