Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 February 2010) . . Page.. 487 ..
last Christmas/new year’s eve time. It was a service that operated on two weekends, Christmas and new year’s eve, at a cost of $41,000 and transported 1,400 passengers. So over the course of two weekends and one day it did transport 1,400 people and it did cost $41,000. That was taking into account revenue of $14,000.
In the context of uptake and use and cost and the prioritising of costs that most particularly ACTION is involved in in relation to its overall budget, we have taken a decision that, whilst a very valuable service and something in an ideal world of course we would probably like to run every weekend of the year, in the context of that simple equation that governments are confronted with every time they provide a service, we do look at the cost and the benefit. We look at the uptake, the utilisation rate. We look at the cost, and we of course look at the other priorities that government and our agencies look at when they seek to disburse available funds. It is as simple as that.
Ms Bresnan, I would not hesitate to increase the service. But the money would have to come from some other part of ACTION, and we have taken a decision that this is, in the context of other priorities, an appropriate service. But I would love it to be more, too.
MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary?
MS BRESNAN: Minister, given the government’s commitment last sitting week, through the alcohol-related violence motion, to provide a new round of affordable public transport options, can you please advise whether this support includes public transport options after midnight on Friday and Saturday nights?
MR STANHOPE: I will take some further advice on the range of options that will be considered. I would go back and say that, heavy in the mind of decision makers, most particularly in government and particularly in ACTION, is the cost and the uptake. It is always an issue.
I make the point in relation to Nightrider that it cost $41,000 for two weekends and one evening for 1,400 people. If you extrapolate that across the year, the cost would be whatever. But it is moneys that would have to come from other parts of ACTION’s operations. The cost of the service as against the revenue at a $10 fixed fare was three times higher. That was the level of subsidy that was provided. The degree or level of subsidy provided by the people of Canberra for the provision of that service was three times the revenue that was received by the government for the provision of that service.
MS HUNTER: A supplementary?
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.
MS HUNTER: Minister, given that the Nightrider services do not run throughout the year, has the government considered that passenger numbers would improve if the service ran consistently, thereby allowing people to develop responsible public transport habits when enjoying a night out?