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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 21 August 2008) . . Page.. 3451 ..

Australia. It is a response that I often give in relation to conversations I have with developers—and I have a lot—seeking to invest or do business.

From time to time, as part of discussions or negotiations, reference is made to aspects of our planning system. I always respond, “Well, that is what it is. It is independent. It is an independent statutory system that has the full support of the ACT government for very good reason.” I draw attention always to the fact that our system is not seriously or significantly different to planning systems or regimes that operate in other places. That has always been the position I have put to the proponents. There is a statutory process and it will run, and what will be will be.

ACTION bus service—patronage

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services in his capacity as minister responsible for transport. Minister, can you tell the Assembly what impact the introduction of ACTION’s new network 08 has had on patronage levels?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question and for his longstanding interest in transport matters in the ACT.

Mr Pratt: That is what you say everywhere.

MR HARGREAVES: I also acknowledge Mr Pratt’s lack of knowledge of and interest in matters of transport in the ACT over the time he has been here.

I am delighted to inform the Assembly that the introduction of ACTION’s new network has had a marked and positive impact on patronage levels. The new network has seen ACTION reach a most significant milestone. For the first time, ACTION has recorded 25,000 adult boardings in a day. Not just once but on 14 separate days since the introduction of the new network on 2 June last more than 25,000 adult Canberrans have chosen to take the bus.

On 5 June, just three days into the operation of the new network, 25,026 adults used ACTION services. By the 17th, the figure had risen to 25,246 and on 24 June patronage hit a record of 25,674 adult boardings. The figure has twice gone beyond 25,500. That is a clear indication that the commuting public of Canberra has regained its confidence in ACTION.

The landmark 25,000 patronage figure was the highlight of the first weeks of operation of the new network, but that is not the whole story. ACTION increased the number of its services by approximately 10 per cent in network 08 compared to network 06. For the first 11 weeks of network 08, ACTION buses operated 16 per cent more trips and had 7.5 per cent more boardings than in the same 11-week period in the previous year.

Members will be interested to learn—those on this side of the chamber will be interested; those opposite are not: in fact, the shadow minister for transport is busy talking to somebody else—that 7.5 per cent of the increase in total boardings was made up of—get this, Mr Speaker—a 9.3 per cent increase in adult boardings; a 6.7

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