Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 July 2019) . . Page.. 2492 ..
services were scrapped”. Minister, what steps have you personally taken since becoming the responsible minister to ensure that Canberrans do not experience extended wait times for buses on weekends?
MR STEEL: I thank the member for her question. I have outlined some of those steps in the Assembly during question time today. I have acknowledged that there are some problems with the reliability of bus services on the weekend. On average, 90 per cent of services have been running on the weekend. School and public holiday weekends have also seen an additional decrease in services due to drivers taking leave. That was evident over the past few weeks. I know that Canberrans expect more of our public transport system on the weekends. I have been working hard, on taking on the portfolio, with Transport Canberra to ensure that Canberrans can have faith in their public transport system on the weekends. That includes working closely with the Transport Workers Union, making sure that Transport Canberra has a focus on recruiting more drivers and looking at a range of other options to improve reliability on the weekends.
As I said, we have seen an increase in the number of people taking journeys on the weekend, which has been fantastic: 30 per cent more, because we are delivering more services more often; same route, same number.
MISS C BURCH: Minister, how have you progressed negotiations with the TWU since becoming transport minister, and when will you fulfil the promises made to Canberrans to deliver more frequent weekend services?
MR STEEL: We have already delivered more frequent weekend services, which has seen a very significant increase in the number of people using weekend services. Since I came into this role we have met with the Transport Workers Union on two occasions to talk through a range of different issues, including weekend reliability. I will continue to do so as we look at a range of options to make sure that we have great services continuing to run on the weekends.
MRS JONES: Minister, how many bus drivers have been hired since the beginning of the recent recruitment drive?
MR STEEL: I have already mentioned to the Assembly today, Mrs Jones, that over the coming three months a further 34 trainees are scheduled to undertake training to become bus drivers, increasing the number of bus drivers that are available on the weekend.
Taxation—abolition of stamp duty
MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Chief Minister. Since the ACT government abolished stamp duty for eligible first homebuyers on 1 July this year what has the response been like?
MR BARR: The feedback from real estate agents and sellers has been that first homebuyers have been very active in the market. This makes sense as on a $650,000 home the saving for those buyers is approaching $18,000. That $18,000 is a