Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 March 2015) . . Page.. 803 ..
MR DOSZPOT: Would you mind stopping the clock.
Mr Gentleman: Could Mr Doszpot address his comments through the chair, not directly to the member.
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, thank you. Mr Doszpot, will you address your comments through the chair.
MR DOSZPOT: Certainly, Madam Deputy Speaker. It must be hard to take personal statements like that, but that is the fact. Mr Rattenbury wrote to the previous minister in charge of ACTION when he was a member of the crossbench. There he saw fit to make statements on behalf of the community. Since he has become the minister in charge of ACTION buses, his passion for the situation seems to have changed quite dramatically.
Like all the issues raised in today’s motion, the lack of bus services is not new. And it is not for lack of trying on the part of residents. They have gone as far as outlining to successive ministers how current bus routes could be extended, the amount of patronage required for a bus and when the services could run—all to no avail. What has been offered to residents is an expensive option operating out of Queanbeyan, the Qcity services. But as residents have pointed out, these services are not viable, for a number of reasons. The nearest bus stop for Oaks Estate residents is near the intersection of Crawford and Uriarra. This is 1.1 kilometres away. The express 833 route to Civic can only be caught from Queanbeyan central, which is 1.6 kilometres from Oaks Estate. Qcity buses cannot carry bicycles like ACTION buses can. The bicycle issue is very important, given that Oaks Estate residents must cover either 1.1 kilometres or 1.6 kilometres to catch a Qcity bus. And if residents wish to catch an ACTION bus from Fyshwick, they must cycle five kilometres first.
Is the current minister aware of this? Indeed he is. As I mentioned before, as a local Molonglo MLA, Mr Rattenbury wrote to then Chief Minister Katy Gallagher in May 2012, three years ago, complaining about such lack of services. In that letter he advised that he had previously written to the former TAMS minister, talking of people who are “vulnerable and socially isolated”. He mentioned the commuters and children attending ACT schools. Mr Corbell, another Molonglo MLA, effectively did nothing other than suggesting that the cost of extending the Fyshwick service to Oaks Estate during off-peak periods would be “prohibitive”. We can have light rail, but having Fyshwick bus services looking after Oaks Estate is prohibitive.
In his letter to the then Chief Minister, Mr Rattenbury sought advice as to whether an extension of services during peak hour could be considered, arguing that it would not affect the existing 15-minute service and would not result in significant dead running costs as the travel time from Fyshwick DFO to Oaks Estate is only three to six minutes. The Chief Minister replied, suggesting that a forthcoming transport review of bus routes by TAMS would look at a possible extension from Fyshwick. As we now know, nothing has happened.