Page 4863 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 1 November 2017

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

MS LEE (Kurrajong) (5.34), in reply: I thought it was going to be an exciting topic that many people would speak on, but clearly not, Madam Speaker. I rise to close the debate. I wish to thank Minister Ramsay and Ms Le Couteur for their contributions and for their support of the motion. It was really good to hear the minister state specifically that he was looking at the opening hours because it is an important issue and is of concern to many Canberrans. I note that this was also an issue that Ms Le Couteur raised.

I also acknowledge, minister, that there has been an increase in the availability of online services, which, as I indicated in my opening remarks, is a sensible and inevitable development. I refer to services such as drivers licence renewal—and I am sure it is not only because you are now able to keep your photo for 11 years.

What did come as a surprise to me was that the lowest waiting times were actually between 12 and 2.30. I think most people would assume that it was actually the opposite—that at lunchtime there may be a spike. Perhaps that is the reason for the lower waiting times, because people have thought, “There’ll be too many people over there,” and the peak is actually at opening time and during mid to late afternoon. That is helpful, and I will be able to let my constituents know about that when they complain about wait times.

I thank Ms Le Couteur. I agree when she says that it is up to all of us to ensure that Access Canberra is as useful as possible for all Canberrans. The issue that Ms Le Couteur raised about payment by direct debit for car rego is probably an issue that is of concern to many other Canberrans, if it has been an issue for one of Ms Le Couteur’s constituents. The idea about public libraries perhaps providing assistance with accessing computer and online-related services for people who may not be in a position to do it by themselves is worth exploring.

I also wish to thank the staff at Access Canberra because they are on the front line, and Canberrans who may have waited in line will sometimes take it out on the people who are serving them. For them to deal with that on a daily basis is no mean feat. Serving 450,000 customers at the actual centres, 2.7 million visits to the website, 720,000 phone calls and 1.7 million digital transactions by any measure is a huge load, and we must all commend the staff at Access Canberra.

With respect to having an overall satisfaction rating of 95 per cent, I am pretty sure that all of us in this chamber can only dream of receiving that from our electorate. I am sure that a lot of the frustrations that Canberrans have will die away once they are there, because I have no doubt that the staff there are nothing but pleasant and helpful.

As I said earlier, I am glad that I have tripartisan support for this motion. I do not know whether that is an indicator that I am a better negotiator than I thought or whether I am not doing a good enough job in opposition, but I will take it. I thank all of my colleagues for their support of my motion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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