Page 539 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005
For some time a large number of the parents who send their children to Radford from this area have been requesting a direct bus service from somewhere such as Cooleman Court to Radford. If this bus were to link with the service from Tuggeranong, that also would solve much of the problem being faced by parents. It is suggested this would have the added advantage of taking pressure off services at both the Civic and Woden interchanges.
Radford College itself has made a number of direct approaches to ACTION without any result. The matter was raised on 666 ABC radio talkback with the Chief Minister prior to the election last year and there was an undertaking that the matter would be examined, but in fact nothing has materialised. Recent events have resulted in southside and Radford parents grouping together to try to get a better outcome on this issue to ensure their children are not forced off buses and do not have to travel in overcrowded or unsafe buses.
Parents are seeking an explanation from ACTION as to why their children are not getting access to ACTION services, travelling on overcrowded buses and, given the distances involved, having to spend up to two hours on buses when the journey for a large number of Radford students from the Weston Creek area could have been made in less than 30 minutes if there was a more direct service.
From my inquiries, I understand that up to 30 students have had to be denied transport through the school bus service. I understand the school has instructed the senior students to make way for those who are younger and who are less confident in travelling on the normal public services, but I do not think the situation is satisfactory and I would hope that the government might look at that or ask ACTION to review the situation as a matter or urgency so that people are not put in the situation of relying on the general commuter services and arriving quite late at school, as is happening at the moment.
The issue resonated with me because I am also aware of a comparable issue in relation to the schools of Sts Peter and Paul and Garran primary where a service has also been terminated in the morning. It was serving students from Garran, Isaacs, Farrer, Mawson and O’Malley. Once again, a school service has gone and I believe that parents are being advised that they best take commuter transport down to the Woden interchange. I do not think that situation is entirely satisfactory and it would be helpful if that could be examined.
Woden interchange, I might add as a footnote, is an area of concern. I know it has been for a long time. I heard discussion long before I was elected. It needs attention as an area. I went through there a few Saturdays ago with my 12-year-old. She was a few paces away from me and was bothered and hassled for money by people who are in that area. It is right on the doorstep of Woden police station.
I do not think members of either side ought to accept that that situation should prevail. I am not sure who is responsible—whether it is Woden Plaza management, who were most enthusiastic in the election, throwing candidates from all political parties who are in the region out of their centres and away from their centres. I think they could make a contribution to attending to that area. If it is outside of their title, then I think the authorities need to ensure that people can move through Woden interchange, particularly