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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 1125 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

What was to be a free school bus service now costs me $544.00 per year! ($3264.00 over their high school life!)

This could not be called a `family budget' by any stretch of the imagination.

It is a long time since I have had so quickly that sort of response to a budget in relation to any extra charges. Mr Speaker, this is clearly not a caring budget. It is a cunning budget; there is no question about that. But it is not a budget which cares about the people of the ACT. In the end, ordinary working people are going to be the ones that pay massively for the excesses of the Carnell Government. We have seen them in the past and we have criticised them in the past, but it appears that the Government has not learnt its lesson and still ignores the wishes of the community. This Government is hell-bent on raking in revenue from ordinary working people out there. These are two examples that I bring to your attention tonight. I trust that the Government will take on board the complaints that are rolling in. More will come, I am sure.

ACTION Bus Services

MR HIRD (6.36): Mr Speaker, I remind Mr Berry that on 20 May this year the Assembly passed across to the Standing Committee on Urban Services, which Mr Berry left today, a public inquiry into ACTION buses. I would suggest to Mr Berry that, if he gets in touch with his constituents, they may care to take up the committee's offer and put forward a submission, either written or verbal. I understand that submissions are being accepted by the committee up until 7 August 1998. But it does surprise me that Mr Berry, who was a member of that committee, does not realise what is happening in this place. Then again it goes on from time to time. I note that he has left the chamber. It may be that he has turned his back on the fact that he has forgotten that this inquiry was being undertaken. Mr Speaker, I would invite all members of the house, should they get any inquiries from their constituents, to contact the secretary of the Urban Services Committee.

Ms Natasha Davis

MS TUCKER (6.38): I rise tonight to acknowledge the work of Natasha Davis, who has been working for me for the last three years. As members know, the quality of work of the people who work with you in this place is very important. I believe that a lot of the work of high quality that has come out of the Greens' office has been the result of Natasha's dedication and hard work. Natasha started with me on the first day that we arrived here. We walked into two empty offices with Lucy Horodny and it was a fairly scary experience. We did not have anyone here to help us adjust, except, of course, the people who work here - the secretariat and other staff who are always incredibly supportive. I think it is really important to acknowledge Natasha's work, because the people behind the members are incredibly important and they are not usually acknowledged. I just want to say thank you to Natasha.

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