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These sorts of things raise a whole range of problems, and the community and the Assembly have a right to have an input into the debate. We are talking about the need to integrate services provided by multiple operators. We are talking about the need to have proper regulation of the way those operators function and how their fares and timetables mesh in with those of other operators. We are talking about whether they are going to provide equipment of a comparable standard to the equipment ACTION operates, which is of a quite high standard in terms of both passenger comfort and low levels of atmospheric pollution. These are important issues that ought to be considered before going down the route of giving away ACTION services to other companies or allowing other companies to subsume ACTION on many routes.

Mr De Domenico in his remarks threw in a few furphies along the way. He talked about the possibility of ACTION providing services from Tuggeranong to Queanbeyan. There is nothing in this motion that will prevent ACTION from introducing a new service from Tuggeranong to Queanbeyan. He talked about his right as a Minister in the Government to take action to provide greater efficiencies in ACTION - something the Labor Party was quite happy to do. There is nothing in the motion that prevents this Government from taking action to improve the efficiency of ACTION services by appropriate changes in the structure of the services and the way ACTION operates. The Labor Government took a lot of action to reduce the subsidy to ACTION. It took action that saved $13m on the ACTION subsidy, so we are hardly going to argue with that. But this motion does not address that. This motion addresses changes to the structure of the provision of services from public sector to private sector and from a government service provided through the existing ACTION structure to a company structure as an alternative.

In talking about the corporatisation of organisations, the argument that is usually put up is that somehow or other corporatisation, competitive tendering and those sorts of things will lead to increases in efficiency and savings to the community at large by providing better services. In recent times the argument has been that public sector organisations, by definition, are unable to respond to community needs and unable to respond to expectations in the community that they provide services efficiently and of a high quality, and that the only way this is going to be done is by some process of competition or by putting them into a company structure where they can pretend to be a private sector organisation. This simply has not been the case in relation to ACTION. ACTION has been able to improve services, to increase efficiency and to work closely with its employees to provide a better service, with lower subsidies being paid by the community, without having to go down the track of corporatising the organisation. The Government, as the representative of the community, and the Assembly, as the people charged with keeping the Government accountable, have had full input into what has happened in the ACTION service. The argument that there is an inevitable need to corporatise ACTION or to expose it to competitive tendering has yet to be made out.

I was interested to hear Mr De Domenico talk about the fulsome input we have all had an opportunity to have into the corporatisation of ACTEW. I have yet to enjoy this fulsome input into the issues surrounding the corporatisation of ACTEW. In fact, I have yet to hear an articulation by the Government of what they think the benefits of corporatising ACTEW are. Last time we asked the Government, we were told that the Government did

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