Page 3249 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 21 August 2018

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Tuesday, 21 August 2018

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms J Burch) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Out-of-order petition

ACTION bus service—route 7

MISS C BURCH (Kurrajong) (10.00): I seek leave to table an out-of-order petition relating to proposed changes to current ACTION bus route 7 along Elouera, Fawkner, Torrens and Ipima streets, Braddon, and to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MISS C BURCH: I present the following paper:

Petition which does not conform with the standing orders—Proposed changes to bus route 7—Miss C Burch (74 signatures).

I present this petition on behalf of 74 residents of Braddon, regarding proposed changes to route 7 under the government’s new bus network. The changes would have a significant impact on the local community of Girrahween Lodge, and the St Columba’s Uniting Church in Braddon.

We have heard from hundreds of people and organisations across Canberra about the government’s proposed bus changes. The government’s claim of “more trips more often” rings false in many residents’ ears, because they will go from having a daily half-hourly service to a very limited part-time service. People’s independence and dignity will be lost, and organisations will find it even harder to provide services without easy access to public transport.

Disability service providers who serve clients with limited mobility have told us that losing nearby bus stops will directly hurt their clients. Community service providers who help homeless people have told us that they rely on the public bus network to get their clients to safe shelters. Retirement village residents have told us they will be left stranded if their nearby bus stop is taken away. Many of them have moved into these residences based on the availability of public transport.

It is the residents of Girrahween Lodge, a retirement village in my electorate of Kurrajong, whom I speak for today. Having a bus stop outside their home gives these residents independence. It allows them to maintain their dignity. It lets them do their shopping, travel to medical appointments, visit friends, and maintain connections with the local community on their own schedule.

At the moment the route 7 bus runs along Fawkner Street, with a stop no more than 100 metres away. Girrahween Lodge residents do not have to be dependent on services that have to be booked days in advance, or that only go to a limited number

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