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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1802 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

I think Ms Tucker articulated particularly well why we ought to toss the zonal system out. Mr Corbell, I believe, has debunked the responses from the Minister. I would urge Mr Osborne to think again about this motion. The kids certainly need relief. The 800 students from my electorate of Brindabella going to St Clare's and St Edmund's certainly need assistance, but I would argue that so too do workers earning very low family incomes of $30,000, living in Banks and having to work in Civic, Fyshwick or Belconnen. Where are they going to get the money if fares are doubled?

A constituent who was in my office just before question time today has to go into another zone to get to work. They have a family income of less than $40,000 a year. She had not worked out the new fare, but when I showed her from the pamphlet that her fare would go from $17 to $34 she was absolutely aghast. It was not in the context of me saying, "Have a look at that"; it was in the context of me saying, "Yes, I have the information. There it is". She was aghast because they cannot afford it. She has three kids in the family.

Some people would certainly be better off. People in my electorate, the electorate of the Minister and Mr Osborne, come off very nicely, thank you very much, under this new zonal system. Our people can travel from Banks to Weston Creek in one hit. That does not make it fair. I ask the Assembly to vote no to the amendments and to support Ms Tucker's original motion very strongly.

MR RUGENDYKE (4.58): I rise to support the motion and also the amendments to it in the interests of trying to - - -

Ms Tucker: You cannot do both.

MR RUGENDYKE: I support the motion in the interests of - - -

Ms Tucker: You support the motion but not the amendments?

MR RUGENDYKE: Both. I am trying to reach a compromise on this issue. It concerns me that in the vicinity of 3,800 students stand to utilise the multizone fare on a daily basis. It concerns me greatly that each one of these students falling into the multizone category is staring at an additional $300 a year to get to and from school. This is clearly not fair to these families.

I understand that the Minister for Urban Services believes that Ms Tucker's motion has the potential to cost ACTION about $4.3m in revenue. That aside, if there is any group in our community which relies on the bus service the most heavily, it is our schoolchildren. If they make the choice of attending a school which requires utilising the bus service, they should not be penalised. When choosing a place of education, the method of travel is naturally a consideration, but who could honestly anticipate a hike of an extra $300 per student per year?

Debate interrupted.

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