Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 July 2019) . . Page.. 2491 ..
Ms Le Couteur: I specifically asked whether the issue related to weekend work and paying penalty rates. The minister has not even uttered those words yet.
MADAM SPEAKER: He made mention of the inability or unreliability of taking up shifts. But you do have some time left, minister, if you want to talk more to that point.
Mr Steel: No, I think I have answered the question.
Mrs Dunne: On the point of order—
MADAM SPEAKER: On the point of order?
Mrs Dunne: Madam Speaker, the convention is that when a member rises to make a point of order, the person speaking cedes his way and sits down. I draw that to the minister’s attention.
MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you. A supplementary, Ms Le Couteur.
MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, is it ACT Labor’s position not to pay weekend penalty rates?
MR STEEL: Bus drivers are paid a composite rate under the enterprise agreement. They are compensated for a range of things they do in the course of their work both on weekdays and on the weekends and they often have to work after hours. It is up to bus drivers as to whether they want to take up shifts on the weekend and a clause in the enterprise agreement provides a level of incentive for them to do so.
We are currently working very closely with the Transport Workers Union on these issues but, ultimately, our focus is making sure that we have more bus drivers recruited so that we can make sure that we deliver more services more often on the weekend, when we have seen a very significant increase in the number of people using bus services, which is great.
MISS C BURCH: Minister, will the many drivers being hired exclusively work weekend shifts or will drivers still need to volunteer for weekends?
MR STEEL: The ACT government is continuing to look at all options to improve reliability on the weekends, working closely with the Transport Workers Union. We will continue that work, and I look forward to making further announcements. Part of that focus will be making sure that we are just recruiting more bus drivers overall to deliver the network that we have, with more services delivered more often.
Transport Canberra—weekend bus services
MISS C BURCH: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, on 3 July, the Canberra Times published an article titled “Bus cancellations soar as too few drivers volunteer for weekend and holiday shifts”. It mentions that several weekend travellers waited at stops “for almost three hours as consecutive