Chief Minister Talkback Summary - 2 September 2016

Calls received on air

Directorate: CSD Housing

Issue: The caller was interested in what the ACT Government Housing policy is for a housing tenant who has turned the lawn and verge of their house into a car wrecking yard. The caller said there were at least 8 vehicles and they had tried to have it investigated over the years but it keeps getting worse.

Response:  The Chief Minister said that is not approved activity for a residential block and we will get details off air of the particular block and investigate the matter.

OUTCOME: A drive by inspection of the property on Wednesday 7 September 2016 indicated there were 5 vehicles in various state of disrepair.  The tenant has been requested to remove the vehicles by Monday 12 September 2016.  If the vehicles are not removed, Housing ACT will take the appropriate legal action in relation to this matter.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The caller was concerned about the pedestrian crossing on Badham Street between Dickson Place and Woolley Street in Dickson. The middle of the crossing dips down lower than the road since the road was resealed and the traffic island in the middle fills up with water when it rains.

Response:  The Chief Minister said the directorate would look into it.  

OUTCOME: Roads ACT is aware of the issue and plans to place some material in the site so the water no longer collects in this area, the wet winter has hampered this work as the site is frequently under water and needs to be dry to have the work undertaken. Roads ACT contacted the caller to advise of the work planned for this location.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The caller was frustrated about not being able to get a printed bus timetable for the new schedule. At her recent visit to Access Canberra’s Belconnen shopfront, she was told that they are now paperless and do not have any printed versions. They were also not available at the Belconnen Library. She was informed she may be able to get one at the bus interchange. She is concerned that the paperless move away from bus timetables discriminates against those people who do not use the internet.

Response:  The Chief Minister said the Government will certainly take on board the caller’s feedback, but noted that the demand for printed material has dropped dramatically and most people were now accessing real time bus information on their phones or electronic devices. The Chief Minister understood there was still a need for printed material and would arrange to get a copy of the new timetable to the caller.  

OUTCOME: An officer from TCCS contacted the caller on 09/09/16. The customer called originally on behalf of other people who could not access the internet and she did get a copy of the timetable from COTA, so did not require a copy mailed. The caller was concerned about others in the community that still require hard copies and was disappointed they were no longer at the shop fronts. TCCS advised that hardcopy timetables are available from bus stations, MyWay Recharge Agents and ACT Public Libraries.

Directorate: EPD – Parks and Conservation

Issue: The caller complained of the large number of dead kangaroos along the Monaro Highway, especially between the Calwell roundabout and the NSW border. Can we do something to clean it up?

Response:  The Chief Minister said the Government could look at that and see what measures they could take to remove the dead kangaroos and see what preventive measures might be possible too.

OUTCOME: Parks and Conservation Service (PCS) contacted the caller. It advised it had patrolled this section of road in the last fortnight and removed all the carcasses from the road and the immediate road verges.  The caller asked if the carcasses could be completely removed as the animals attracted to the carcasses also pose a threat to traffic. The caller was informed the Monaro highway would be patrolled regularly by PCS and dead kangaroos removed from the verges.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The caller was concerned about the growth of blackberries around Canberra, particularly near the airport.

Response:  The Chief Minister said the ACT faces a number of challenges in dealing with weed growth, especially during the wetter weather we have had during this winter and into spring. The Government is working hard to get pest plants under control as they do have a negative impact on the environment. Control of blackberries is important as it is a pest plant of national significance, and there are plenty of techniques employed to control it which will continue in the coming months.

OUTCOME: An officer from TCCS contacted the caller and explained that the ACT Government concentrates blackberry control in high priority areas, such as river corridors and adjacent to nature parks. In the last year, Place Management staff have undertaken extensive blackberry control in the river corridor near the airport, though it is an ongoing task. Prevention measures are the most effective, and management of existing plants is a continuous process.

Directorate: Access Canberra

Issue: The caller is frustrated by the paid parking at John James Hospital professional centre complex. The parking is now charging 24hrs, 7 days a week and they require your registration number. Can the ACT Government have any say or is it a private arrangement with the parking company and the hospital?

Response:  The Chief Minister said the ACT Government continues to work on parking provision across Canberra and acknowledges there are particular strains on parking at peak times. The Government will work with local stakeholders to improve parking access and, where best it can, the Government is responding to peak demands. The Chief Minister confirmed it is a private arrangement between the hospital and the company, but a number of people have raised concerns about the nature of the parking process. The Chief Minister wrote to the company following the last Chief Minister’s Talkback and they have responded and are interested in hearing from users of the carpark. They are aware of the issues and looking to respond. The Chief Minister offered to arrange a meeting for the caller with the parking company so they could receive some first-hand feedback.

