Page 753 - Week 02 - Thursday, 23 February 2012

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delighted, as education minister over a six-year period, to be able to deliver on that important commitment for the ACT public education system. I know that other education jurisdictions are quite envious of the outcomes in the ACT from the ACT government’s investment, and I know that students and teachers across the territory will benefit greatly from our investment that started back in 2006.

ACTION bus service—Nightrider service

MS BRESNAN: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and is in relation to the Nightrider service. Minister, as you have said publicly, the late night Nightrider bus service that ran over the 2011-12 holiday period was very successful. It is evident that revised pricing and improved advertising made a significant contribution to its success. Minister, given the positive progress made on Nightrider, what consideration have you given to expanding the service to run for a longer period such as every weekend or for the entire summer?

MS GALLAGHER: The consideration at the moment focuses on finding the funding to run the service again at Christmas time. It does not have recurrent funding within the ACTION budget at this point in time and so additional resourcing for ACTION is obviously subject to budget consideration.

I do not think there is any question, though, that it was much more successful this year than it has been in previous times. I do think the $5 trip made a difference, plus people understanding that the service was there and available. We would have to look seriously at the cost-benefit analysis of running it outside of that peak four weekends leading up to Christmas and the New Year in terms of demand for such a service. But my priority at the moment is to look for the resourcing to run it again at Christmas time.

MS BRESNAN: Supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.

MS BRESNAN: Minister, do you agree that the Nightrider service plays an important role in reducing late night violence and improving safety, which is of particular concern in Civic?

MS GALLAGHER: Some of the reports around Christmas time and running the Nightrider service were that it provided a benefit in terms of moving groups of people out of the town centre fairly quickly. I am not sure that you would necessarily be able to prove the direct link between Nightrider and lessening of violence in Civic, as we have had some other changes that have impacted positively on that as well.

I do not think that you need to convince me that it is a worthwhile service to run over Christmas time. In terms of my priorities, it is looking at how we can run that and keep getting support for that at Christmas time. Obviously ACTION has a range of other priorities and budget pressures at the moment, so it is really a matter of prioritising those.

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