Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 August 2018) . . Page.. 2990 ..
If those opposite bothered turning up they would also realise that not only did the Transport Canberra officers spend hours at these meetings—hours!—talking through the network and answering people’s questions; they then stayed back after the meetings were concluded so that people who had very individualised concerns could talk about them directly and make their views known.
There were also consultations in my electorate at the Belconnen Library, at Westfield Belconnen and at the interchange. I also attended the one at Belconnen Library. It was incredibly well attended. People were grateful for the opportunity to have their say. I think the fact that we provided forums for people to go along to in the mornings, in the evenings and on weekends catered for a wide range of people, rather than just holding a meeting on a week night, when you are trying to put your kids to bed. In terms of consultation, I think that is pretty good.
We do need to support older Canberrans better through this network. I think that has come through to me loud and clear. I am interested in how we will be addressing the loss of the Xpressos. That has come through to me loud and clear as well. I know that many Belconnen residents care. Many Belconnen residents went out of their way to make sure they had their say on this issue. I think more information probably could have been released about the Xpressos and their patronage, but I am very pleased to see Minister Fitzharris’s amendment that addresses this.
In closing, I am not sure that those opposite have come up with any way that this could have been done better, that we could have got more people involved in the consultation. I think this is going to be incredibly data rich, a fantastic evidence base for the minister and the team at Transport Canberra. It is going to take a long time to sort through it.
As someone who has helped run and lead consultations, I can tell you that if even 50 people have their say, that is a lot. Knowing that we have somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000 is going to take a significant amount of time. What I would be hoping is that Transport Canberra do not necessarily rush through it but that they take their time to get it right and use all the evidence available to them. I am absolutely confident, based on Minister Fitzharris’s statements today and her amendment, that this will occur and that we will get more people on buses and better services for all Canberrans.
MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (4.30): Day in and day out the minister talks about consultation on this change to the bus timetable. But can I say that this intensive consultation would not happen if the government had used some common sense and not robbed students of their school buses, not robbed seniors of their buses and not robbed low income earners of their buses. There would not be any intensive consultation with the community because the community is very, very upset about this lack of common sense coming from the government.
On the point made by many of the government speakers about Canberra being the safest city in the world, can I say that that does not rule out the aggressiveness and the inappropriate behaviour that happens, sometimes, at bus interchanges and that raises