Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2474 ..
MR CONNOLLY (continuing):
Carnell-Moore budget - the Carnell-Moore budget that is cutting library services, the Carnell-Moore budget that is cutting education and health services. When the lobby groups say to Mr Moore, "Why did you end up supporting the Government?", his response is, "I had to, because Gary threatened to resign".
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure - Division 90 - Public Transport, $41,373,400
MR WHITECROSS (11.28): Once again, the same themes seem to occur when we deal with - - -
Mr De Domenico: The world is going to end again, Andrew.
MR WHITECROSS: No, Mr De Domenico, but once again - - -
Ms McRae: Just the transport services.
MR WHITECROSS: Yes, that is right. Whenever we deal with something that Mr De Domenico has his hands on, we find that we have something that has not been thought out in advance and is full of arbitrary figures we hope we are going to achieve. In this case we have the magic $12m. We had a categorical undertaking from Mrs Carnell, when she first came into this place after the election, that there would be no reduction in services. We now have a proposal which over the next three years will cut $12m out of the public transport appropriation and in this year will cut $6m out of it, and we have no explanation of how we are going to get from A to B without reducing any of the services. The fact is that it is not possible. Like everything this Government does, the Government did not announce any of these things. You find out about them through the rumour mill. You find out about them in dribs and drabs. They do not have the guts to get up and announce a cut in ACTION services. They just let it bleed out, from here or there or wherever. They do not have the guts to announce that they are cutting library services. They just hand the library people a budget and let them sort it out. One day you will turn up to the library and something will not be there.
So it is with public transport services. Already we are seeing information coming out that they propose to save money on off-peak routes by extending the routes, by running fewer routes and having them run longer, the result being that commuters using off-peak services will get a worse service than they are getting now. So much for Mrs Carnell's commitment not to reduce services. Go and ask someone who is sitting on an off-peak bus for 40 minutes instead of 20 minutes whether their service has been reduced, and see what they say. They are going to say that their service has been reduced. Mrs Carnell might have lots of weasel words about it, but the punters know that that is a reduction in services.
What is even more interesting about this is that this cut is being made in the face of evidence that what they are doing is not what the customers want. Whenever Mr De Domenico gets let off the leash on ACTION bus services, he waffles on about how we have to provide the service the customers want. ACTION have gone out and done a customer survey, and that is something ACTION management are to be