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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (28 April) . . Page.. 67 ..

MR OSBORNE: I have a supplementary question. It is all very nice, Chief Minister, that the MBA met its agreement; but it certainly did not meet the guarantees that were given by you and Mr De Domenico, given that 86 is well short of 150. You talked about 70 jobs for young apprentices, placement of 50 extra apprentices and 25 at-risk apprentices and trainees. I am a little bit concerned, Chief Minister, that the numbers that you gave here in the Assembly were not the numbers that the MBA was bound by. So, could you clarify that situation, clarify what you said here and clarify whether or not it was what the MBA was required to do after you had given us those assurances?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, this was at a time when I was not the Minister. So, I will certainly take that on board. But, Mr Speaker, again I come back to the fact that, for $300,000 that was allocated from the Long Service Leave Board training levy, what actually happened was that 86 positions were achieved - positions that may not have been in place if it had not been for the dollars - and also 28 apprentices were kept on board that may not have been. I think that is the sort of thing that we need to ensure happens in the future, where the private sector and the Government work together. But I will certainly take on board Mr Osborne's comments and questions.

Government Car Fleet - Natural Gas Trial

MS TUCKER: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services. It is in regard to the trial of natural gas vehicles in the ACT Government car fleet. The Government has been working with AGL to trial natural gas cars in the ACT fleet. As, no doubt, the Minister is aware, natural gas vehicles have significantly lower emissions of nitrogen, sulphur, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as 20 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional vehicles. I understand that there are currently five vehicles in the trial. Given that AGL has agreed to purchase up to 20 government natural gas vehicles - so, a trial of this many vehicles would not cost the ACT Government any money - why is the ACT Government not taking up the offer of AGL of converting up to 20 cars in a trial of natural gas vehicles?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I thank the member for her question. I have to say that I am not fully across that issue as such; but what I can say is that this Government is certainly very interested in looking at different manners in which we use our vehicle fleet, to reduce greenhouse gases. In fact, I was in Sydney last week and saw a diesel-electric bus, which was very impressive in its application. That is something that perhaps we could consider long term for use here in the ACT. I will take your question on notice and I will get you an immediate answer.

MS TUCKER: Thank you. I do have a supplementary question or an additional request. I would also be very interested to see any documentation that you have on the results of the trials so far, including any cost savings and the methodology of the trials.

MR SMYTH: Certainly.

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