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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 19 May 1993) . . Page.. 1600 ..

ACTION Services - North Canberra

MR LAMONT: My question is also directed to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, following the extensive consultation with, and representations from, people in the north of Canberra, can you inform the Assembly of any steps taken by the Government to improve bus services in North Canberra?

MS FOLLETT: I can indeed, Madam Speaker, and it is a matter where again consultation has been a hallmark. There was consultation by ACTION over route 432 between the city and Belconnen via the inner northern suburbs, Mitchell and the University of Canberra. Following that consultation process, that service was actually deleted, but the resources from the deleted service have been applied to two other ACTION bus services. One is the existing route 500, which is the city to Belconnen via Gungahlin route, and a new route 410.  This latter one is particularly important to inner north residents. The planning and the schedule of route 410 were done as a result of representations by members of the community both to me and to the Minister for Urban Services. As a result of those representations, officers of the Department of Urban Services actually conducted surveys of patrons - they were consulted - and they met with community representatives such as the Dickson College and the Canberra University Students Association.

The outcome of this consultation process is a new peak-hour service. It offers two services in the morning and three in the afternoon, and it is designed to meet the needs of students and commuters. It connects the city and Belconnen via Dickson, Downer, Watson, the University of Canberra, the Bruce campus of the Institute of Technology, Calvary Hospital and Dickson College. This is a very good example, albeit on a small scale, of consultation in action and of this Government's policy on consulting the community and implementing their wishes in regard to the services that are required by them.

Community Consultation

MR DE DOMENICO: My question is also addressed to the Chief Minister. I refer the Chief Minister to page 10 of her paper called "Establishment of Community Consultative Structures in the ACT", in which she envisages that community consultation will be set up as a network of geographical councils with a peak committee. Point 52 says:

Government representation on the Executive of the Councils and the Peak Committee would be advantageous in that Government policy could be explained immediately and members would have a point of contact in the administration. Alternatively, Government officials could attend for specific agenda items.

Chief Minister, what sort of independent advice would the Government receive if these structured groups had members of the Government on them or, more importantly, if they were funded by the Government, which the Chief Minister's draft paper indicates will be done in the 1993-94 budget?

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