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Thursday, 6 October 1927

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) . - Under the heading " Federal Capital Territory" I should like to direct the attention of the Minister representing the Minister for Home and Territories to the 'bus service at present being conducted by the Federal Capital Commission. I am informed that some timeago tenders were called by the commission to enable the service to be carried out by private enterprise, and that the tenders were not considered satisfactory, with the result that the commission is still responsible for the service. Personally I believe in State or communityowned public activities, and I should be sorry to see private enterprise controlling the 'bus service in the Federal Capital Territory. My complaint now is that the service is not frequent enough. Possibly the commission considers that an improved service is not justified by the returns; but from observations which I made a few days ago, I should say that unless better provision i3 made for the convenience of 'the people living in Canberra, there will be risk of extreme danger to life some day. In all cities throughout Australia public conveyances are licensed to carry a certain number of passengers ; if those who run them permit overcrowding, they are liable to prosecution. At certain times of the day the buses plying for hire in Canberra are packed with people like sardines in a box. If anything happened to one of those vehicles when it was so overcrowded, many lives would be endangered. I should like to know whether it is the intention of the commission to provide a better service, or whether that body wishes to hand over the 'buses to private enterprise. Meantime, the convenience of the residents should be considered. At present many of them have to wait long periods for 'buses to convey them to their respec tive homes. The majority of public servants are employed at considerable distances from their homes. If for any reason they are obliged to walk, they are seriously inconvenienced, especially during such wet weather as was experienced last week. Men and women have to be at their place of employment at a certain hour each day, and at times it may not be convenient for them to walk. If the 'bus is full when it comes along it is impossible for those people to reach their destination within the time desired. I hope that the Government will see that conveyances are provided for those who wish to use them and that they will not be so overcrowded as to constitute a danger to those who travel by them.

Senator Sir WILLIAM GLASGOW - (Queensland - Minister for Defence) [5.51]. - The 'bus services in the Federal Capital Territory, with the exception of that to Queanbeyan, are run by the Federal Capital Commission. I am not acquainted with the intentions in regard to the future,- but I shall bring before the Minister the complaint that has been made by the honorable senator.

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