Page 102 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 15 February 2006

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They played the fear card before elections and it did not work then. Vote like your life depends on it! Yesterday Mr Pratt was playing the fear card about emergency service workers. He often does it about the police. Today he is giving our wonderful ACTION bus drivers a lesson on how to be afraid. He is telling them, “You have every reason to be fearful, every reason to be alarmed.” Mr Pratt not only wants to scare our wonderful bus drivers; he also wants to scare passengers off the buses as well. “Do not travel at night,” he says, “It is dangerous.” The flexibus service was introduced to allow people to get a bus home in the evening with confidence and with convenience.

As Mr Corbell said, Canberra is a great place to live, work and visit. It was designed initially as a car-centred city. Mr Corbell has spoken about how this government has been the only government that has tackled the problem of a population that has relied on the car to commute—to work, to education, to access entertainment and recreation and to shop. They have relied on the car because until now there have not been viable alternatives. This government has delivered viable, economic, practical alternatives in the form of public transport. It has got people out there using their bikes again and catching buses to work—with 23,000 adult patrons last Wednesday and Thursday.

We all know that habits are very hard to change. That is why Mr Pratt cannot change his habit of trying to make us all afraid. Habits are hard to change, so it is not easy. But by offering viable and flexible alternatives and by providing information to the public about how easy it is to use our ACTION bus service and how easy it is to ride a bicycle in conjunction with the ACTION bus service we are getting people back on the buses.

Instead of bagging this government’s plan and its effective implementation, Dr Foskey and Mr Pratt, do what many Canberrans do every day—actually, it is thousands of Canberrans, including people in this place. Why don’t you just get out there and get on the bus?

Motion agreed to.


DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.18): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) affirms its belief in a society which is built on respect for human rights, and which places a high value on its cultural diversity;

(2) notes that:

(a) there are now two different community councils representing Canberra’s ethnic community groups; and

(b) the ACT Government’s own Ministerial Advisory Council on Multicultural Affairs has been disbanded;

(3) recognises the ACT Government’s avowed commitment to:

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