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So, there is nothing that is going to happen before the next sitting, I can promise. There is nothing that will happen even before this budget. What will happen, and what we are planning to do with ACTION, is that we will make sure that, when we are able to put ACTION bus services out to competitive tendering, ACTION will be in a position to win those tenders. Let us be fair; we have said this many times. There are no timeframe problems here. This is going to happen over a period of time. It is going to happen in a very public way. So, we have absolutely no problems with it. We want this Assembly to be very well aware of all of the steps towards this end point - the end point of a public transport system that provides services that people want, that provides services that people use, hopefully, at a quality second to none around Australia. That is the bottom line. The Assembly will be able to see it every step of the way. There is no way that we can corporatise ACTION, or anything else for that matter, nor would we want to, without bringing it to this Assembly. So, quite seriously, we have no problems with a very public process. It was always going to be a very public process.
Let me requote some of the things that Mr Moore said. He said that he did not believe that this motion meant that we could not take those steps that are required to put ACTION into a position or into an operational structure that is competitive. That must be allowed to happen. From what I understand of this debate, this Assembly has no problems with our continuing to move to have ACTION in an operational structure or operating in a way that will make it competitive, if this Assembly chooses to allow us, at the end point, to corporatise ACTION or to change the structure of ACTION to some other structure that may turn out to be appropriate. At this stage, we believe that a Territory-owned corporation would be the most appropriate structure; but, obviously, we are always open to different views. But what we do believe strongly, and what every other government around Australia at this stage - Liberal or Labor - believes strongly, is that competition does produce better prices, a higher-quality service, and services that are more appropriate to the consumers that they attempt to attract. That is what this is all about.
We are quite happy to support this motion, as long as it is very clear that this does not stop the Government progressing to create an entity that is able to be more competitive if and when this Assembly decides to allow us to open up ACTION bus services to competitive tendering.
MR KAINE (5.37): Mr Speaker, I am afraid that on this issue I disagree with the Chief Minister. She indicated that she had no objection to supporting this motion. I am afraid that I do. I referred to this in an earlier debate in connection with the matter of public importance. I do not believe that this Assembly ought to presume - and I use the word “presume” advisedly - to put this kind of constraint on a government doing the things that it must do and that it was elected to do. I do not find this kind of motion that purports to constrain the Government in whatever it seeks to do in the public interest to be something that we should be supporting.
I have read the words of the motion carefully. It begins with the words “That the Government must receive the support of the Assembly before taking any measures towards”. Does that mean that the Government cannot undertake any negotiation, that it cannot discuss any changes that it wants to make with anybody - any other government or any organisation - without first having the support of