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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 1993) . . Page.. 2460 ..

the Government for putting up bus fares and at the same time criticise ACTION for not recovering enough through the fare box. But, again, we have moved it from 18 per cent to 24 per cent. We are moving towards the acceptable 30 per cent and that will achieve, again, Australian standards.

There is a simple accounting trick that we could perform, which New South Wales does but some honest governments do not, which would get us our 30 per cent at the drop of a hat. The current level of subsidy for school buses, which runs at about $7m and which we show up honestly on our public accounts as a subsidy, could be put in Mr Wood's budget and he could write me a cheque for $7m, which would show up as a revenue item and thus show a higher level of revenue. That is why New South Wales shows a 40 per cent level of return on revenue. It is a simple accounting trick, showing your school bus and school transport subsidy not as a school transport subsidy but as a payment from the Education Department.

Mr Humphries: But you want to abolish that, don't you?

MR CONNOLLY: No, we do not. That is not our policy. Madam Speaker, we could perform an accounting trick, but we will not do that. We will continue the hard work of reforming ACTION. We will continue to achieve the dramatic results that we have achieved in contrast with the really slovenly performance of the Liberals when they were in government, which saw the ACTION subsidy increasing, staff levels increasing and every indicator tracking the wrong way.

Education Budget

MR CORNWELL: I was pleased that Mr Connolly, in his long diatribe, mentioned children going to school on buses. The question is whether they are going to get any education after last night's betrayal budget, Chief Minister. Mr Connolly might like to let you listen to this question. I notice that the specific purpose payment assistance to ACT government schools, and I stress government schools, was cut by $330,000. Will your Government be closing any government schools, sacking teachers or cutting programs to make up for this $330,000 shortfall, compliments of the Keating Government?

MS FOLLETT: The answer is no, Madam Speaker.

Noise Pollution - Manuka

MR MOORE: My question is directed to Mr Wood, as Minister for the Environment. Rather than risking giving notice of this question directly to him, I gave notice to his office early this morning. Residents who live near the Base Nightclub in Manuka continue to be concerned about noise pollution emanating from the club. How long have you been receiving complaints about the club, and what do you intend to do to protect the amenity and environment of the area?

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