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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 3971..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

new ACT patient administration system has just been activated by ACT Health. As we are aware from a question asked of you in the last sitting, this new system has had some teething problems. A critical factor in the success of this new system will be the support that will be provided by the contractor, iSoft Australia, over the next five years of the life of the contract. Minister, is it correct that a company associated with iSoft that operates in the United Kingdom has been experiencing difficulties? Are there any implications, flowing from these difficulties, for iSoft Australia?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Smyth for the question. I believe we had quite a discussion on this at the annual report hearing. My understanding is that the company in the UK is different from the company structure that is in place that we are contracted with across the Asia-Pacific region. My understanding is that there are absolutely no issues with the contract or capacity to deliver on the requirements of the contract. I think we answered this question for you at annual reports hearings and my understanding is that there has been no change to the advice that was given then.

ACTION bus service—timetable

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services. In the ACTION timetable, which came into effect on 4 December, there were many changes made to ACTION's school services. On 4 December and on subsequent days many children missed their buses, resulting in parents having to drive their children to school or, alternatively, the children having to catch other buses and arrive late at school. That was a chaotic time for many Canberra families. Minister, why did the government change the school bus timetable when there were only three weeks left in the school year?

MR HARGREAVES: Some members would be aware that at about this time of the year—in fact, earlier than now, in October-November—a committee gets together and considers the bus routes for school kids for the coming year and actually does change the bus routes around for the coming year, depending on the enrolment demographics of the city. The route changes are introduced now so that people will have time to get used to them for the new school year. ACTION was aware that there may have been some people who did not receive the notification that was sent round through the schools and there may be some kids who would miss a bus. There were other transport modes sent round behind those buses to try to pick up those kids who missed a bus but, of course, we were not able to pick up every single one of them. But the answer to Mrs Dunne's question, in short, is that it is the normal practice at this time of the year to vary the school buses for the coming year.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, why have you implemented changes at the end of this school year when it is fully expected that there will be further changes as a result of Towards 2020 early next year?

MR HARGREAVES: As I indicated earlier, the intention was to introduce changes for the new school year with a couple of weeks to go for this year. It should be remembered that the school bus runs are dedicated not only to the public school system but also the private school system. So there was that global decision taken. It was also done in conjunction with the committee that considers the routes.

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