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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 3757..


MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, the television coverage last night related to things that had been said by various groups about the intent of the Public Passenger Transport Bill, which leads to what is going to happen.

Mr Corbell: He is about to say that Mr Hargreaves has been irresponsible. And he is also about to say -

MR SPEAKER: Order! Please be quiet over there.

Mr Corbell: And he is also about to say -

MR SPEAKER: I warn you, Mr Corbell.

MR SMYTH: Because those opposite had not done the work and were not ready to discuss the bill yesterday and because Mr Hargreaves entirely misunderstands the purpose of the bill, which is to ensure that public transport passengers are protected in the ACT, there is this misconception that the government is going to somehow sell ACTION. This place knows that any sale of a major asset of the ACT government will come back to this place. The government does not have the sale of ACTION on its agenda.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, I have received written advice from your department that the changes will give the government the power to contract out regular route services of ACTION. In making your statement yesterday, did you hear the echoes of a similar statement made by the former Chief Minister a day before the last election, when she told the Canberra Times the sale of Actew "was not on her government's agenda"?

MR SMYTH: Again, Mr Hargreaves fails to realise what goes on in the ACT. Transborder provides services on regular routes, Keirs provides services on regular routes, Deane's provides services on regular routes and private tourism operators provide regular services. If the Labor Party is saying that passengers who are using public transport in the ACT should not be protected by a system of accreditation and enforced standards then let them come out a publicly say so. This is what they stand for - they stand for nothing.

Gas Bill Rebates

MR RUGENDYKE: My question is to the Treasurer, Mr Humphries. I have received advice from a constituent whose mother lives in an aged care unit and receives a rebate of $3.50 on her gas bill that the GST being charged on her bill is about $4.20, which wipes out the rebate. This is happening on top of the fact that gas is more expensive than electricity. Even though new gas heaters have been installed in these government units, and the residents are please about that, the gas is so expensive that this person and other pensioners in the Ainslie complex are not using the gas, but are buying small electric heaters because they are cheaper to run. Is the Treasurer aware of this situation? Can he give an undertaking that he will raise the matter with ActewAGL to see whether the rebates for pensioners can be reviewed?


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