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Monday, 11 November 1985
Page: 1943


Senator REID(10.30) —There are some questions which need to be answered and which are of interest to the residents of Oxley in the Australian Capital Territory. The questions are: Where are the buses? What has happened to the street lighting? Oxley is a fairly new suburb in Canberra, but not all that new because it has had some people living there for close on two years.

As far as the buses are concerned, some months ago it was believed in the area as a result of inquiries that the buses would appear in early or late October. That gives a little bit of leeway, but in fact the buses did not appear in October of this year. The best information that the people living there have been able to obtain now is that the buses should be running for the commencement of the 1986 school year. A lot of people are deprived of the benefits of public transport. A bus service would be particularly relevant to young people who do not have other means of transport, except if they are able to get their parents to do the pick up and delivery of school children service, to many elderly people who may live there and to others who do not have motor vehicles readily available. Oxley is different to other suburbs in that the bus service has not gone in at the time one would normally anticipate such a service would be introduced.

As far as the street lighting is concerned, as has been put to me, people who inquire are pushed from pillar to post from the National Capital Development Commission to the Australian Capital Territory Electricity Authority. It is widely felt that Oxley is perhaps being neglected by having to wait for Gilmore and Isabella Plains to catch up and then it will all be done at once. If that is the case, it is not fair to the citizens living in Oxley. They, of course, have been required to pay rates on their land from the time that they purchased it, but they are not getting the same municipal services in their suburb as other people do or at the time that they expected them when they purchased their land.

I think that the Minister for Territories (Mr Scholes) ought to be able to tell us what is happening, whether or not the bus service will be commencing soon and when the street lighting will be installed. As one constitutent said in a letter to me, referring to both the buses and the street lighting:

You don't expect them straightaway but I do think that fair is fair.

I hope that the Minister will, at the earliest possible opportunity, let the Senate know what the position is so that the residents of Oxley will know what the future holds for them.