Page 4023 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 17 November 2015

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MADAM SPEAKER: I am not sure how that relates to the ministerial responsibilities of the Minister for Health. Many of these questions have been a bit tenuous in that regard. I will allow it on this occasion, but members really need to be more mindful of whether the questions relate to the minister’s responsibilities.

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Madam Speaker. What is really clear from the consultations the government undertook a couple of months ago is that there is a strong desire amongst Woden retailers, property owners and the community to see Woden established as a health hub, as a place of health excellence in terms of service delivery and policy development, and that is across both the public and private sectors.

We are responding to that very clear signal that we received from the community and the business sector. We see the real potential for Woden to emerge as a health hub, as a health centre. Obviously we have the Canberra Hospital in the Woden Valley. We have already got the federal Department of Health there. That has a range of functions in the Woden town centre already. The relocation of the ACT Health Directorate in Woden will further strengthen that.

We also have a broad range of private sector health operations also basing themselves in the Woden Valley. For example, there is the excellent ACT orthopaedics function, which is a private facility operating in the Woden Valley. There are other diagnostics and specialist health services located in the Woden town centre, and allied health services as well. Bringing those all together and strengthening Woden’s reputation as a centre for health services and health delivery is one of the significant benefits that the Woden community will see from this relocation of the ACT Health Directorate to the Woden town centre.


MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. Minister, will the ACT government meet its target of getting 10.5 per cent of Canberrans to use ACTION to get to work by 2016? If not, how far short will we be?

MR RATTENBURY: I thank Mr Coe for the question. ACTION is continuing to make a range of improvements to increase the patronage of ACTION services. Over the past couple of years there have been a significant number of improvements designed to increase patronage. In terms of the timetable, we have seen additional services added to the ACTION network. In terms of on-time running, we have seen an increase from 67 per cent to 79 per cent and above in recent times, as well as improvements to physical infrastructure, new buses and the addition of things such as the live tracking of our buses, the NXTBUS service, so that customers can have certainty about where they are going.

Despite that, and going to the core of Mr Coe’s question, which is the 10.5 per cent target, it does seem unlikely that that will be achieved in 2016. Nonetheless the government will continue to improve the service and seek to encourage Canberrans to take the bus, on the basis that too often the stories that appear in the press and the way ACTION is talked about are quite negative, yet those who use the service find it to be

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