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not know; that it was not sure. In fact, the Government did not know whether charges for electricity and water were going to go up, and they went up about a week later. But we have not yet been told why. What we can look forward to in relation to ACTEW is the Government introducing a Bill on Thursday and expecting the Bill to be passed three weeks later. That is the limit of the community input into that.

What we are hoping for with this motion is that we will set down the parameters for a more appropriate kind of consultation in relation to ACTION than has happened so far in relation to ACTEW. On the changes to ACTEW so far, the only explanations we have heard have been ideological. They have been to do with the merits of having private sector people involved. We have heard about the merits of their pretending to be a company. We have heard about how much benefit the community would get out of a return to the shareholders on the services provided by ACTION. We all look forward to the day that ACTION runs at a sufficient profit to provide a return to the shareholders. I think the problem might be that, in the process of doing that, we will see a drastic reduction in services.

The action the Government has taken so far in relation to ACTION buses is to cancel the Nightrider service, which was providing an important community safety service to young people. We have heard Mr De Domenico talking about looking at low patronage services in Tuggeranong, and we all know that “looking at” is code for cutting. We have every right to be concerned about the direction in which the Government is heading with ACTION. We have every right to say that before a major change is made to the structure of ACTION - we are not talking about every change - it is appropriate that this Assembly have an input, to deliberate properly on the implications of the change for the community as a whole, what it means for the overall service, what it means for the social justice concerns of people in this place, what it means for other parts of our infrastructure such as our roads, and what it means for our environmental concerns.

MR MOORE (12.03): Mr Speaker, there is no doubt that members do have concerns about ACTION. It provides one of the most important social services to the community, and whenever we are concerned about such an organisation and what it delivers it is appropriate for us to take particular care with how it is handled by government. On the other hand, I think it is appropriate to say that we delegate to a government the power to administer the Territory, and part of that delegation is to say, “You can do things. We are not, where possible, going to tie your hands; but we are going to keep a check on things”. “We are not going to tie your hands” is the prime thinking I have in this kind of issue. At the same time, I think we need to recognise that the people of Canberra at the last election felt that they wanted a change, and they wanted a change in approach to a range of issues. We cannot abrogate our own responsibilities in keeping a check on what government has done or is going to do in this area.

Let me start by saying that my own concerns go way beyond the simplistic slogans we hear about this being just a form of privatisation. As far as I am concerned, that is simply nonsense. It is a great slogan. It may appeal to some people. It has no impact whatsoever on me. In fact, if anything, it would have a negative impact in what it is trying to achieve. I have no ideological opposition to corporatisation. I believe that corporatisation of either public transport or ACTEW or some of these bodies may deliver

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