Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2479 ..
MR OSBORNE (continuing):
Minister, if that is an example of how you are going to rationalise the routes in Tuggeranong, and for the rest of Canberra, I would imagine, you certainly will not be getting my support on it. How do you justify having to travel all the way into the town centre if you want to travel from one suburb to another? In the main, the people who use public transport are not people like us, who have a car; they are the lower income people, the people who cannot afford a car, or the people who have only one car. They are the ones who use the buses. They are the ones we should be worrying about.
You are a government and there are some services that you do provide as a public service, and I believe transport is one of them. I think you should look at it with a little more compassion and think about the people who use the public transport system. As I said, it is not you or me. It is Ms Tucker.
Ms Tucker: It should be.
MR OSBORNE: I live in Tuggeranong, Kerrie. I have three children - or two and nine-tenths. You will be pleased to know that I have tied Sally's legs up, Mr Speaker, so that she does not have it before the end of the night.
Mr Humphries: Is this a bondage fetish?
Mr De Domenico: I got into trouble for less than that. All I said was "Mintie".
MR OSBORNE: I beg your pardon? Would you like that on record? Did he say something about Minties, Mr Connolly?
Mr De Domenico: No; I said it was McGinty, a New Zealand racehorse.
MR OSBORNE: Some people never learn. As I said, I have a great problem with the proposed changes to the ACTION routes. How do people travel between suburbs during the day? I do not know. I would think that is a major stumbling block to any support I give to the Government over it. Mr De Domenico and his department should show a little more compassion to the people who use this service.
MR WHITECROSS (11.50): There are a couple of other things about ACTION I want to touch on briefly. One is to emphasise again the point I was making earlier about the misrepresentations on ACTION. The Government's own figures published in Budget Paper No. 3 about the cost of the ACT's public transport system, standardised by the Grants Commission, indicate that the ACT's public transport system is below the average cost of urban public transport systems in Australia. Once again, far from being the hugely expensive thing Mr De Domenico and Mrs Carnell have been telling us it is, it is below the standardised cost according to the Grants Commission. There are lots of complications in these things, but it is the function of the Grants Commission to even out all these complications, and we still come out as being below the standardised expenditure.
I would also like to remind members, in looking at this budget, that one of the Government's early decisions to assist the commitment of the community to the public transport system was to increase the fares by 30 per cent.