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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3020 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

have seen a 9 per cent increase in the level of adult patronage. That speaks volumes about the success of one fare anywhere-more Canberrans choosing to use public transport.

In total, there have been 16.34 million passenger boardings in 2002-2003, compared with only 15,789,000 for the previous year, a very significant increase in passenger boardings. That is an increase of over half a million boardings in the past year. By any measure, that has to be seen as a significant step forward. Adult passenger boardings increased by 9.17 per cent, which is approximately 400,000 more boardings, 400,000 more occasions on which an adult is getting on the bus in Canberra as a result of Labor's one fare anywhere.

I am just wondering whether the Liberals are going to rethink this now and think that maybe it was a good idea after all, because we have seen an increase in patronage. Not only have there been an extra 400,000 adult boardings over the past year, Mr Speaker, but we have seen increases in concessions and in student travel: an extra 108,000 boardings of concession passengers and even student travel has gone up with an extra 33,000 boardings. We are not even giving them free tickets, Mr Speaker, but we are still seeing an increase in the number of student boardings.

Overall, it is a very strong result for ACTION in relation to boardings. However, the success is not just in those areas citywide. It has also occurred in individual areas. Gungahlin has seen a 24 per cent increase in boardings, Belconnen has seen a 2.85 per cent increase, or another 34,000 passenger boardings, and I am sure that Ms MacDonald will be interested to know that there has been an increase of over 2 per cent in boardings in Tuggeranong, an extra 31,000 passenger boardings. That is the success of one fare anywhere-increased boardings right across the city.

However, it is not just because of one fare anywhere. It is also about improving services and the government has improved services: an extra 200 bus services into Gungahlin as well as extra services in the Tuggeranong Valley, particularly in the areas of Conder, Banks and Gordon, and between Gungahlin and the Russell Park area in the centre of the city. That is the result of one fare anywhere.

But wait, Mr Speaker, there is more. We are also seeing projected fare revenue increases, along with patronage. We are getting more fare revenue and better cost recovery as a result of this increase in boardings. ACTION's total revenue has increased by 8.8 per cent from $14.435 million to $15.712 million, or an extra $1.2 million. Boardings are up, the number of services is increasing and revenue is up, Mr Speaker. That is the success of one fare anywhere. It is a pity that the Liberals did not have the foresight the government had when it came to introducing this very important measure to improve public transport in the ACT.

MS MacDONALD: Minister, considering this excellent news-more buses and more passengers-do you find it surprising that members of this place continue to talk down our public transport system?

MR CORBELL: Yes, I do, because despite Labor's investment, despite the extra and increased patronage, extra funding-

Mrs Dunne: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

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