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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 1993) . . Page.. 2514 ..


MR DE DOMENICO: My question without notice is also to the Treasurer. The Treasurer may recall how her Minister, Mr Connolly, yesterday, with chest blown up, talked about ACTION buses and referred to Industry Commission findings. In light of the fact that ACTION has the lowest cost recovery of the seven major transport systems, has the lowest kilometres travelled per vehicle, has the second highest expenditure per passenger boarding, has the second highest spending per kilometre travelled, has the second highest proportion of government subsidy in the seven systems, has the second highest proportion of cancelled services, and has excessive vehicle numbers per staff and services provided, what further cuts will she impose on ACTION in this and future years, based on Industry Commission findings?

MS FOLLETT: Madam Speaker, I am not about to pre-empt anything that may be contained in this year's budget, and members opposite well know that. They also know, or they have been told often enough - - -

Mrs Carnell: This is the same document that Mr Connolly was - - -

Mr Connolly: Yes, exactly; it is, indeed. We are well on track.

Mr De Domenico: Yes. Flying about yesterday, saying, "This is wonderful".

MADAM SPEAKER: Order! The Chief Minister is answering your question, Mr De Domenico.

MS FOLLETT: They have been told often enough that the ACTION bus service has a target in savings of $10m to be achieved over three years. They are in the midst of achieving that target. As we speak, as Mr Connolly very rightly pointed out, they are slightly ahead of that target. I believe that the $10m reduction is the achievable level, for the moment, for ACTION. I also am very well aware, Madam Speaker, that that level of savings is being achieved under difficult circumstances. If members opposite thought they could cut $10m out of the ACTION bus service, why did they not do so while they were in government?

Mr Connolly: No; it went up under them.

Mr Berry: The subsidies went up.

MS FOLLETT: Yes, the subsidy increased. The subsidy increased under the Liberal Treasurer. I repeat that I believe that ACTION is making substantial effort to address its need for greater efficiency. Nobody argues with that need for greater efficiency, certainly not the Government, and we have set them realistic targets to achieve those necessary savings.

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