Page 527 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 5 March 2008

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of hysteria: “You’re going to lose this; you’re going to lose that.” But these are proposals—nothing short of that. Once people’s feedback has been received, we can have a look and perhaps change it. Whenever you put a proposal down and request feedback, sometimes as a result of that feedback you have to make some changes. Otherwise, why would you do the consultation?

These folks opposite are pre-empting that particular result. They have to, because of their sheer relevance deprivation, whip up a storm and keep people in a state of fear so that people need them come the election time. The problem is that the people do not need them come the election time.

MR GENTLEMAN: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. As part of this work, can the minister say what action he is proposing specifically in relation to route 769?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. Mr Gentleman has done something that those opposite have not done: he has actually been on a bus on route 769; he has actually travelled on it.

Mr Smyth: Point of order, Mr Speaker: I rode on the 769 two weeks ago. So what the minister has just said is not true.

MR SPEAKER: Order! That is not a point of order. That is an abuse of the standing orders, Mr Smyth, and I will not tolerate any more of this.

Mr Corbell: On the point of order, Mr Speaker: members of the opposition are repeatedly making points of order designed simply to assert a counter debating point. That is an abuse of the standing orders. Not only Mr Smyth but also Mrs Dunne are frequent offenders in this regard. I ask you to give further consideration as to what steps you can take to stop the abuse of the standing orders in this way.

MR HARGREAVES: In answer to Mr Gentleman’s question, I have been informed by ACTION that, based on customer feedback, including a petition of 300 signatures, the proposed removal of route 769 from Theodore, Calwell shops, Chisholm shops, Russell Offices, city interchange and City West has been identified as a high priority for review. The matter of route 33, through the Campbell area, has also been raised.

Let me assure you that community consultation has been a genuine process. ACTION has considered all feedback received and is working through all areas of the plan. I have also met with constituents from the Campbell area concerned with route 33 and Weston Creek concerned with the express service 729 regarding the proposed bus changes. These discussions have been extremely productive in more fully understanding the travel needs of individuals. Of course, at this stage I am unable to advise what change will occur until the government considers the revised network plan.

Finalising and scheduling a new network is a complex process, which ACTION will not rush. I am confident that Canberrans will be pleased with the final network. Network 08 will demonstrate the government’s commitment to providing a sustainable public transport system for all Canberrans.

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