Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 August 2010) . . Page.. 3787 ..
management environment and allow us to deliver better, more frequent, more reliable services to the people of Canberra?
That really is at the heart of our aspiration to develop a truly sustainable city, to deliver a fully functioning, efficient ACTION bus network to the people of Canberra. There are a whole range of issues that we need to address in relation to that. There is no silver bullet. Part of the response has to be industrial change. We are seeking to pursue that through negotiations with the TWU in relation to the industrial landscape and the management capacity of ACTION to deliver a more effective and efficient bus network.
The government does have a concern that ACTION management is unduly and unnecessarily constrained in its capacity to run an efficient and effective bus network as we would expect and as the people of Canberra would expect, which I think each of us knows we are not receiving and which we know is not being delivered. (Time expired.)
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, a supplementary?
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.
MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Minister, is it true that any public transport system is an evolutionary process, and how has the government responded to that evolution?
MR STANHOPE: It is very much an evolutionary process. Indeed, we have seen evolution; to some extent we are dealing with that now. The attitude which ACTION management has taken, which the government supports, is that there are aspects of the industrial landscape that affect and that apply at or in ACTION. Certainly there are outcomes that in their time were believed to be more than appropriate, and it was as a result of that that successive governments—all governments in this place—agreed to them, accepted them and were happy to implement them.
What we are saying now is that the world changes. Industrial relations changes, management styles change and community expectations change. The city has changed. We now aspire to a far more sustainable future. We as a community want better access to more frequent and more reliable services. More of us want to support public transport to deal with issues that we can deal with as a city only if we do adopt and actually engage with public transport. And a great issue which we know—and every government in this place has suffered—is this issue from self-government in relation to the response to the people of Canberra to our buses. Even today, only eight per cent of Canberrans catch the bus.
As we set targets and seek to achieve them, we need to do some quite dramatic things. One of the things we can do is adjust the management regimes to make the system more efficient. The government has a strong role in relation to investment in this current budget. We have identified somewhere in the order of $100 million directly for investment in our public transport network. There are a large number of pieces of this particular jigsaw, but those affecting management and arrangements within
ACTION are part and parcel of that as we strive to resolve all of the issues.