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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 September 2010) . . Page.. 4298 ..

There will be bus breakdowns and there will be other issues in relation to the route that will, from time to time, regrettably, result in a wheelchair-accessible bus not being available. We would regret that, but I would have thought that you would accept that from time to time it would be virtually unavoidable until we grow—we are continuing to grow—the number of wheelchair-accessible buses that we have committed to. Very much part of the current 100 bus purchase that we have engaged in was to ensure that we meet the target that we have agreed to nationally, along with every jurisdiction, of 55 per cent of buses being wheelchair accessible by 2012.

MR COE: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, have you made inquiries as to whether other TAMS infrastructure complies with relevant disability legislation? If so, what was the outcome? If not, why?

MR STANHOPE: Since the Auditor-General’s report was delivered, I have had probably a dozen meetings with the chief executive and the members of ACTION. In those discussions, I would have—

Mr Hanson: Why weren’t you more proactive? Why did you wait for the Auditor-General?

MR STANHOPE: I would have had an equal number prior to that, but since the report has been issued, Mr Hanson—I meet regularly, often on a daily basis, with the chief executive and members of staff.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR STANHOPE: You would be surprised. But since the Auditor-General’s report I would have had a dozen conversations with the chief executive. I would have had a similar number of meetings with managers of ACTION around the full range of issues and appropriate response and my expectations in relation to all of the issues that have been revealed within that particular report. Those discussions, as I say, have ranged over the full range of issues—how we respond, how we deal, the sorts of funding and resources that we need to continue to be able to identify.

Indeed, I had the latest of those meetings just today, when I discussed again the infrastructure needs of ACTION and had a conversation around some of the likely costs of that. Of course, in the environment we are in, and this goes to the heart of any report—in an ideal world, we would like to be able to fund a whole range of things which other pressing priorities render very difficult for us. So yes, I have had those conversations; I have had those discussions. At this stage I think the fairest thing to say is that I await a draft response to the Auditor-General’s report, which I look forward to providing to the Assembly.

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