Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2010) . . Page.. 2275 ..
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.
MR COE: Chief Minister, what arrangements has ACTION entered into with Deane’s Transit Group or other operators to act as a contingency for Friday’s strike?
MR STANHOPE: Certainly, as members would be aware, the Transport Workers Union have given an indication over the last couple of days that they propose to pursue industrial action on Friday in pursuance of a position that they have taken in relation to current negotiations around an agreement. That is a matter of enormous regret for the government. I am not participating in the negotiations. I am remaining informed, in the context of both steps and responses.
Certainly, ACTION is looking at all measures that it might appropriately take to ameliorate the disruption that the lack of service or industrial action will cause. In the context of that, that is part and parcel of the negotiations and the response and responsiveness. But at the end of the day, if there are no drivers, if there are no alternatives, I think it is not particularly helpful for me to give a blow-by-blow response to what it is that ACTION may be doing as part and parcel of negotiation or a response to industrial action.
Certainly, Mr Coe, I can give you an assurance that ACTION is actively inquiring. Indeed, I understand that they have inquired about the possibility of services being provided by Deane’s, but my advice and understanding is that that is not likely to be particularly likely or possible. But ACTION is pursuing every possible reasonable avenue in seeking to minimise the disruption—most particularly, of course, in urging the TWU to reconsider its position and to return to the table and negotiate appropriate outcomes.
MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, on 13 May this year, following the release of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s business expectations survey, it was said:
The ACT’s economic future remains precarious.
Treasurer, do you agree with this statement about the nature of the ACT’s economy?
MS GALLAGHER: From my understanding of the point the chamber were making, there is concern around the next couple of years, particularly about the intentions of the commonwealth government. I think if you look at our budget and some of the risks we highlight in the budget papers, you will see that, yes, there are risks not only to our budget but potentially to our economy as well.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary question?
MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Madam Treasurer, the Chief Minister actually made that comment. If you believe that it is precarious, why did you say, in your