Page 2992 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 15 August 2018

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Florey, will also have to take multiple buses to get to school under the proposed new network, whilst Gungahlin residents could catch a single bus to the college. It appears to me that this government does not even know where school students live, or maybe those opposite just do not care.

A Canberra parent said that an email from the principal of a public school told parents that cuts to dedicated school buses will have a “significant impact on our school and the students”. The principal of this school also apologised to parents for the late timing of the email since requests for up-to-date information had gone unfulfilled. Those school leaders had been previously advised that the impact would be minimal. I quote from the email from the school principal:

This is obviously not the case.

It seems to me that the government mentioned that there was a previous consultation phase 1, and it looks like they misled the public schools on whatever results may have come from it.

The principal of Radford College in Bruce pointed out that students as young as nine will be forced to catch two buses to and from school each day, changing at busy public interchanges, under these proposed changes. A more likely outcome, unfortunately, will be that more parents will start driving their kids to school. This is the opposite of what we want. The other side claim they want fewer cars on the roads. I think most Canberrans would agree. But they want a public bus network that does not hang the vulnerable out to dry, one that is safe and convenient to use.

The Canberrans who have spoken to me share the concerns raised by Miss C Burch in this motion and they want more and better consultation, including more information such as timetables and complete transparency and to keep their school buses and the express buses rather than robbing the school students, the seniors and other public transport users of their buses. I therefore commend this motion to the Assembly.

MISS C BURCH (Kurrajong) (4.39): I would like to thank all my colleagues today for their contributions in their capacity as shadow ministers and as representatives of their local constituencies. I cannot say that I am at all surprised at the minister’s response, although I do note that she did not mention timetabling at all, which is central to my motion.

I am, however, surprised at Ms Le Couteur’s response today and that Ms Le Couteur and the Greens are so willing to ignore the public aspects of public transport; that is, ensuring accessibility for those who are most vulnerable in our community in favour of a financially viable public transport network. Financial viability is not something that we often hear the Greens talking about, and I hope that this is a sign that we will be seeing more financially viable policy from them in the future. Yet ideological consistency does not seem to be Ms Le Couteur’s strong suit.

This is not scaremongering; we are simply standing up for the hundreds and hundreds of parents and dozens of schoolteachers and principals who have shared with us that they hold significant concerns about the safety of their children on public buses. It is

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