Page 3210 - Week 10 - Thursday, 17 September 2015

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Mr Coe interjecting—


MR RATTENBURY: One of the consequences of this is that the ACT government—ACTION—has a ruling from Fair Work Australia to bring in this 10-minute rule. We are now working with the Transport Workers Union to negotiate with drivers to agree on a process for ensuring that that requirement is fulfilled in a way that is agreeable and practical between both drivers and ACTION. This is obviously not ideal but, as I have said, there has been a mistake in the timetabling process.

I will be quite up-front: everybody in ACTION is disappointed about this because they have been working very hard to improve the bus service in this town. As I have said, the on-time running has been pushed up from 68 to 79 per cent in the last two years. They have made significant progress in improving the headway of buses—that is, the spacing of the timetable so that services do not come bunched together but come spread out more evenly. Again, the customers tell us that that is what they want. They have worked very hard to improve the connections and minimise the connection time at interchanges.

I know that the staff in ACTION where this mistake has been made are deeply disappointed. I am, too. It is embarrassing and we wish it had never happened. But it has happened. We have been up-front about it and the staff are now getting on with making sure we get this fixed in a way so this does not happen again.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, when were you first given a copy of this now-bungled timetable?

MR RATTENBURY: The preparation of this timetable has been underway for some time. I made a public announcement about 10 days ago that the new timetable was coming into effect and the timetable went online that day. It was publicly available at that point in time. I have known this timetable was coming, if this is what Mr Wall is trying to get at, for some time. It has been in preparation for some time. I do not think there is a definitive date on which I was handed a final timetable as such, but it went online for all of the public to see about a week and a half ago.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, what recourse do drivers have under their enterprise bargaining agreement given that the existing timetable does not allow for sufficient breaks?

MR RATTENBURY: That is a matter ACTION is discussing at the moment with the Transport Workers Union on behalf of the drivers. We are seeking to work collaboratively because, at the end of the day, everybody involved in ACTION—the drivers, the network planners and I as the minister—wants to make sure the bus

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