Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (20 May) . . Page.. 410 ..
MR HARGREAVES (continuing):
All I am saying in bringing this matter to this Assembly is that I fully support the moves that ACTION are taking. Let me say that again: I fully support ACTION's moves, but I want the review widened. There are other things to be considered. Some of them are within the purview of ACTION management and some of them are not. But they are all within the portfolio of Urban Services, and that is what I want worked on. So, having it referred to the standing committee is an excellent idea, as is getting on with the review of ACTION. I would prefer to see those extra things that I want looked at included in that review. If that were the case, Mr Speaker, we could let the matter stand.
MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (3.35): Just a point of clarification, Mr Speaker: Perhaps Mr Hargreaves missed it when I said it this morning, but DUS actually convenes the committee that reviews school buses. As is rightly pointed out, the department has other resources that should be open to ACTION. DUS makes those resources available. I will say again for the record that the membership of the committee is very wide, in that the committee has on it departmental representatives from Urban Services and Education, people from the Catholic Education Office, and representatives of the Association of Independent Schools, the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations, the Association of Parents and Friends of ACT Schools, as well as ACTION.
This is to be a very wide review. It will go right back to basics to make sure that we provide the best service that we can. Basically, there is nothing wrong with what Mr Hargreaves is calling for, except that he knows that we are already doing it. I am quite happy to support Mr Osborne, as I have already told him, in his amendment to have it go to the Urban Services Committee. I think it is very important that reviews go to committees and the Assembly have input at that stage. I think credit for this review should be given to the ACTION people, in particular Guy Thurston, because they are doing a very good job.
Amendment (Mr Osborne's) agreed to.
MR HARGREAVES (3.36): Mr Speaker, in closing the debate, I would like to address some misunderstandings that have been chucked about this chamber with gay abandon. It is not the membership of the interagency committee with which I have difficulty; it is their methodology. I would urge the chair of the Urban Services Committee to consider that point because the interagency committee has been working with the best intentions for at least 20 years that I know of and they have not got it right yet. There are many instances I can cite for the committee, when the time comes, of their not getting it right. It is happening because their methodology is flawed, and that needs looking into.
Mr Speaker, I was pilloried somewhat this morning, much to my great amusement - and I thank the Minister for the entertainment - over such things as reviewing it every year. Certainly, ACTION review it every year, and what they do is bandaid the routes every year. Guy Thurston's point is a very valid one. He wants to go back to taws. Nobody has any argument about the review every year, but that is not the salient point in this particular discussion. What we are saying is that it is insufficient and that it needs to be considerably wider. This committee that advises the Government has