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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2200..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

The school transport scheme is a fantastic initiative by the government. I commend it to the Assembly. We will be voting against this bill. For all the reasons I have outlined it is a silly way of going about stopping an initiative. The government is entitled to its budget. That is the convention. If they want to stop the budget, vote against all of it.

MS TUCKER: I seek leave to speak again.

Leave granted.

MS TUCKER: I want to respond to a couple of points. Mr Osborne and Mr Rugendyke presented their picture of what happened in last year's budget process. I remind members that I did not support this Liberal government. I did not support a Liberal Chief Minister. After three years here, I worked out that that was a bad idea. What happened last year was a problem with the Liberal government and the coalition they had set up with Mr Rugendyke and Mr Osborne. They had an internal problem amongst their ranks.

I did not think Mr Smyth would bring the environment up, because it is such a superficial argument. Of course I have consulted the conservation council. Of course I have been supporting the natural gas buses. I have also been trying to prod this minister to do something about converting the fleet to natural gas. I have been strenuously opposing the government's very lacklustre approach to developing a public transport system that works. Mr Smyth is the man who builds freeways. I am happy at any time to persuade this government, if they want to listen, how they can reform the public transport system. This is a very ad hoc initiative. In the midst of the rest of their protestations about why they need to build more freeways, they are suddenly trying to claim green credentials. It is totally ridiculous.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (4.45): Mr Deputy Speaker-

Mr Berry: You are not going to speak?

MR HUMPHRIES: I have not spoken before, and I am the Treasurer of the territory, so I think I am entitled to speak, Mr Berry.

Mr Berry: You are taking the night off. It is all right for you.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: There are no problems, Mr Humphries. You have the call.

Mr Berry: You are going out on the grog.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Deputy Speaker, I ask for that to be withdrawn.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, I think so.

Mr Berry: How about "He is going out to dinner"?

MR HUMPHRIES: I am not going out to dinner.

Mr Berry: He is going somewhere. He is not going to be here.


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