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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 August 2016) . . Page.. 2588 ..

There are all sorts of proposals being put forward by people in that agency but they are told, “No, there are not the resources; no, there is not the funding; no, there are not enough staff.” Yet pretty much every single request regarding capital metro gets the tick of approval. That has to be pretty demoralising, because that is exactly what is happening.

We have a situation whereby we have appointments to operational roles that are very questionable in terms of whether the appointees have actually had operational transport experience. We have situations whereby they have re-jigged this agency and put units and sub-units in illogical positions, which again goes to show just how much people are valued or, in fact, devalued. We have, of course, a situation whereby we are getting orders given from the minister’s office but, more bizarrely, we are getting transport orders being given from the Chief Minister’s office and also from the Chief Minister’s directorate.

The fact that the Chief Minister’s directorate undertook the recent survey I think shows just how problematic all this really is. Then you have the Chief Minister’s directorate in effect telling the transport experts in Transport Canberra and City Services how they should be conducting their operational matters. We think that is most unfortunate. We think we should be valuing the staff in that agency rather than telling them that they are second rate.

Of course, I also feel for the people working on ACTION, the people that have diligently been working there and trying to make improvements. They are seeing all the new money, all the new resources, be squandered by way of capital metro. Then, of course, we have a situation whereby the government pours money into the city loop service. Yet we all know that there are other options for those resources—far better options as well.

Of course, we had a situation that was not dissimilar to today’s. We put out a policy on Canberra’s transport future. The government come out and say that it is terrible; it is shocking; it cannot be done. Then inch by inch they start to implement it. We do note that this is a minister and a government that are very sensitive when it comes to the issue of light rail, when it comes to the issue of rates, when it comes to the issue of their history. They are desperately trying to rewrite this history and trying to re-sculpt exactly how they go about packaging what they have already committed to.

But one thing that is absolutely for sure is that a Liberal government will value the people in Transport Canberra and City Services. We will actually have evidence-based approaches to making decisions rather than ad hoc decision-making that comes from the minister’s office or from the Chief Minister’s office. We will not have an obsession with a tram which dictates everything that happens in that agency.

We will value the people in ACTION, the people in municipal services, the people in all the other areas of TAMS that have been told, in effect, that they are second rate to a tram. We think it is very important that we get the priorities right at the macro level in terms of the whole-of-government priorities but also on an agency by agency approach. That is why we will restore confidence to Transport Canberra and City Services.

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