OUTCOME: Access Canberra Parking Operations contacted the caller and discussed parking at Calvary John James Hospital being 24 hours 7 days a week. The caller was advised that this was not a decision made by Access Canberra, it was a decision made by Little Company of Mary. The caller was advised Access Canberra does not supply information to Wilson Parking regarding vehicle owner’s details. The caller expressed concern with the Terms and Conditions on the entry signage to Wilson Parking areas. The caller was advised that Access Canberra could put the caller in contact with its Fair Trading team if they had concerns with the Terms and Conditions. The caller advised they would contact Little Company of Mary and voice their opinion on the parking situation within the Calvary John James Parking area.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The caller lives in Kambah across from the adventure playground, and she and her family are avid visitors to the playground. The caller is concerned with the lack of shade protection and seating options, especially for grandparents and mothers’ groups who need somewhere to sit where they can observe the children playing on the equipment but still be protected from summer sun.

Response:  The Chief Minister said the Government can certainly look at that as it is one of the most popular playgrounds in the city. There is a playground upgrade program that looks at all of those issues, including a program to install shade sails.

OUTCOME: A TCCS officer phoned the caller and advised that the Kambah adventure playground would be considered in a future upgrade.

Directorate: CMTEDD – Policy and Cabinet

Issue: The caller has found it difficult recently to pick people up from the airport. The departure ramp is closed, pickups are available for taxis only, and people were parked everywhere and anywhere, including in the middle of the roundabout, trying to load luggage into cars in the roadway and the caller found it dangerous and confusing. There was also no clear signage to any pickup area.

Response:  The Chief Minster explained that parking at the airport is run by the airport, but his understanding is there is a express pickup point on the Virgin side of the terminal that is undercover, on the ground floor, where you do go in to the car park but you are not charged if you go in and out in under 10 minutes. There is a sheltered waiting area. They have waiting lounges for Uber, there is an indoor area for taxis and a waiting area for the airport link bus. A drop off area is available on the upper level. Any other pick up concerns would need to be raised with the airport directly.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The caller is concerned that Duff Place in Deakin is currently set up for 2-way traffic, but it is not wide enough for two cars. The road is used for IGA deliveries, people checking mailboxes and accessing the shops on one side of the street, while people are accessing the soccer club and gym on the other side. The caller feels the street needs to be converted into one-way only, or some parking removed to accommodate two cars to comfortably drive through.

Response:  The Chief Minister said the Government could look into that.

OUTCOME: An officer from Roads ACT contacted the caller and advised the plan for one way traffic had been discussed with the Deakin Residents’ Association in recent years.  The caller expressed concerns about the lack of parking in the area.  The caller was advised consultations with the Deakin Residents’ Association are underway about the additional parking spaces at the Deakin Soccer Club, improvements to the pedestrian facilities and public bus patronage and this could be a lengthy consultation process.  

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The caller is frustrated with the quality of the re-sealing done recently on Copeland Drive. He has written to both the Chief Minister and Minister Fitzharris on the issue. Why does the ACT Government not check the work of the contractor?

Response:  The Chief Minister said the caller was correct, there are defects in the surface and these will be rectified at the contractor’s cost.

Directorate: TCCS and Access Canberra

Issue: The caller raised a concern with parking on Georgina Cres in front of the Kaleen shops. There have been a number of cars that park on the wrong side of the road and face oncoming traffic, close to the Sport Centre site. This is dangerous for passengers getting out of the cars and the caller had nearly been knocked off his bike by a car swooping out from the wrong side of the road.

Response:  The Chief Minister thanked the caller for raising his concerns and said that Roads ACT could have a look at appropriate signage and parking inspectors could look at education and enforcement to make the area safer.

OUTCOME: Access Canberra Parking Operations contacted caller who advised that cars are parking in the wrong direction of travel on the road in front of the Kaleen shopping centre. The caller was advised that Access Canberra Parking Operations will make contact with Roads ACT and see if the road is gazetted and signage is correct. Once confirmation is received by Access Canberra, parking inspectors will start an education program for drivers in the area.

Calls not answered on air but followed up

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Pot Holes

OUTCOME: An officer from Roads ACT spoke to the caller who wanted to know how to report potholes if you do not have access to internet.  The caller was informed to contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Road works

OUTCOME: An officer from Roads ACT spoke to the caller who was concerned about the resealing on Copland Drive and the defects that have begun to show up.  The caller was advised that these will be rectified by the contractor at their cost in September.

