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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2346 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

I rule that the Tribunal, in reviewing a decision or direction of the Discrimination Commissioner under section 90(2)(b) of the Discrimination Act ACT 1991 pursuant to section 94 of the Act, is required to consider for itself the question whether the respondent to the proceedings before the Commissioner had engaged in unlawful conduct.

The Government agrees that the AAT is the appropriate forum for debate on the many and complicated issues in this matter. The matter is set down for hearing, I understand, on 5, 6 and 7 December before a full tribunal. I have directed my department to instruct the Government Solicitor, in reviewing the ACT's statement of facts and contentions prior to the hearing before the full tribunal, to ensure that the statement reflects the Government's present position, which is to defend the Territory in relation to the damages claim but not to reopen the issue of discrimination.

ACTION - Community Service Obligations

MS HORODNY: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services, Mr De Domenico. The budget papers state that the development of community service obligations for ACTION will include identification and costing of price, service level and concessions. Will the CSOs also include consideration of environmental costs and benefits of public versus private transport? If so, how will these be formulated?

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, the identification and costing of concessional prices and our community service obligations will enable the Government, as Ms Horodny would know, to provide specific payments for the non-commercial impacts of its policy requirements. Importantly, too, this will allow the service provider, ACTION, to operate on a true commercial basis, as it will also make clear to the community the cost components of Canberra's public transport system. The ACT model for purchasing and community service obligations, CSOs, from ACTION will be developed during 1995-96, as promised by the Government. This will be costed on the basis of more comprehensive data on the patrons becoming available from the automatic ticketing system early in 1996 in readiness for application from 1 July 1996. There will be consultation with interest groups and Assembly members in relation to the CSOs model. If Ms Horodny has any ideas as to how ACTION can look, within the CSOs, at the environmental aspects, we would be very pleased to hear from her.

MS HORODNY: I have a supplementary question. It seems that the Minister has no idea of how he will deal with that problem. Can he guarantee that environment groups, such as the Conservation Council and the ACF, will be consulted in the development of the CSOs?

MR DE DOMENICO: If the Conservation Council has any good input for this, Ms Horodny, we would be delighted to talk to them.

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