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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2959 ..

Bus services

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, on 27 August, Ms Tucker asked me a question about the provision by ACTION of bus services to the National Zoo and Aquarium next to Scrivener Dam. I am advised that ACTION has examined the feasibility of operating a route service along Lady Denman Drive past the National Zoo and Aquarium. There is, however, no route that could logically be diverted along Lady Denman Drive without impacting significantly on the travel time of patrons on existing services.

As acknowledged by Ms Tucker, the National Zoo and Aquarium is somewhat remote. That makes it difficult to accommodate it on a regular route service. I am sure that members will understand that travel time and frequency are important considerations in people's use of public transport. ACTION services have given and must continue to give priority to meeting the demand for regular route services from and between residential areas of Canberra and the town centres and major employment centres. However, where possible, ACTION has used regular route services to service major tourist destinations, such as the National Museum and Parliament House.

ACTION management have discussed with National Zoo and Aquarium staff the option of trialling tourist charter-oriented bus services on a cost share basis. This option has not been taken up by the National Zoo and Aquarium. Members may be interested to know that a number of years ago ACTION provided a service to Telstra Tower and the Botanic Gardens. This service was also withdrawn due to poor patronage and the need to devote these resources to regular route services elsewhere in Canberra.

Land use

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, during question time last Thursday, Ms Dundas asked me whether I planned to incorporate block 4 section 4 Bruce, which is part of the Bruce Ridge and Gossan Hill bushland and is currently managed as part of the Canberra Nature Park, within Canberra's formal open space network. For the information of members, I thought it would be useful to outline in Hansard what I have subsequently discussed with Ms Dundas.

The land use policy for block 4 section 4 Bruce is a community facility land use policy. The land is presently subject to consideration for development as older persons accommodation. No decision has yet been made on the application. An application from Calvary Hospital, which is part of the Little Company of Mary, has been lodged for the direct sale of blocks 1 and 4 section 4 Bruce and this is being considered.

Members may recall that the Committee on Planning and Urban Services of the last Assembly looked into the use of this land. It recommended that consideration be given to its use for older persons accommodation, with appropriate preservation of the environmental significance of the northern end of block 4. The Little Company of Mary appeared before the committee in April last year in relation to this inquiry.

A range of studies is now under way to determine the suitability of the land for the proposed use. This includes consideration of the trees that are on the site. The local community will continue to be consulted about the proposed use of the land. The South Bruce Residents Association has provided comments on the planning studies brief.

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