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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1803 ..


MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hird): Order! It being 5.00 pm, I propose the question:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Mr Humphries: I require the question to be put forthwith without debate.

Question resolved in the negative.


Debate resumed.

MR RUGENDYKE: It is very difficult to support such a substantial rise, particularly when it is being brought on by a government which not so long ago promised free bus services for schoolchildren. The main focus on the ACT's bus service should be on service. I appreciate the Government's concerns about expenditure and recovering costs, but at the end of the day our community is entitled to that service. Most families would expect fares to go up from time to time, but for 3,800 students to be hit for an extra $300 is unexpected and unnecessary.

I am prepared to give the new system a fair go, but I would prefer to see a flat fee for schoolchildren. Presently the faresaver ticket for students equates to about 45c per journey. In the proposed new system for ACTION, the faresaver ticket for students at the one-zone fare will be 60c per journey. That is what is on the table. That is what the community is expecting to pay. I believe it is a commonsense approach to institute the 60c faresaver fee for all students. It is fair, it is workable, it is less complicated and it is an amendment that would cause less grief than overhauling the entire proposed revamp to ACTION. I believe that this is a reasonable compromise that would not be as costly to government revenue as Ms Tucker's proposal would be, but at the same time it would ensure that students are not penalised an extra $300. However, should the amendments be opposed, I will have no option but to support Ms Tucker's motion.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (5.03): I suppose I am having a little bit of trouble understanding this. I certainly understand some of the comments about school buses, but those on the zonal system escape me. Last time we had a debate about these sorts of issues here, those opposite were saying exactly the opposite. They were saying, "You rotten government, implement the Graham report". Those opposite were asking, "When are you going to implement the Graham report?". The Graham report was supported by this Assembly. What did the Graham report advocate? It advocated a zonal system. When those opposite were saying, "We want you to implement the Graham report", did they say, "But not the zonal system."? Or did you?

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