Directorate: CSD Housing/Access Canberra

Issue: The caller bought a house in 2007 from government in Florey. When he bought the house he was advised by an evaluator (or building inspector) the house was in good condition. However, since buying the house the paint and plaster has been peeling off the walls and ceilings. They have been advised by a builder that the plaster was incorrectly applied when it was built. Mohammed has advised he would like reimbursement, or for the walls and ceilings to be fixed.

OUTCOME: Access Canberra contacted the caller and explained to him that the issues he has described are maintenance matters and therefore the responsibility of the home owner. Even though the Government was the previous owner of the property it has no further involvement once it has been privately sold.

Directorate: Education

Issue: The caller raised the issue of access to Harrison School sporting facilities. The grounds are locked but the caller would like to access the facilities on the weekend for community programs. Gungahlin facilities are open to the public on weekends but are too busy and the caller can’t get any space.

OUTCOME: An officer from the Education Directorate contacted the caller to confirm the school leaves one gate unlocked to provide community access to the courts. The school reports the gate may have been locked previously when maintenance was undertaken. A map was provided to the constituent showing the gate that is left open. The school will ensure the gate continues to remain unlocked so the courts may be accessed by the community and will ensure all staff members are updated on the access status of the facilities.


Directorate: TCCS

Issue: In June I raised on Chief Minister Talkback the problem of red algae on one of the ponds on corner of Eardley street and Haydon Drive Bruce. It seems nothing has been done and algae now completely covers the pond and bird life h [text cut off]

OUTCOME: An officer from TCCS contacted the caller and advised that the plant she was referring to was not an algae but was actually a type of fern called Azolla which is an Australian native and is a beneficial plant due to its nutrient removal processes. The birds were not adversely affected and TCCS would consider removal of the plant only if it began to die and present a problem for the pond.

Directorate: CMTEDD – Policy and Cabinet

Issue: What plans does the ACT Government have for a for a direct trade and tourist route to Tumut region? Does the government view this region as important to Canberra's future growth and prosperity?

Response:  The Chief Minister said the ACT Government has certainly stepped up our engagement with the surrounding NSW councils as part of the Canberra Region Joint Organisation. The ACT is a member, together with a number of NSW areas that surround the ACT. In the case of Tumut, the areas to the west and south of the ACT, we continue to have strong engagement at a Government level and we are working with the NSW Government on a number of initiatives including improving transport connections. We will need to look at specific road connections in the context of our annual roads budget, but the ACT Government looks forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the region.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: The latest, 11th hour, desperate attempt by Labor to win back voters by offering a light rail extension into Woden without mentioning either a firm timetable or costing is simply breathtaking! Sorry Chief Minister, but how silly do you think we are?
Response: The Chief Minister said the Government did indicate many months ago that it would make an announcement on Stage 2 before the election. There has been extensive community engagement and the Government remains committed to delivering a light rail infrastructure to deliver public transport solutions for the long-term future of transport in the territory.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: It has been announced today so the government can avoid the terribly damning details. We can't afford it, the costs to Woden are huge due to the bridge crossing and the constraints around Parliament House. How long will it take (longer than car due to dis [text cut off] buses cost nothing.

Response: The Chief Minister said the Government had addresses the cost issue. Stage 1 represents less than 1% of the ACT Budget over the 20-year term of the contract, while the Government will be investing 25 times that amount in education and many more time in Health. Prime Minister Turnbull has funded light rail projects, including bringing light rail to Newcastle in NSW and extending the Sydney network, and contributing to Stage 2 of the Gold Coast light rail project. The Chief Minister said this showed that the conservative side of politics was investing in light rail, but the ACT opposition was not in favour of public transport.  

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Chief Minister, Could you please say what the plan is about the bridge & the tram. The chief engineer says the bridges will not hold the tram AND the full vehicle load- one vehicle lane in each direction will have to go or new bridge. $$$$$$$. What no [text cut off]

Response: The Chief Minister explained the Government had received advice that Commonwealth Avenue bridge has sufficient capacity to carry light rail vehicles. That next piece of work does involve talks with the National Capital Authority and the Government has already begun those and will continue them if re-elected.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: What makes people think there will be a move out of cars? For that to happen the tram will need to be more convenient. There's no evidence I've been able to find that it will be more convenient - or cheaper, for that fact (either economically or environmentally). What happens when it becomes a stranded asset?

