Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 March 2015) . . Page.. 1041 ..
work on that day. As a result of this, ACTION has sought drivers to volunteer to work that day. Over the course of a number of weeks of seeking volunteers, about 200 drivers have come forward. I thank those drivers for coming forward for that day.
That left us with a decision on what timetable to run that day. Normally, we require over 400 drivers to run a full Monday timetable. As a result of only having around 200 drivers, I could not guarantee a full timetable, obviously, and I took the view that it was better to provide certainty and to ensure that people knew exactly what was happening.
That is why the announcement has been made today. Letters are being sent to all of the schools affected today. There is communication going to the heads of various peak bodies—for example, the Catholic Education Office and the independent schools association. We have taken a view that it is better to make the call that we cannot guarantee services and that therefore parents should make their own arrangements than to have a situation where we attempt to provide a network that we cannot fulfil and children are left on the side of the road.
I think it is better to have certainty, to make the call now and allow parents to make the alternative arrangements—
Opposition members interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Order, members!
MR RATTENBURY: and have certainty about what the situation will be than to find ourselves in a situation where a child might be left at a bus stop not knowing what the situation is going to be. It is not an ideal situation. I will be the first to admit that, but I think it is better that we communicate clearly, that we are up-front with parents and that there is certainty about what is going to happen on Monday, 27 April.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.
MR DOSZPOT: Minister, would it be possible to run ACTION school services to non-government schools on Monday, 27 April?
MR RATTENBURY: In addition to the information I provided in my previous answer, which goes in part to that question, the other thing is that a proportion of students, around 40 per cent, catch non-school services—if you like, regular ACTION services. So it is not possible to simply pick out the school services and run all of those because quite a few students travel on regular route services.
A range of options were contemplated, including the one that Mr Doszpot has just outlined. Because of the way students catch the bus network it is not possible to provide, I guess, a specialised just school delivery network. I am also mindful of the fact that we have a large number of people who are working regularly on that day as well.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.