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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 May 2018) . . Page.. 1694 ..


Even for those on the north side of town, if you are not located near a light rail stop the lack of late-night and Sunday services, the lack of adequate parking and the lack of integration across the network mean that you will be still left waiting on the side of the road in the dark. Worse still, some in my electorate, like the residents in the suburb of Moncrieff, are still waiting for a bus service, despite having the largest population increase in the ACT during 2016-17. I cannot believe this government continues to ignore the obvious needs of the residents it is meant to serve.

Extending bus services on weekdays after 10 pm would enable many of the shiftworkers in my electorate to use public transport to get from and to work. Not everyone in this town works nine to five, Monday to Friday, but it seems this government does not appreciate the demands of modern life. It would also open up opportunities for Canberrans to undertake shopping after work, perhaps complete extra studies, meet up with friends for a meal or, one of my favourite pursuits, participate in sport and recreation. It is unacceptable that Canberrans who do not own a vehicle or perhaps those experiencing short-term difficulties accessing a car cannot enjoy these types of activities after certain hours.

In the same way, it is out of date that public transport in Canberra ceases to operate at 7 pm on a Sunday. I know there was a time in Australia when Sunday was a day of rest, when shops did not open, restaurants did not trade and businesses shut down. But that stopped in the 1970s, and Canberrans cannot afford this luxury. Many mums and dads juggle working hours around child care, school pick-ups and normal family chaos. The average person in the street is working hard and trying to get ahead, perhaps taking on an extra job to make ends meet. A struggling student is juggling part-time work and studying whilst also trying to enjoy some kind of social life. This is how we live now. It is fast and it is furious, and the current bus timetable just does not reflect that reality.

As Miss Burch has highlighted, we want the public transport to be available to all Canberrans. We hear the stories from our constituents, from residents who are frustrated with the current system and fed up at not being listened to by this government. We want you to take into consideration the needs of all Canberrans. It is time Canberra caught up with other capital cities and provided an integrated, efficient and modern public transport system. As a member for Yerrabi I wholeheartedly support this motion and commend Miss Burch for advocating for the needs of all Canberrans.

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (3.46): Regarding Ms Lawder’s amendment, I am not entirely sure what she is seeking from this. I am happy to support it but note that there is very limited information given the regulation regarding Uber, which the ACT was the first in the world to implement. I note it is not normally the practice of the Assembly to seek specific information from private sector entities. I think that would be something the Canberra Liberals would be the first to defend. So with the caveat that we can provide what information is available to the government currently on the operation of Uber, I am happy to support the amendment.


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