Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 April 2008) . . Page.. 1206 ..
MR SPEAKER: I will exercise my discretion and stop the clock. Mr Gentleman, would you repeat the question.
MR GENTLEMAN: Mr Speaker, it is in relation to ACT Seniors Week. Can the minister advise the Assembly what initiatives ACTION is taking in support of ACT Seniors Week?
Mrs Dunne: In answer to Dr Foskey’s supplementary question, the minister, Mr Hargreaves, has already outlined the initiatives for Seniors Week and ACTION.
MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, I think I am being verballed again. A question which has been fully answered cannot be resubmitted, but this is a different question.
Mrs Dunne: I seriously seek advice on this, and the clock has stopped, so no-one is being affected. Can I seek your guidance, Mr Speaker: a question can be asked again, even though the information has already been provided in another form?
MR SPEAKER: A question, fully answered, cannot be re-asked—that is, the same question. This is a different question.
Mrs Dunne: So the information can be the same and—
MR SPEAKER: It is up to the minister as to how he answers it, Mrs Dunne. I call the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. Start the clock.
MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, and I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. I am pleased to advise—and I would ask you, before you jump up, to wait till you hear the rest of the answer—that ACTION is providing free off-peak bus travel for holders of the ACT seniors card during this week, Monday, 7 April, to Friday, 11 April. There is some detail here—this is where it comes. Weekday off-peak is any time between 9 o’clock in the morning and 4.30 in the afternoon and again after 6 pm.
Providing free travel for ACT seniors during this week demonstrates the government’s commitment to encourage older Canberrans to lead active lives and join in specific activities throughout the week. Information on events during ACT Seniors Week is available on the ACT Council of the Ageing website at www.cota-act.org.au. To be eligible for the free bus initiative, Canberrans are reminded to show their ACT seniors card to the ACTION bus driver.
All of ACTION’s 74 new buses provide easy access for our older commuters. These buses are equipped with a ramp, a wide front entrance and space to accommodate two wheelchairs or walkers. The government has provided funding of $8 million for ACTION to procure 16 new easy-access buses. These buses will be progressively introduced into ACTION’s fleet by the end of the year. ACTION will continue to meet its commitment of replacing its older fleet with easy-access, DDA-compliant buses. By 2012, 55 per cent of ACTION’s fleet will be compliant. As more easy-access buses come on line, I am confident that more ACT seniors will use ACTION bus services.