Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 3818 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
It is a tremendous tribute to the work of ACTION in promoting the new one fare anywhere scheme. It is also a reaffirmation of the importance of making bus travel cheaper and more attractive for people to use, especially people in the outer suburbs. The overall increase of 4 per cent-an additional 271,000 boardings-is an excellent result and one this government will continue to build on.
MS GALLAGHER: I have a supplementary question. Minister, what other benefits will this increase in patronage have for the people of the ACT?
MR CORBELL: In the longer term it is all about reducing the overall reliance of Canberra residents on their motor vehicle, and that transfers to reduced costs on infrastructure for private motor vehicles. We have to get patronage still higher on ACTION buses because not only is that a better result environmentally; it also has economic savings in terms of the reduction in the need for private car infrastructure.
A third point is that it also makes ACTION bus travel, and ACTION as an organisation, more efficient. They are delivering more people around the town; they are getting a greater mass of people onto their buses. A more efficient service is a significant saving for the Canberra community as well, and we are getting better outcomes as a result.
The Liberal Party are quick to point out whatever weakness they feel they can find, but the bottom line is that this government has got more people onto ACTION in the past 12 months than they achieved when they introduced the free school bus scheme. By requiring people to pay, but pay a modest amount, we are getting better results than they ever did by trying to bribe people onto the bus.
MR PRATT: My question is to the minister for education, Mr Corbell. In response to my question yesterday on the Connors Inquiry, Mr Corbell, you replied:
Ms Connors' recommendations are not familiar to me. It is, of course, an independent inquiry.
Later, in response to my supplementary question, you stated:
It is called an independent inquiry, and that means, Mr Speaker, that the inquiry chair makes up her own mind as to the issues of relevance to her in the context of submissions received by her, and then she presents the recommendations to me.
Minister, have you or will you, or your department, be receiving a draft copy of her report before you receive the final copy from her?
MR CORBELL: I do not anticipate receiving a draft report.
Mrs Dunne: What about the department?
MR CORBELL: I am not aware of whether or not the department is receiving a draft report, but I am happy to clarify that.