Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1800 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
important part in this city, and in most cities. Here in Canberra we want to reduce the overreliance that our residents have on the private motor vehicle, simply because there is not a public transport system and, more importantly, there is not a public transport fare structure that meets their needs and encourages them to get onto buses.
The best example I can give is Palmerston. It is not equitable for people who have chosen to use the bus service in Palmerston to have to deal with a 100 per cent increase in their fare simply because that brings them into line with everyone else in Gungahlin. I campaigned during the election and before the election on the issue of having a fair fare structure across Gungahlin, but I did not want to see the residents of Amaroo, Nicholls and Ngunnawal impose their fare structure on Palmerston residents so that everyone paid the highest common denominator. I wanted to see the lowest common denominator. I wanted to see residents in Ngunnawal, Nicholls and Amaroo pay a $2 fare just as the residents of Palmerston do. That did not occur. The Government went the other way.
I think the Government has serious problems with this zonal fare structure. Ms Tucker is to be commended for bringing forward this motion today. I hope that the Government will seriously reconsider the implications that the zonal fare structure will have on public transport and its use in this city.
MR HARGREAVES (4.51): I address my remarks to the amendments. Essentially, I support what Mr Osborne is trying to do. He is trying to bring some justice for the schoolkids.
Mr Osborne: I have heard that before.
MR HARGREAVES: Yes, you have, but you have not heard the next bit. I have no difficulty in speaking to Mr Osborne's departing back, because it happens quite regularly. He clearly does not wish to hear any justification for why his amendments are fine but do not go far enough. In fact, they should go so far as to be withdrawn. These amendments single out just one part of the community. They suggest that schoolkids are the only people who are suffering under this draconian new zonal system. They ignore the fact that commuters are forced to travel interzone and have no choice but to pay these draconian new charges. They ignore the fact that any zonal system, by definition, will create an area where there is unfairness.
By way of providing wording which is more succinct than my own, I wish to read into Hansard part of an article in the Canberra Times which encapsulates the unfairness of this system and which in my view provides justification for why this amendment should not get up. In fact, it provides further justification for supporting Ms Tucker's original motion. It says:
The new zonal system ... is based on the ... notion that people who travel further should pay more ...
But on examination, this notion of "fairness" doesn't add up. If it can be argued that someone travelling a short distance (say from their home in Richardson to work in Tuggeranong ...) subsidises their neighbour who travels to work in Civic or Belconnen, it could surely be argued