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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1357 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

of the other facilities and resources that are currently available at Phillip? You mentioned shopfronts before. Will you tell me specifically what services now provided at Phillip can and will be provided through shopfronts, and will it be the full range of services currently provided at Phillip?

MR SMYTH: Yes, we are going to close the BEPCON office at Phillip because what we want to do is make sure that there is more service, not less service. The ACT Government has shopfronts in the town centres and I would like to see them offering as many of the variety of services across all portfolios as we can in order to make life easier for the people of Canberra. We are looking at ways. We are discussing with PALM, with the BEPCON people and with the computer people to see in what ways we can use technology to do this smarter; to be clever about the way that we deliver service and to ensure that these plans are available on the Net. If Mr Wood is interested, and I am sure he is, I will get PALM to give him a briefing on the various services that we are now offering on the Internet. There are many portions of the Territory Plan and the infrastructure that we have now put onto the Net. We intend to continue the services there.

Mr Wood: It might do something about leases and blocks, will it?

MR SMYTH: It could. Leases and blocks are already there.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Wood, do you have a supplementary question?

Mr Wood: Yes, add a definition of leases and blocks for Mr Humphries.

MR SMYTH: I have that. I have a dictionary.

MR SPEAKER: Is that your supplementary question, Mr Wood?

MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, thank you for your indulgence. My supplementary question is this: Can you confirm, since the office is going to close, that at least 14 jobs will be lost when that happens? What hope can you offer those staff members who are presently, they feel, sailing on the Titanic? I remind you that in July 1998 your office was quoted on this topic as saying, "Service to customers is our highest priority". How does your statement - you have been entirely non-specific - fit in with the shutdown of those jobs and the reduced services that will be available?

MR SMYTH: That is easy. As I have said, we are looking at how we provide those services through the shopfronts. Obviously, trained staff will be required for the shopfronts. We are looking at how we provide those services on the Net and, in fact, increasing the service. If you close one and you provide that service at another four locations, that is an increase in service, and that is what this Government is about. We are about doing it better, we are about doing it smarter and we are about delivering service. It is about customer service and it is about looking after the people of Canberra.

Ms Carnell: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

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