Response: The Chief Minister said it won’t be a stranded asset, and with the investments the ACT is making in the bus network as well, the Government is dramatically improving public transport in Canberra. This has been the case for the last four years and will continue into the future. The Government needs to invest now and will go into the election with very clear policy on public transport, to prevent Canberra becoming a city dominated by more cars, congestion and gridlock. If no investment is made now, Canberra will become a traffic-choked 60-minute city, instead of a 20-minute one.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: I live in Bonner which turns out to be one of the most unkempt places I've been in. Plenty of unmown verges, misplaced shopping trolleys, old cars parked on verges, discarded white goods on verges. I can't walk anywhere without seeing rubbish.

OUTCOME: An officer from TCCS contacted the caller who gave specific areas in need of attention.  Five trolleys were subsequently found by City rangers; the relevant supermarkets were notified of this. Whilst no abandoned vehicles or illegal parking was observed, some residential nature strips were found to have long grass; the ACT Government cannot mow residents’ nature strips as it is the responsibility of the lessee. The caller was also advised of the mowing program on public land that is underway, with Bonner scheduled over the coming weeks.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Given the budget announcement for both the Cotter Rd and Horse Park duplications and detailed design being completed, why haven't the contracts been awarded to get construction under way? Or are we waiting for an election campaign sod turning [text cut off]

OUTCOME: An officer from TCCS contacted the caller. The caller was aware that Cotter Road had a sod turning before the caretaker period. It was discussed that work will commence on site in October. The caller then discussed the tender and work on Horse Park Drive and was advised that the tender for the next section of work (Anthony Rolfe Drive to Mulligans Flat) would go out in late September.

Directorate: JACS

Issue: I have already had a query answered regarding Kuringa Drive, Spence, and giving cyclists the required room when overtaking, so being permissible to cross an unbroken line when safe to do so. Recently my husband almost had a head [text cut off]

OUTCOME: An officer contacted the caller who advised that her husband was travelling along Kuringa Drive when a motor vehicle travelling in the opposite direction moved into his lane while overtaking a cyclist. The caller stated that the lanes on Kuringa Drive are narrow, with no shoulder or gutters and she would like this to be considered by the government. The action officer advised the caller that this information will be passed on to Transport Canberra and City Services for consideration and action as appropriate.

Directorate: EPD – Environment

Issue: ACTEW is providing charging stations for electric vehicles in Canberra itself. Thanks for that. What plans are there for servicing Canberra- Sydney or Canberra-the coast?

OUTCOME: The ACT Government does not currently have plans to support the development of an electric vehicle charging network along the Canberra-Sydney or Canberra-coast corridors as it falls within NSW jurisdiction. ActewAGL are advancing charging infrastructure as a private entity, and in themselves may look to move beyond the Territory boundary. Any long term development of electric vehicles or other zero emission vehicle technology would need to consider regional traffic flows and liaison with NSW to assist in infrastructure requirements, as we acknowledge these routes as a key part to advancing the uptake of electric vehicles in the Territory.  

Directorate: Economic Development

Issue: I received an email from Canberra Clubs who are concerned ACT Labor govt are supporting a foreign owned casino ahead of supporting local clubs. Is this true?

OUTCOME: An officer from Economic Development contacted the caller and discussed some of the many benefits clubs bring to the community/Territory and how the ACT Government is working with clubs to assist them, including to diversify their economies. If the Casino was to be allowed to operate up to 200 poker machines, they would have to be ‘traded’ to them by existing clubs – that is, these are not additional poker machines. This ‘sale’ would be voluntary by the clubs and the Government had nothing to do with the trade, rather it would be a matter between the clubs and the Casino. The harm minimisation practices associated with gaming machines were also explained and that the Government is enforcing a forfeiture of one machine in four when trades occurred. This is valid between just two clubs or between clubs and the Casino. This would mean that if the Casino were to operate 200 gaming machines, they would have to arrange the transfer of 267 machines from the clubs. If the clubs do not want to sell that many, then the Casino cannot operate that many.

Liquor licensing costs were also raised and the caller was advised the club email has picked one tax line and compared that to NSW. This wouldn’t pick up differences (eg demographic; all taxes/benefits) between the two jurisdictions. The caller was further advised that the ACT Government was also very aware of balancing community demands for alcohol and the harm from alcohol related incidents.

