Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . Search

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1572..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

the media. I did discuss with leaders of this place the damage that could be done if information about the government's decision was leaked before the board had a chance to come up with the options that it might want us to work through.

Unfortunately, that information has leaked out. I do not know the source. I certainly hope and trust that it was not from this place, because if it was from this place, then given the size of this parliament and the fact that we are working in a minority government, this place will not work. Many pious words are spoken in this place about accountability and about, on the other hand, secrecy, but if the information cannot remain confidential when it is not particularly important to the government that it remain confidential, that will have potentially damaging effects on other individuals and the place is going to have difficulty working. I hope and trust that it was no-one in here because if it was someone in this place, that person does not deserve to be here and should not be here. We just cannot make it work.

It will be difficult from here on. I will stay in contact with the board and hope that the school doesn't, as a function of somebody's indiscretion, virtually disintegrate. There is considerable chance of that. As reports have come out, the school board believes that it has the potential to continue. It intends to work through that. Let me also advise that, from time to time, there are also external parties that show some interest in the process, at least, that goes on here. There are quite a number of options, but somehow this got to be "school to close"in the media and that causes immeasurable damage, not only in this instance, but to the way this place can operate in future.

This event will be mentioned again because there will be time when this government, or a future government, is asked, "Why didn't you tell us?"The government will reply, "Remember the hotel school?"

ACTION bus employees

MRS CROSS: My question is to Mr Wood, Minister for Urban Services. On 5 May 2003 it was reported in the Daily Telegraph that New South Wales rail transit officers are being bashed, bitten, kicked, spat on and threatened, amid claims of inadequate training. Minister, does that occur with ACTION bus employees? What security is currently in place to protect both ACTION bus personnel and the travelling public as they wait at the bus interchanges?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I am responsible for ACTION and I am happy to answer the question. I am not aware of serious incidents of assault against ACTION bus drivers, but it is true that from time to time ACTION bus drivers are abused by some-I stress "some"; in fact, a very small number-members of the travelling public.

ACTION does have a range of responses in place to address these issues. In particular, there is an emergency duress button fitted to every ACTION bus that opens a channel in the communications system and the driver is then able to communicate to both the communications centre for ACTION and all other bus drivers that they are suffering some form of assault.

The government believes that this is not an adequate level of protection for bus drivers. Members will recall that in last year's budget the government allocated a significant


Next page . . . . Previous page. . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . Search