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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 2331..


DR FOSKEY (continuing):

practice round Australia, things that have been done on which there is clear, concrete evidence that results have been achieved. I am looking for, almost as a second order response or issue, a better understanding of the levers that have led to the price increase which we have seen.

The issue is incredibly complex. It goes to the availability of public housing. It goes to the use and utility of community housing and the implications of its availability for affordability and the entry of people, particularly first home owners, into the market. I want action. That is what I am asking for. I am more than happy to report back to the Assembly before the end of the year in relation to decisions that we hope to take between now and then.

DR FOSKEY: I have a supplementary question. Could the Chief Minister please advise the Assembly of the membership of the steering group and who are the relevant industry and community bodies that it will consult with?

MR STANHOPE: At this stage I cannot as details of the membership have not yet been completed. The task group will be chaired by a senior officer of the Chief Minister's Department, namely, Mr George Tomlins. I am happy to take on notice the question that you asked in relation to other membership, but it will be a cross-government committee chaired by Mr George Tomlins, a senior officer within the Chief Minister's Department.

Taxis-services

MR PRATT: My question is to the minister for transport. On Tuesday, you said that there was nothing you could do to fix the difficulties with taxi services in Canberra. That is not right, is it?

Firstly, why could you have not met formally with Canberra Cabs, which you have refused to do for 12 months, to work through difficulties with them as they seek to modernise and improve services? Secondly, could you not have refrained from pressuring Canberra Cabs, which forced them to rush their reforms, causing the problems we see now? Thirdly, could you have agreed to introduce regulations that would have tightened the driver compliance requirements? Why have you failed to take fundamental actions which could have improved the service, and why have you, on the other hand, interfered with Canberra Cabs' attempts to modernise their service?

MR HARGREAVES: Sometimes I have my faith in the Good Lord restored. Let us address some of the questions that Mr Pratt puts on the table, in order.

Mr Pratt: That will be a first.

MR HARGREAVES: Through you, Mr Speaker: sit back, Mr Pratt, and enjoy the show. Firstly, I have met with Mr Bramston, I have met with the board and I have met with the drivers association.

Mr Stanhope: Your wit is definitely improving, Steve.

MR HARGREAVES: You are only half right, Chief Minister. The fact is that I asked one of my senior advisers to meet specifically with Mr Bramston of Canberra Cabs on


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