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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 2641..


MR HARGREAVES: I cannot answer the question any more than that.

MR PRATT: That being the case, Mr Speaker, I will ask a supplementary question. Minister, why will you not listen to the concerns of experts such as the NRMA trust as well as Canberra magistrates about the safety of these lanes? Why will you not listen?

MR HARGREAVES: Firstly, I have a great relationship with the NRMA road safety trust. I have had a great relationship with that trust for not only my period as Minister for Urban Services and now Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services but also as the shadow minister for those portfolios in a former Assembly. I listen to what they say. This government has been in more partnerships with that trust than anybody else that I can think of.

What Mr Pratt is insinuating is that the cycleways are a bad idea. They are going to abolish them; they are going to remove the paint off the roads; they are going to take away the safety factor for cyclists in this town. We have had an incredible increase in the number of commuting cyclists and recreational cyclists on our road network. Thanks to the initiatives of my colleague Mr Corbell we now have bike racks on the front of buses. We have an integrated part of our sustainable transport plan. Now we are finding that an increased number of people are contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a reduction in health costs and a reduction in the number of motor cars on the road, and they are doing so in absolute safety.

With respect to Mr Pratt's initial question and his babbling, the reason I had nothing to add was that I did not have the time to answer. His question was: are we going to have a review? The answer is yes, we are. We are going to review it, and I am hoping that the review will commence later on this year. It was always going to be thus. It was Mr Corbell who reintroduced cycle lanes after we took government in 2001. We said that we would have a look at it in four to five years, and that time is now. When we look at it we will talk to Pedal Power, we will talk to the NRMA road safety trust and we will talk to the community but we will not waste our time with that rabble across the way.

Schools—closures

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, in the last couple of days at least two Labor members have made statements suggesting that there is some sort of understanding amongst Labor members that some of the schools listed for closure in Towards 2020 may obtain a reprieve. For instance, you yourself, Mr Speaker, said in the Canberra Times, and it was repeated on ABC radio this morning, that it was as plain as the nose on your face that not all the schools would close.

Ms MacDonald's staffer sent a letter to a constituent on her behalf. In it she said that she—Ms MacDonald—would continue to work closely with the community affected by proposed school closures and fight for schools and preschools in her electorate that should remain open. Minister, can you assure the people of the ACT that there is not a secret ALP sublist of the schools that will actually close?

MR BARR: I thank Mrs Dunne for the question. We have a consultation process. We began that on 6 June. It concludes on 6 December. Decisions will be made at that time.


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