Directorate: JACS

Issue: Why didn’t the Chief Minister take the opportunity to lead the nation and remove the flawed and deadly penalty for speaking on phone while driving, which actually encourages texting while driving which is an order of magnitude more dangerous ?? Should onl [text cut off]

OUTCOME: An officer contacted caller and outlined the new penalty which expands on the use of hand held mobile phones. The caller believes this penalty is ‘revenue raising’ and talking on the phone is no more dangerous than drinking coffee. The action officer explained the risks of distractions while driving and that this was the reason behind the penalty.

Directorate: JACS

Issue: Chief Minister, you've chosen to compare the ACT with other jurisdictions regarding transport etc.:- therefore I'd like to ask you why does a Liquor Licence for small Canberra family owned bottle shops cost approximately $12,500, when the corresponding fee [text cut off]

OUTCOME: An officer contacted caller, who relies on working in a liquor store part time to help supplement his family’s income. The caller is concerned that if off-licence fees are increased by 25% his employer will not be able to afford to keep him on. The action officer advised that there is no definite commitment to an increase in those fees at this stage – it is one of a range of options being considered by the Government. The caller asked if that means that the fees will go up after the election, and the action officer advised that would be a decision for the new government to make. The caller also queried why fees are so much higher here than in other jurisdictions. The action officer explained that the ACT’s liquor licence fees are based on a risk based approach which recognises that off-licences contribute to alcohol related harm and requires them to contribute to harm reduction measures, including police and the licensing authority. The action officer couldn’t comment on how other jurisdictions fund these services. The caller felt it was unfair to ACT traders, and puts them at a disadvantage to online and cross-border traders. The caller is also concerned that a fee increase would price entrepreneurs like Jim Murphy out of the market, which would be a loss to the ACT.

Directorate: Economic Development

Issue: Why is this government constantly pushing to increase population in this city?

OUTCOME: An officer from Economic Development contacted the caller. The caller was concerned about population growth in Canberra and wanted to know if the Government has put in place a population cap. The caller was advised that the ACT Government does not have a population cap but that the Government has put in place measures to manage growth sustainably including investment in public transport, and a commitment to active travel and urban renewal.

Directorate: Education

Issue: Why is ACT Education circumventing the working with vulnerable people checks?

OUTCOME: Teachers and all school-based staff positions except school counsellors (provided they are psychologists registered in the ACT) are required to hold current Working with Vulnerable People (WwVP) registration. Volunteers and visitors who have been identified as requiring registration for their work in schools are also required to hold current WwVP registration. Unless covered by an exemption, it is now an offence for individuals, including volunteers, to work with children without having a registration card issued by Access Canberra.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue:  Could CM tell us why school zones round Canberra aren't consistent? Eg: Chisholm high, Marist Melrose. Surely all zones should be the same?

OUTCOME: An officer from Roads ACT contacted the caller and explained that the speed limit on Athllon Drive near Marist is not a school zone but a reduction of the speed limit from 80 to 60km/h from 3:00 to 3:30pm.  Norris Street north of Caroline Chisholm High does not have a school zone since the entry to the school is from Hambridge Crescent.  Roads ACT will contact the school community of Chisholm High to identify ways to improve traffic safety on Norris Street, if any.

Directorate: EPD Heritage

Issue: Just passed the remaining Dickson tower looking glorious in the middle of the 40 Million block. Why is it there.

OUTCOME: The tower is part of the Northbourne Housing Precinct Representative Sample at Dickson and Lyneham which was registered by the ACT Heritage Council on 19 November 2015. Heritage buildings will be integrated with future development at the site.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: About another pedestrian crossing in Dickson: the pedestrian crossing on Antill Street which goes from Downer to Dickson Shops is so slow that I've seen very elderly people dodging the cars to get over this road instead of waiting!

OUTCOME: An officer from Roads ACT contacted the caller and advised that the lights were a bit slow because they are coordinated with the nearby signals at Cowper St.  They were not always, but Roads ACT had complaints from pedestrians about vehicles running the red lights so the coordination lessens the risk of green at the Cowper St lights and red at the pedestrian signals.  

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Why has Melrose Dr been changed from a main arterial road to a secondary road?

Response: The Chief Minister said he was not aware if that is the case and he would need to get some advice about that.

OUTCOME: An officer from Roads ACT contracted the caller on 7 September.  The caller discussed concerns about the level of traffic and the coordination of traffic lights at Melrose Drive. Roads ACT indicated it would look at the coordination of the traffic lights during peak periods.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: With respect to the new action bus timetable, on the website if you do a search for a route it doesn't link to the new timetable, it brings up the old version unless you go to the home page and go into the new version of the timetable. Could this be fixed?

Response: The Chief Minister said this would be looked at.

