Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2010) . . Page.. 2459 ..
The onus is on this Chief Minister, who is also the Minister for Transport, to sort this out pretty quickly. He has been in this job for nine years. For nine years, he has been running this territory and running our budget. Eight and a half years into his time as Chief Minister, it is not good enough for him to put out a press release on 7 May to say, “ACTION is not working and it is not good enough.” This is coming from the minister. Here he is putting out a few words that are copied from a benchmarking report which he refused to give me last year. We have some words that he pastes into a press release and he pretends that he has got a vision for transport, pretends that he is doing something to combat the inefficiency in ACTION. I am afraid that it is not good enough, Chief Minister. It is not good enough to simply copy and paste into a Chief Minister’s press release and say that you are doing something about transport.
I agree with quite a few of the things you are saying in this press release, Chief Minister, but the difference is that you are the Minister for Transport. You can make it happen, but you do not. You do not. You are not making it happen. What are you doing? What are you doing as Minister for Transport? When you get up each day, Chief Minister, and you think about your agenda for transport, what are you actually doing?
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Mr Coe, one minute. Mr Stanhope, one minute. Stop the clocks.
Mr Seselja: If you run again, will they hide you in all the ads?
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, please be quiet. Mr Coe has the floor. I have been unable to hear him for the last minute or two.
MR COE: Thank you, Madam Assistant Speaker. Mr Stanhope has a great opportunity, as the Chief Minister and Minister for Transport, to reform ACTION buses, but he is not doing so and I am very doubtful that he is going to do so. It is for that reason that so many people in Canberra are forced to drive their own cars—because getting in an ACTION bus is simply not preferable for the vast majority of Canberrans.
That is shown by the fact that, as a modal share, ACTION has actually gone backwards this year. ACTION went from a target of 2.9 per cent to minus five per cent. That means that five per cent of the ACT travelling public are not getting an ACTION bus but were doing so last year. There were 1.33 million fewer passengers on an ACTION bus than were expected—818,000, in real terms, fewer than last year.
What sort of value are the Greens getting for their buck—for their buck that is putting this government into the corridors of power? What are they actually getting? They are getting tremendous dead running, $161,000 a week. This government is squandering $161,000 a week on dead running, as an empty ACTION bus drives 69,190 kilometres every week—every week.