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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 12 Hansard (22 November) . . Page.. 3769..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

It does, however, leave us with the question of how we go about delivering the services for those folks: what are the other things that we can do? I do not know that continuing to penalise drivers if it is not working is the only solution. It is certainly one that we need—and we need to be a bit more robust about doing it; I accept that—but I think what we need to do is ensure that there is a certain degree of competition in the system, and the department is working with a few people, as the Assembly is well aware, in the training and accreditation that should enable that sort of competition.

We do know that the Aerial Taxis booking system does not enjoy the confidence of the drivers, let alone the people of the ACT. What has happened is that the drivers are now having their regular customers and they are accepting bookings by mobile phone. That is really difficult to prove and to penalise on the basis of proof. We cannot penalise unless we have evidence of this practice. We know it exists anecdotally; we know it and we can almost trust that anecdotal evidence; but it is not good enough in a court of law should those penalties be appealed. I do not have the answer to that. I can assure the Assembly that I treat this issue with the seriousness it deserves and I am quite happy to discuss any possibilities anybody might have as to how we can move forward on this, against the background, though, that constantly penalising drivers for not doing things is only part of the answer. That bit we know; it is the other bits that we do not know that we are struggling with.

Library service—review

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services. Minister, the contract for the review of the library service specifies that the scope of work required for the recent review of library services in the ACT had, as one aim, to consolidate all ACT government libraries into the mainstream library service. In conducting the review, the consultant was required to identify operational efficiencies, to provide options for saving $2.4 million and to conduct consultations. What is meant by a "mainstream library service"? Which other libraries will be closed as part of this process of consolidation of the ACT library service?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Mrs Burke for the opportunity to clarify that. The mainstream library services we are talking about are in town and group centres. They are talking about the mainstream libraries of the ACT public library service. Members would be aware that we have a number of types of libraries in the system in the ACT.

We have the general public library system; we have school libraries; we have joint-use libraries; we have the heritage library; we have a whole stack of different multicultural collections; we have the mobile library; and we have the home-lending library. It was a case of asking an internationally renowned consultant to have a look at these things and advise on which was the way to go in terms of the total package across town.

I cannot make decisions in relation to the school library service without consultation with my colleague Mr Barr; I cannot even start the process. We know that we have the joint-use library service, which is what we asked the consultant to concentrate on. We need to look at that in terms of the distribution of resources, seeing whether it is


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