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ACTION Services

MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, my question without notice is to Mr De Domenico in his capacity as Minister for Urban Services. I know how much he has been looking forward to getting a question. I want to ask Mr De Domenico to expand on his answer to Ms Horodny about ACTION buses and the proposal to cut $12m from the ACTION budget over the next three years. I understand that he has referred to an enterprise agreement. Can he expand a bit on how the Government proposes to save this $12m over the next three years? In his answer, could the Minister explain how the statement in the budget papers that there will be a rationalisation of services can be reconciled with Mrs Carnell's previous promise that no ACTION services will be cut?

MR DE DOMENICO: I thank Mr Whitecross for his question. Mr Speaker, a further savings agreement is being put into place, as Mr Whitecross said, for ACTION to save $12m over the next three years. The savings are going to be achieved through a range of initiatives, including productivity and efficiency measures for key employment groups, rationalisation of services, and overhead cost reductions, including debt servicing and revenue measures. Mr Speaker, progress will also be made during the year for ACTION to be commercialised by 1 July 1996. This will allow ACTION to improve commercial viability and will position it better for success in a more competitive environment. Mr Whitecross would also be aware that ACTION will be run by a board that will do nothing else except provide expertise on how to run the most cost-efficient, clean and safe public transport system for the people of the ACT.

MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, I was wondering whether Mr De Domenico would care to renew Mrs Carnell's commitment that no ACTION services would be cut.

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, I will answer that question in the same way that I answered Ms Horodny, in case he was not listening. Mr Speaker, there will be no ACTION buses going around the ACT with no passengers in them, because it is not an efficient way to run a public transport system. There will be rationalisation of the current services. The buses that are running around a route today may not be running around the same route in two, three, four or five weeks’ time. Let me also assure Mr Whitecross, through you, Mr Speaker, that the community will be consulted before any changes are made. We will not ask only the people who use the buses; we will also ask the people who do not use the buses why they do not use the buses. Perhaps we might get more people on the buses than are currently using them.

Academy of Sport - Budget Provision

MS McRAE: My question is for Mr Stefaniak in his capacity as Minister for Sport. Mr Stefaniak, in the budget papers in relation to funding for the ACT Academy of Sport, you have said that the extra funding to be provided to the ACT Academy of Sport will be financed, in part, from the one per cent levy to be put on gaming machines. Will you confirm that the rest of the money will come from extra charges that are to be placed on individuals or teams using our public ovals?

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