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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (19 September) . . Page.. 2904..


MRS BURKE (continuing):

community now that there has been a passing down to the medium size and smaller businesses and they may also be a part of the solution for some of these organisations.

As we know, Lifeline provides a 24-hour a day, seven days a week service. It never closes down. Of course, it often takes the load of calls that other organisations cannot deal with as they just do not have the capacity. Obviously, it fills many gaps in services for the Canberra community. I think businesses went away from the breakfast intent on looking at ways in which they could support Lifeline, if not financially, in an in-kind way.

I think that that is what we all need to be looking to do. I think it would be fair to say that governments of the day simply cannot meet all the needs of the community, that they simply cannot and do not have the revenue always to hand to be able to keep dishing out to organisations. I think that this is a very positive way that we as a community can get behind organisations. Other members may be encouraged to do the same thing. If they have a particularly favoured charity or charitable organisation, perhaps they too could work in a philanthropic way with that organisation to help it think outside the square.

I just wanted to thank those businesses that were there, and there were too many to mention now, and to commend the invaluable work that Lifeline does for our community. They are certainly appreciative of any funding they get from the commonwealth government and the ACT government. We should never underestimate the valuable service that they give. They play such a prominent role in helping Canberrans in times of need.

ACTION bus service

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (5.14): Mr Speaker, today I have delivered 1,252 postcards from constituents calling on the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Mr Hargreaves, to improve services and conditions for ACTION buses in Canberra. I sympathise with the concerns raised in the petition cards and the Transport Workers Union's anxiety over possible reductions to services and any impact on working conditions for employees of ACTION buses.

I am pleased to announce that ACTION and the territory and municipal services management, together with the Community and Public Sector Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Transport Workers Union have an in-principle agreement about most aspects of their negotiations. Such positive negotiations are welcome in a climate of continuing federal attacks on the rights of workers. It is good to see that the minister is committed to supporting the right of workers to collectively bargain, and together we can resolve the issues that they have raised in this petition.

The central issue raised in the discussions with the TWU over the proposed bus network is in regard to split shifts. A split shift requires a full-time bus driver to work in the morning and afternoon peaks, with a break in the middle of the day. Amongst the 330 full-time drivers there are currently 82 split shifts and 171 regular shifts across the network. In this proposal, ACTION has advised that there may be 127 split shifts, an increase of 45, and 122 regular shifts. Proposed improvements to ACTION's bus network could include easier to remember timetables which would involve off-peak and weekend services departing at the same time each hour, improved connections at major


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