Page 480 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 19 February 2020

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The minister has announced that there will be a network update to start in April. This update does make a substantial number of changes. It brings back some of the lost weekend services, we understand, but keeps most of network 19. It does look promising. It certainly will address some of the issues that I am aware of, and I am absolutely confident that it will be a step forward.

I am also absolutely confident that the public servants who do the network planning and timetabling are genuinely trying to improve services and increase patronage. I totally believe that, with the resources that they have available to them, they are doing the best job they feel they possibly can with what they have got. It does involve some difficult decisions if you have got X number of buses and Y number of drivers. There is a limit to what they can do with that. Within that, I have absolute confidence that the government and the transport planners are doing the best they can with the resources they have.

I think that we in the Assembly should also give them the benefit of the doubt, particularly in terms of this update. I am sure it will fix some of the problems. Of course it will not fix every problem. Nothing ever does. But it will fix some of the problems. I am sure it will be a step forward.

In conclusion, as I said earlier, network 19 has been a case of people who win out, people who miss out and a botched rollout, particularly for the weekends. Overall, patronage is substantially higher than under the previous network. The way forward is to fix the problems while keeping the gains and I do not think that Miss Burch’s call for an apology will lead to positive action in terms of fixing the issues.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.04 to 2 pm.

Questions without notice


MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, why has revenue from land sales fallen, as indicated in the budget review?

MS BERRY: Because there have not been as many land sales.

MR COE: Minister, has demand for standalone homes decreased or is there still the same demand and it is simply a function of prices being too high?

MS BERRY: It is a whole bunch of complex issues that have come together and caused land sales to go down. It is not only the ACT government that is experiencing a downturn in land sales but also other developers in town, and not just for standalone homes but also for units.

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