Page 5094 - Week 13 - Thursday, 29 November 2018

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MS FITZHARRIS: I note that we were not able to have the opportunity to discuss this matter yesterday but, as Miss Burch would be aware, I did circulate a proposed amendment to her motion which indicated that I would be in a position to make an announcement about that by next Monday and I certainly intend to do that because I am very aware of the need for schools, families and the broader community to have certainty about this matter. What I can say in principle is that the routes have been agreed and it is of the utmost importance to Transport Canberra and to me as the minister to make sure that schools and families are aware that our commitment has been and remains that kids will be able to get to school on time.

I noted another round of fairly alarming scaremongering social media discussion from Miss Burch yet again yesterday seeking to scaremonger and undermine the biggest investment we have seen in our bus network for a very long time. What we know is that this opposition is anti public transport just like they are anti public health.

Members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: No encouragement, Ms Fitzharris, please.

MISS C BURCH: Minister, can you guarantee that with your update on Monday schools will know for certain the date that the new network will commence?

MS FITZHARRIS: Yes, I absolutely can.

MS LEE: Minister, by what method are you going to be communicating this to the principals?

MS FITZHARRIS: As has been discussed in this place, there is an existing consultative committee that involves Transport Canberra and school representatives across all sectors. Also there are ongoing mechanisms for Transport Canberra to communicate with the various P and C groups, and that will take place before and when I make the public announcement. They will be well informed. We are also working incredibly closely with the Education Directorate.

ACTION bus service—network

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Transport. Minister, in recent annual reports hearings you mentioned the possibility of a staged rollout of network 19 if light rail is not ready to start operations by the beginning of school term 1 next year. What are the government’s contingency plans? Are there sufficient buses and bus drivers available to provide all bus services promised in the new network while also covering the Gungahlin to the city route in the place of light rail?

MS FITZHARRIS: There are a number of questions there but, in short, I refer Ms Lawder to my previous answer, that I will be making announcements about these matters. I will not make those announcements now, because that would—

MADAM SPEAKER: Breach standing orders.

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