Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 August 2018) . . Page.. 2989 ..
made them pay more attention than they otherwise would have. But the government did its own work on this as well in making sure that people could have their say.
Mr Parton said earlier that we should ask people what they want before we actually release any designs or things for them to comment on. I am not sure where he was last year but that is exactly what we did. The government released a consultation paper. It was called phase 1. It was a comprehensive, wideranging survey asking people how they used buses, even if they used buses, and what they wanted in their bus services. It was that evidence base that helped design the next phase of the consultation.
Many people have had their say through phase 2. I will reiterate how many people have been involved in the consultation that has been running over the last few months. There were 7,623 responses to a survey. I repeat: 7,623 responses. That is enormous. There were public meetings of all of the community councils, with a total of around 350 people attending. All of us in this place know that community councils are not necessarily well attended, so that is an impressive number.
There were a range of public meetings with residents groups; 1,100 people visited one of the pop-up roadshows, of which there were many in Belconnen; there were 462 emails and written submissions to a dedicated consultation inbox; and many phone calls and many representations were also made to the members of this place.
I think it is a common occurrence for the Liberals not to make sense in this place. But it has been especially insightful hearing them say that there has been no consultation or opportunity for people to properly have their say. Yet in the next sentence they talk about how well attended certain meetings have been, like at the Tuggeranong Community Council. I ask them to reflect on the contradictions inherent in their statements.
Unlike many of those opposite, I actually did attend consultations on this. This matters to me; this matters to residents of the Belconnen community. I was the member who did turn up to the Belconnen Community Council meeting. I even went out of my way to live stream it to people so that if they were not able to attend they were able to listen to it live but also were able to watch it later, at their convenience.
I also spent my own money promoting the consultation and promoting the Belconnen Community Council meeting so that it reached as many people as possible to get them to attend. I can tell you what happened at that community council meeting. A lot of people attended. There was a good presentation. It explained what was happening. But it also stressed that, yes, while changes would be made, they already recognised that in some cases the routes were not right and that the routes were going to need to change.
One of the really important ones was Melba. Melba is not being properly serviced in the current design. The officers who were there absolutely recognised that the middle of Melba, not just the outside of Melba, needed better support from the routes through it. They stated that at the meeting. I am not sure what could possibly be a better example of someone taking feedback on board. They listened and said, “Yes, we reckon we probably have this wrong. We are going to go back and look at it again.”