Page 466 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 4 March 2008

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Yet with just three buses worth of people each day, we have 300 signatures of people wanting to save their bus service. My understanding is that the majority, if not all of the signatures, were actually collected on the bus. I think you have a tremendous effort from the community to send a message, a very clear message, to this government, this minister and indeed their local member, Mr Hargreaves, that they would like to save this bus service.

The 300 people use this service on a reasonably regular basis, yet their service will be cancelled if Mr Hargreaves’s plans are allowed to go ahead. Mr Hargreaves is here as a member for Brindabella and I think he should listen to these 300 signatories from his electorate. These 300 people are so unhappy with these changes that they have got organised, they have signed a petition, they talk about it on the way in in the mornings, in the hope that it will do something to stop the change. Building a better bus service is John Hargreaves’s latest effort to reshuffle the deckchairs on the Titanic that he has created out of ACTION buses and their timetable.

I have travelled on both these buses, and I have travelled on both of them recently to see whether the claims that the majority of passengers got off at Russell were true. It is just not true. The majority of passengers continue along to the city and to City West. It is a shame that Mr Hargreaves intends to do away with two of what appear to be the most efficient and effective services, the 768 and the 769.

The 768 also starts in Theodore, but it comes into the city via Duggan Drive, then on the western side of Calwell, through Isabella Plains and Chisholm and then into the city.

These two services provide efficient and inexpensive transport for many residents of my electorate to get to and from work each day and are particularly efficient in terms of time. Many of them are now facing, in some cases, up to a doubling of the time it will take them to get from their homes to their place of employment. I think that would be a shame when all of the talk these days is about getting people out of their cars and giving them incentives. We have all the combinations of what the government wants.

These buses are basically full each time. Each time I have seen them they have been full. I understand they are full most trips that they make. They go through some park and ride where people from as far away as Bredbo, for instance, park at the Chisholm shops and catch the bus in. For instance, the lady whom I heard speak on 2CN said she used to have to drive to Woden; now she does not; she stops at Chisholm; she gets a bus in. That is good for everyone.

I think the petition is an indication that, from just a small catchment, there are severe and grave concerns about what is being proposed. I think the Xpresso service that Mr Gentleman boasted he was able to take into work could well be either the 768 or the 769.

Mr Gentleman: The 769.

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