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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 458 ..


car they have made a decision for the next 15 or 20 years, and they may not come back.

MR STEEL: I thank Ms Clay for her question. We hope to provide those services as soon as possible. We expect that Whitlam will have a local route bus through the suburb, which will be using Sculthorpe Avenue. The road has been designed to accommodate buses to ensure that there is enough room. Of course, there are currently bus stops on John Gorton Drive, adjacent to the suburb, ready for a future bus route, potentially that rapid service, once it comes north. Transport Canberra will also continue to work on the future planning around the bus system, including future bus depots. We are looking at a future bus depot in the north—potentially in west Belconnen or the Gungahlin region to enable us to grow the fleet and meet the growing number of people and suburbs that will be coming on line, including Whitlam, over the coming years.

MR DAVIS: Minister, can you confirm that, going forward, all new suburbs and subdivisions will be serviced by buses from day one?

MR STEEL: As I mentioned, we are continuing to work on the transport planning for the new suburb of Whitlam. We have also been working on other suburbs. One great example is Ginninderry, where we have worked with the Ginninderry developer to establish a bus service very early in the life of that suburb. That has seen local small buses, which are known as Hino Ponchos, via a service feeder through to—

Mr Parton: I have a point of order with respect to relevance. The question was very specific in terms of whether the government could guarantee bus services from day one.

MADAM SPEAKER: I think the minister covered that fairly early in his question, Mr Parton. There is no point of order.

MR STEEL: We are providing services from Ginninderry into Kippax and also to the local schools. We know how important those services are so that people can form good early habits in using public transport, and we will continue to ensure that we extend bus services through to those suburbs as soon as we can.

Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: If your colleagues remain quiet, Mrs Jones, you may be able to ask your question.

Hospitals—waiting times

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Health. On Friday, 22 January 2021, the ABC reported that a Canberra man grew sick of waiting for elective surgery at Canberra Hospital and took matters into his own hands, using a utility knife to remove a painful grape-sized cyst that was affecting his work. This was after waiting more than two years after being referred for elective surgery by his GP. Minister, how do you respond to this distressing case?


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