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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 September 2010) . . Page.. 4286 ..

reform the industrial landscape or any reforming action. We have not abandoned it. We have not given up. We have not actually gone wobbly at the knees.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary question?

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, why has the government failed to develop and implement strategies to effectively address the issues of a shortage of drivers and a shortage of buses?

MR STANHOPE: I reject the question. We do not have a shortage of buses. There are on some days issues in relation to available buses as a result of breakdowns. There are on some days issues in relation to enough drivers, where more drivers than might have been anticipated take sick leave on a particular day.

It is a management issue, but I think all members would realise that there is only a certain amount of provision that a business can make to anticipate absences from work as a result of workers being sick. We provide every day for four additional drivers to attend at depots to cover anticipated absences on sick leave. You might ask—and this goes to the question—“We should provide 10 additional drivers?” We should actually call on a shift and pay how many drivers in anticipation of drivers taking sick leave?

Every day we have four drivers over and above the network requirement on the day. On some occasions, far more drivers than we anticipate or have made provision for do not turn up for work as a result of calling in sick. We then seek to backfill by calling in other drivers to fill those particular positions. There is often a delay. It does disrupt the network. That is why I say that it is a pity that the auditor did not provide this context.

Mr Seselja: It is the auditor’s fault?

MR STANHOPE: No, it is not. I said it is a pity the context was not provided—so that you would not have been misled, Mr Seselja, and you would not have asked such banal questions.

Mr Seselja: So the auditor misled us?

MR STANHOPE: No, she did not; you simply misunderstood. Mr Seselja, as a result of your complete lack of interest in public transport and in Territory and Municipal Services, this being the first question you have asked in the portfolio since the last election, you simply do not understand the issues that pertain to ACTION and you do not understand that we are talking about sick leave and buses breaking down. (Time expired.)

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe?

MR COE: Chief Minister, why has the government failed to act, despite a succession of damning reports on ACTION? How many more damning reports will it take?

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