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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3264..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

It talks about ACTION's trialling clean CNG buses to determine the effectiveness of ultra-low floor style buses in full operation. It says that these buses are CNG-powered, low-floored, airconditioned buses, and says that ACTION would buy 10 buses in 2001-02, buses that we do not have now. Why don't we have them? Because the Labor government did not bother to buy them.

The danger for this place is that, when somebody asserts something that is absolutely incorrect, and then actually goes on to contradict himself later on when he goes on to detail what he purports to be a policy that we did not have, I think it is very important that we go on the record and put down the truth of the matter. The truth of the matter is that we did have a policy. It was a policy worth $7.98 million in the 2001-02 budget, which did not go ahead because of the Labor Party's inability to make decisions. It is a policy that would have had these buses on the routes.

The interesting thing is, you could almost read my press release inside Mr Corbell's press release, a "New generation of bus travel comes to Canberra". The last paragraph of my press release says:

ACTION is currently evaluating two brands of CNG buses, MAN buses and Scania buses.

According to Mr Corbell:

Two demonstration buses have been on loan from bus manufacturers MAN and Scania.

It is important that the facts are placed fairly and squarely on the table.

The other thing that is disappointing about today's debate is that leave was not given to correct this misinformation. Again, it just goes to show what a secretive and lazy government we have.

Gungahlin Drive extension

ACTION buses

MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (6.11): Mr Speaker, in a debate earlier today, in relation to the Gungahlin Drive extension, I indicated that the ASC had postponed a meeting it was to have with the Department of Urban Services in relation to the Fitch report. It was brought to my attention after the debate today that there may be some confusion as to exactly who cancelled what. My office is seeking to clarify the matter. Unfortunately, Mr Thompson, who was one of the participants proposed for that meeting, is out of town and cannot be contacted at this stage.

I want to indicate to the Assembly that my comments may have been incorrect, and I apologise for any omission that I made and any misleading that I may have done. It was quite inadvertent and I am currently seeking to clarify the situation.


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