Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 November 2021) . . Page.. 3559 ..


adoption of a modernised ticketing system. We will get there eventually with the ticketing system, I think, Madam Speaker; I reckon we will get there eventually. I note it has been promised in a couple of elections, and I still say there is a fair chance the new ticketing system could pop up as an election promise in 2024, if we are not careful.

The availability rate for light rail is most certainly an outstanding result, at 100 per cent, with customer satisfaction at more than 90 per cent, and further, according to the accountability indicators, almost 99 per cent of scheduled services operated to their point of completion. I think that is the same as saying that 99 per cent got to where they were supposed to be going. That has got to be positive.

I understand that running a complex network is a daunting challenge and trying to maximise public access and run on the times that you promise is always going to be complex. The performance indicators tell us that 78 per cent of services ran on time, which just about lines up with satisfaction levels communicated by passengers. Interestingly, there is a strategic objective to drive innovation and a sense of excitement about public transport, but there is little indication of how the budget will be used to improve satisfaction or get services to run on time. So I guess we have to settle for innovation and excitement. If there were a minister for excitement—there is not a minister for excitement, but I am just saying if there were—I think that portfolio would naturally go to Mr Steel.

Services to new suburbs and schools remain an issue, as do school bus services. I welcome an assurance from the minister that there will be no cuts to school bus runs. However, our new suburbs do need bus services. I am advised that requirements are still in the planning phase, despite residents having that need yesterday. In this regard I note the minister does not have any plan for procurement of additional buses for new developments, but he assures me that these are being finalised. I would have thought he would have a rough idea. I will ask again next year and see if we have a more succinct picture then.

The feedback I get is that weekend bus services—many of the words that I get in feedback I could not use in this speech because they would be distinctly unparliamentary, Madam Speaker—are a bit of a shemozzle, with weekend availability rates confirming this. For example, on Saturdays the availability rate is 41 per cent of the weekday rate and for Sundays it is 28 per cent. If you were going to engender a sense of excitement and lift performance in the public transport space, I would have thought this would be an area to look at. I am not sure of schedule conformance. Maybe one day the minister will give us some good news on that point.

While the accountability indicators in budget statements H paint a bit of a rosy picture, the minister tells me he also has, of course, a transport recovery plan that aims to restore community confidence in this area. But I have to say, Madam Speaker, we get a stack of mixed messages from the minister on this front. I was a little astounded to hear Mr Steel, during the debate recently on Ms Castley’s revive the night-time economy motion, say that he did not want people in great numbers coming back to public transport just yet. I know that parts of this are contained in the plan. The minister is telling us there is just too much risk. We get from the minister one day in


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video