Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 26 October 2017) . . Page.. 4481 ..
That particular project will not help the people of Oaks Estate. Did someone mention Oaks Estate? Have a go at catching an ACTION bus to Oaks Estate. Oaks Estate advocate Hugh Griffin has been making some extremely valid points when it comes to public transport. He again highlighted the government’s complete disregard for Oaks Estate in his submission to the recent housing and homelessness summit. He points out that Oaks Estate is the poorest community in the ACT, with 54 per cent of public housing, compared to an ACT average of 7 per cent. Car ownership is low, with the proportion of households without any car over four times higher than the ACT average. Despite this there is no ACTION bus.
I look forward to hearing what other members on both sides of this chamber have to say about this subject that is so important to so many of my constituents.
MS LEE (Kurrajong) (3.49): I thank my colleague Mr Parton for bringing on this MPI for debate today on the importance of having good public transport for all areas of Canberra. That I rise today to speak on this topic will probably come as no surprise to this government, and in particular to the minister, as it is an issue I have been very concerned about as a result of the new timetable.
Mr Parton has already pointed out the lack of services in his electorate of Brindabella and also the absence of any services, including public transport, for an area in my own electorate of Kurrajong. I refer of course to Oaks Estate, which gets forgotten regularly, not least because it has been presumed to be in New South Wales by one or more government members.
Many constituents have raised various concerns with me about public transport but, given my 10-minute time limit, I will talk about the cancellation of the No 5 bus, which is having a huge impact on the residents of Narrabundah. The first that many residents knew of the impending cancellation of this service was when my team letterboxed households in the affected areas.
I received a huge response—in fact the biggest response I have had on any issue since I have been an elected member—and even a request from Labor member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann’s office to explain what was going on, because she had also received numerous complaints about the cancellation of this service. I want to read out some of the comments I received. One resident wrote:
Firstly thank you for your notification by mail advising of the cancellation of bus no 5.
I am writing with deep concern to the proposed discontinuation of the Narrabundah bus No 5 as at 9th October. I live opposite the bus stop on Kootara Crescent and know how many people utilise that bus, including a down syndrome boy who lives in a community group house in Nimbin Street and he has caught that bus into Civic daily for the past 25 years to work at Koomari. There are also a lot of elderly people in my street that depend on that bus and are used to the current route. I am appalled at this decision. The Government encourages people to use buses instead of their own cars (for those who have one) and then makes ridiculous decisions which make it more difficult for people