23 August 2019

Probing the polls: should we change the weekend bus roster? And how about vegan lunches?

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Last week, RiotACT readers weighed in on weekend bus routes.

There’s been ongoing uproar over the government’s changes to the bus roster and last week, transport minister Chris Steel attempted to fix some of the problems by introducing a new roster that reduced the number of services but guaranteeing rapid services.

It seems that it all comes down to how the rosters are organised: as matters stand, the availability of bus drivers and their willingness to drive on weekends means that the government can’t cover all routes. Hence the changes to focus on what’s seen as the vital links.

But on the poll results from the last week, it seems that many of you don’t buy it. We asked whether the roster should run over seven days, ensuring that all routes are covered regardless, or whether the government should work with the resources at hand.

From a total of 345 votes, there was a strong majority (71 per cent) in favour of the seven-day roster option, while just 29 per cent of respondents felt the government needed to work the situation out without shifting the roster arrangements.

This week, we’re asking whether you think that vegan options should be part of the offerings on school canteen menus. Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur thinks so, pointing out that more than 12 per cent of Australians eat a wholly plant-based diet and calling for similar options in hospitals and prisons to be more widely available.

But the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations believes the current policy already provides healthy menu options for students, stating that most canteens are already mindful of diversity, nutritional and environmental concerns.

While they welcome greater support for volunteer-led school canteens, more funding for school gardens and support to integrate gardens with the school’s food service, the Council doesn’t believe further regulatory stipulations are necessary.

Many readers agreed, with some going so far as to refer to vegetarian and vegan options as a form of social control. But others argued that it’s never a bad thing to encourage kids to eat more vegetables, and couldn’t see the harm in ensuring that was easy to manage. Others argued that vegan options are the responsibility of parents.

What do you think? Cast your vote and let’s take the temperature on the RiotACT.

The Greens have called for vegetarian and vegan options in school canteens. Do you support this?

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