Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 August 2010) . . Page.. 3875 ..
additional $97 million, and that comes on top of significant other investments, not just in infrastructure, in park and ride or dedicated bus lanes—or bus stops and bus stations—but in a determination to increase frequency—and we saw that through Redex—and to expand the network and to make the network far more efficient than it currently is. We are all aware of significant deficiencies within ACTION, and the government is working hard to address them.
MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary?
MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what steps is the government taking to improve ACTION’s service in terms of timeliness and in the development of a network that meets the community’s requirements?
MR STANHOPE: As I was indicating, the government are doing all that we are able to in the context of our budget and other priorities at the moment, and that does involve very significant investments in public transport and in ACTION. I have to say that, despite that, one of our continuing frustrations is that—despite the significant effort—we have not got to a tipping point where there has been a significant increase in patronage. It remains, of course, a real frustration and a major challenge to the government that ACTION patronage essentially has plateaued to some extent on around eight per cent.
It is a classic chicken and egg situation in relation to public transport that we need to get the push and the pull factors right. We need to continue to invest. We need more frequent and more reliable services. But we need also to deal with issues around, for instance, pay parking and the availability and ease of car use within the ACT. We need to get the balance right. It is quite obvious that at the moment we do not.
But, as I say, we are working on that. We are investing significantly. I know that in relation to network 08, in the 2008-09 budget we invested an additional $34 million—I think $8 million plus a year of additional recurrent operational funds to roll that out. We have invested in Redex. That comes to $34.95 million in the 2008-09 budget for network 08. We are just about in November this year. We are negotiating and consulting, most particularly with the unions, in relation to network 10. That will again incrementally improve the range of the network and the frequency, the reliability and, we hope, the attractiveness of ACTION to consumers within the ACT.
MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.
MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, could you please detail to the Assembly the steps that ACTION takes to ensure that it is effective in meeting its safety obligations and that it responds to reported incidents?
MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. As an employer and as an operator of a government service, it does not need to be said that we take our obligations for safety and security, not just for passengers, those who utilise the service or other road users but also indeed staff of ACTION, very seriously. We have