OUTCOME: An officer from TCCS called the customer on 9 September. Upon review it was noted that the customer was searching for the new route 182 in Weston. The new timetable was available in the Routes by Number search but was not listed on the Search by Suburb listings for Coombs or Wright. The caller was thanked for the feedback and the officer apologised that it had been missed.  The caller was advised that this would be rectified as soon as possible.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: I like light rail but the price is huge! Why not build the corridor but run electric buses instead of trams that need all the extra rail infrastructure.

Response: The Chief Minister said the permanency of light rail infrastructure is what attracts investment to the corridor, with examples this week of significant investment occurring. The permanent infrastructure will bring frequent, reliable and sustainable public transport that is powered by 100% renewable energy.

Directorate: National Capital Authority

Issue: Are bins in the Parliamentary zone under responsibility of ACT Govt? People have been fined for littering in Barton but no bins anywhere in sight. Understand NCA may have some level of involvement.

Response: The Chief Minister explained the bins would be under the National Capital Authority if they are in the Parliamentary zone.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Is it relevant to say 200k residents will live or work/study within the light rail corridor? Surely it only matters if 200k residents will live *AND* work/study there? (so what is that, smaller, number?)

Response: The Chief Minister said that as the city continues to grow, most of our population increase is natural increase through new births. If the ACT doesn’t make investments now, those children could grow up in a very congested city.

Directorate: TCCS

Issue: Chief Minister, every morning during peak hour there is a massive traffic jam on Parkes Way from the junction of the Tuggeranong Freeway and the Gungahlin Drive Extension all the way to the round-about where Coranderrk Street, Reid joins Parkes Way. A few [text cut off] there needs to be a flyover

Response: The Chief Minister said further work on the Parkes Way corridor is still part of the Government’s future plans. The Government has just this week opened up another route for people to access the city before that Coranderrk Street roundabout. The solution is fewer cars on the road. A driver can’t park a car at 80km an hour, so as cars approach the city and their parking destination they have to slow down. More ways into the city and more public transport will be the longer term solution leading to fewer bottlenecks and fewer cars on the road.  

Directorate: Economic Development

Issue: In January, the CM said he would lobby local cinemas to show the full 4k resolution rather than the 1/4 resolution versions that have saturated Canberra. Has he managed any progress, or will we need to go to Sydney to properly see the next Star Wars film?

OUTCOME: Decisions regarding the format in which local cinemas choose to screen films is a commercial decision by cinema operators. It is not a matter with which the ACT Government or ScreenACT has any involvement or authority. ScreenACT’s role is to assist the development, production and promotion of the local screen/film industry. Film screenings, including resolution specifications at independent cinemas, are a matter between the cinema operator and the film distributer/production company.

Directorate: CMTEDD – Policy and Cabinet

Issue: I recall a while ago hearing you were having discussions with NSW about easier for ACT people to obtain Seniors Opal cards. Has there been any result?

OUTCOME: ACT and NSW are currently working together on a digital solution to the Seniors Card verification issue with Opal cards. The solution is expected to be implemented by November 2016, and will remove the requirement for ACT Seniors to reapply for concessional Opal cards every 60 days.

Directorate: TCCS/EPD?

Issue: Why did you take away the disabled park by letting Grilld in Civic build on it?

OUTCOME: It was agreed that the disabled parking spot was to be moved across the road, almost directly opposite to the previous location. A design for this was approved by TCCS three months ago. However, at this s stage the works have not been undertaken. TCCS will follow up and advise the caller of progress on this matter.

Directorate: CMTEDD – Policy and Cabinet

Issue: You recently informed taxi drivers that "there will no longer be specific requirements under law about the cleanliness of the car you drive." With overseas flights soon to arrive in Canberra, what sort of message does this [text cut off]

OUTCOME: An officer contacted the caller to discuss removal of regulation around the cleanliness of taxis. The caller was a taxi driver and was concerned that some drivers will find the removal of cleanliness rules an excuse to ignore cleaning the vehicle to the old standards. The action officer explained that the Government hopes that increasing competition in the ACT market will motivate cleanliness standards among drivers as passengers will demand high standards. The caller noted that drivers ignoring competitive motivations to keep vehicles clean are very short-term participants in the market, of which he said there are a number. The caller was also concerned that a potential deterioration of vehicle cleanliness would send a negative impression to international travellers, especially with the arrival of scheduled international flights in September. The action officer noted that the Government would continue to monitor outcomes in the industry, including the condition of vehicles, over a 24-month period.