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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 February 2010) . . Page.. 488 ..

MR STANHOPE: I do not know what detailed analysis has been done around passenger change, drinker or drinker driving behaviour as a result of the provision every week of a Nightrider service of that order. But I would think intuitively, Ms Hunter, that, yes, it would have an impact on people’s planning and attitude to public transport. Once again, so would the provision of a bus from every suburb every 15 minutes throughout the day. It is simply a question of our capacity to pay and the degree of general public subsidy that it is reasonable to apply. I have no doubt that your premise is probably sound. Yes, it would result in behavioural change, but probably at a cost at this stage that we do not believe it is reasonable to ask the people of Canberra to bear, as against other priorities.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, a supplementary?

MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you. Chief Minister, in your analysis you are talking only about the cost to ACTION in running Nightrider. Have you looked at the whole-of-government costs and benefits, in other words the reduction of police expenditure and hospital expenditure due to people being able to safely exit Civic at night?

MR STANHOPE: My colleague the attorney would like to provide some insight into this particular issue.

MR CORBELL: The key issue that the Greens are missing in their line of questioning here is that there is not just an obligation on the part of the public sector to provide transport options. Yes, there is an obligation consistent within the constraint requirements and restraints faced by the territory. But there is a real failure to acknowledge that there are costs associated with the failure of licensees to deliver adequate transport choices as well. The government’s view is that licensees should share the burden of getting people home safely. Licensees make a profit from selling those people alcohol and they should share the responsibility. It should be a shared responsibility. Licensees who sell people drinks should share the responsibility of getting those people home safely, in the same way that licensees should share the cost of increased policing requirements as a consequence of their commercial activities.

That is why the government has embarked on the liquor licensing reforms that it has focused on. Risk based licensing involves the liquor industry sharing the cost and sharing the responsibility, and that includes sharing the responsibility of getting people home safely.

Health system—performance

MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Is the ACT health system performing well compared to other jurisdictions in the key performance indicators included in the Productivity Commission’s recent Report on government services 2010?

MS GALLAGHER: Yes, the ACT health system performs very well against a whole range of measures. If you look at expenditure, our costs are coming down. If you look at output, our output is increasing all the time.

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