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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 2332..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

17 July. I was at a function recently and sat next to the chairman of the board, who did not speak to me about the problems at all. He had an opportunity to raise it and did not. However, cards were exchanged with my chief of staff. The chairman of the board said, "I must ring you up. Can we come in and have a chat?"The answer was "most definitely". We have not heard from him since. That was a couple of weeks ago.

On radio this morning I said that. I said that my senior staff have met with these people. We have met with their lobbyist, we have met with them and we have met with the taxi drivers association. The former Leader of the Opposition said that he met with Canberra Cabs last night. That is what he said. My information is that he did indeed. It happens that Mr Bramston of Canberra Cabs ran into Mr Smyth at a Liberal Party function last night. I do not call that a meeting; I call that a convenience. Cop this: they ran into each other at a Liberal Party function.

Mr Smyth: You have got to tell the truth, John.

MR HARGREAVES: You have got a lot of credibility left, haven't you, Mr Smyth? Why did you not say it on radio this morning? It is because you are a practitioner of the art of psuedology.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mr Hargreaves misleads the house when he said I met them at a meeting. I did not say that. I said I had a conversation at a function.

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw your comments about misleading.

Mr Smyth: I withdraw.

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order: I would like Mr Hargreaves to withdraw the word "psuedology"because it is an attempt to get in under the standing orders and call Mr Smyth a liar. I would like it withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw.

MR HARGREAVES: I am happy to withdraw it. I thank Mrs Dunne for the definition. With respect to pressure, if there has been any pressure on Canberra Cabs to lift their game, it has come out of the community. They have put pressure on to deliver. So far they have not. The pressure came out of the federal parliament, those well-known practitioners in the art of Canberra bashing. What has happened? Canberra Cabs, through the system not delivering, have given them a golden punch. And I am supposed to sit back and let that happen? I do not think so.

Mr Pratt says why don't I introduce regulations to stick it to the drivers. The reason for that is that the arrangement with the drivers is a contractual arrangement between Canberra Cabs and the drivers. They have got sanctions within their own contractual arrangements and it is up to Canberra Cabs to do that. The contractual arrangement between the Canberra community and the network is through the network and through the accreditation process that appends itself to that.

I only wish that Mr Smyth would come clean: tell the people of Canberra on air that he


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