Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 August 2018) . . Page.. 2950 ..
and that is going to be turned into a rapid so we are really happy. But I know that for others it does not work. I went to the Tuggeranong Community Council meeting where there were lots of examples of people it was not going to work for.
I have been to three community council consultations about the bus network, and in all of them people were asking for information about the Xpressos but none of them got that. That is why I asked a question on notice on about them. I think there has been a failure in the consultation; there needed to be more information about the Xpressos.
I have received a number of emails from people who have taken the time to step through what they believe the extra time will be for them if their Xpresso goes. There are people who think they will be spending an extra hour a day on the bus; if they still use the bus, which generally they say they will not. I am confident the government will do some more work on this because if I am getting a lot of feedback about this, they must be getting even more.
Clearly, if the government has 8,500 responses then there are issues and concerns with the network, but I think it is really great that there have been all these responses. Hopefully we will get the best network we possibly can with our resources. It is inevitably a balancing act, and I think we all need to stress the importance of a good public transport system. For that reason I very much thank Miss Burch for bringing this motion forward, but we must work with the government to make the best system we can, which is why I will be supporting the amendment Minister Fitzharris will move.
MS LEE (Kurrajong) (12.26): I thank Miss Burch for bringing this motion today about the proposed changes to the ACTION bus network. I speak to the motion in my capacity as shadow minister for education as it is school students, their parents and school leaders who will be amongst the hardest hit by the planned cuts. The changes to bus routes will impact every school in the ACT, some severely. Non-government schools are not bound by rigid priority enrolment areas that apply to government schools and draw students from across the territory, and it is these schools that will be most affected.
Parents choose to send their children to non-government schools for myriad reasons, whether it is religious affiliation, a particular program, or a school their siblings or perhaps they themselves attended. We are fortunate in Canberra that we have a diverse range of excellent non-government and government schools from which parents can choose to best suit their children’s needs.
We know the total number of dedicated school buses in the network will be reduced by more than half, from 109 to just 47. Fifty-nine schools will have their dedicated school buses cut next year. This means that students, some as young as six, at the following schools will all be expected to take a public bus to and from school: Amaroo; Arawang primary; Bonython primary; Burgmann Anglican, Forde; Burgmann Anglican, Valley; Calwell high; Calwell primary; Canberra Grammar, north side early childhood; Caroline Chisholm; Chapman primary; Charles Conder primary; Covenant Christian; Curtin primary; Dickson College; Duffy primary; Evatt