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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 3629..


MR SMYTH: I do not have that document with me and I would like to read it before I comment on it fully. However, if my memory of the time scale is correct, at that stage that part of IAM was not under my control. So obviously there was work being done between IAM and PALM. IAM may have had a position; PALM may have had another. Since that time I have certainly been out to meetings. Mr Corbell was at the meeting with me at the Gold Creek homestead. On that night I made it very clear to the consultant that he needs to listen to what the people of that part of Canberra want and he needs to make sure that their views are taken into account when he delivers his report.

Taxis and Hire Cars

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services. Minister, last week the Assembly directed you not to proceed with any changes to the taxi and hire car industry until the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Services had reported on the Freehills report. However, in the Canberra Times yesterday your spokeswoman said that the government proposed to allow some of the RHV licences to be converted at a cost similar to the one for the leasing of a hire car - about $10,000. Apparently, your spokeswoman said that this section of the industry has urged the government not to delay its proposed changes. Minister, are you intending to disregard the will of the Assembly and the hire car industry?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, my recollection of Mr Hargreaves' motion is that it was to send to the urban services committee only the hire car recommendations and the government's response. Mr Rugendyke and I were meeting with members of the restricted hire vehicles group in the government lobby and they were saying, "Why the delay? We want to get on with this." So there is conflict in the industry between the hire car people and the restricted hire people. I will certainly await the outcome of the urban services committee's report.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, do you not recall that the motion referred the whole report to the standing committee?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I do recall what was in the motion. It referred the consultant's report to the urban services committee and it called on the government not to take any action on its determinations in regard to the hire car industry. I have said that we will abide by that.

Jail Sentences

MR OSBORNE: My question is to the Attorney - General. Saturday's Canberra Times contained an article comparing sentences in the ACT for armed robbery and drug dealing. The story said that an examination of sentences in the Supreme Court last year showed that a drug dealer had a 75 per cent chance of going to jail, whilst an armed robber had only a fifty - fifty chance of custody. Further, it showed that first time armed robbers almost invariably received a bond, not jail, in the ACT. Minister, can you confirm whether that is true? If so, are you concerned that people who are committing violent crimes are not being dealt with as harshly as drug dealers?


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