Page 4098 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

My issues at the time were that it is simply adding additional buses on the same route, such as 51 and 52. It will get caught in traffic; it would be absurd to use it; and what about other areas? Let us see what the government has done with each of these. With respect to routes 51 and 52, since then they have actually integrated the 51 and 52 into the 200 series because they realised that people do not want to transfer. The Red Rapids turned into, in effect, an integrated bus network for all buses in Gungahlin. So actually the government did agree with my concerns. They took them on board and they actually integrated all the Gungahlin buses with that 200 series.

I said that they get caught in traffic. Is that not the very argument Mr Corbell just gave as to why we need to have designated transport corridors across Canberra so they do not get caught in traffic? Again, you would think that would be an agreement. I asked, “What about other areas?” Soon after I asked that in 2009, the government said, “We are going to do a Blue Rapid now as well to service other areas.” In actual fact, at the time they said, “We are going to do a Green Rapid and numerous others.”

But the government has addressed each of my concerns and in doing so I believe the inter-town bus service is actually pretty good in Canberra. It could be better. It could be significantly better. But it is actually, I think, the part of the bus network that has the highest level of satisfaction.

It is important to get transport planning right in the ACT, but unfortunately the Auditor-General’s report says that the government is not getting transport planning right in the ACT. Yet this is the government that wants Canberrans to empower them with even more responsibility and even more money with regard to public transport.

The way that Minister Corbell and Mr Rattenbury spoke, you would think that they had been presiding over this magnificent network. You would think that they have just got so many runs on the board, they have kicked so many goals and therefore they can stand in this place and brag about their performance.

Since Mr Rattenbury became minister responsible for ACTION buses, patronage has gone from 18.2 million to 18.1 million to 17.8 million to 17.6 million: four years, a decrease in each year. That is what you get when you get a Greens transport minister. He can try to paint a different picture, but that is the reality. Over that same period we have seen marked increases in the cost of parking across Canberra. Yet patronage has gone from 18.2 to 18.1 to 17.8 to 17.6.

We also hear Minister Corbell talk about how we need to get people onto public transport and that if we got an 80-20 split that would be better for everyone, that it would ease congestion. What does that mean when you have actually had the percentage of Canberrans using ACTION to get to work decreasing? We are now at 6.9 per cent. When Mr Rattenbury took over, it was 7.8 per cent. But it has gone backwards. Taking Mr Corbell’s point that an increase in mode share for public transport decreases congestion, using that same logic a decrease in mode share for public transport increases congestion.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video