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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (3 September) . . Page.. 1875 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

It is very disappointing, Mr Speaker, that not just this morning but for the last two sitting days that this Assembly has been discussing the budget those two members of this Assembly on whom the Government relies for the passage of this budget have barely contributed to the debate. They have barely said a word about this budget, yet they will be the two people who will give the Carnell Government and the Canberra community the budget - a budget which, as the Estimates Committee and many members on this side of the chamber have highlighted, contains many basic and obvious flaws.

Mr Speaker, I want to put that on the record. I think it is enormously disappointing. If the Osborne group are prepared to support this budget because of the commitment they have made to the electorate in relation to stability of government, fair enough; they should abide by that. But they should also meet the obligation they have to raise issues of concern about this budget, or at least put on the record why they are going to be supporting this budget, and at least make some attempt to put their view, as Independent members, on what this budget is all about. But they have not done that. They are not even here this morning. They have not been here for the great majority of this debate and they have certainly not contributed to this debate in any substantial way. Yet it is their votes that will result in this budget being passed.

Ms Tucker: Mr Rugendyke is at a funeral.

MR CORBELL: Ms Tucker interrupts and says that Mr Rugendyke is at a funeral this morning. That is understandable. I do not want to suggest in any way that he is neglecting his responsibilities by attending that event this morning. But for the great bulk of this debate those members have not been present and they have certainly not contributed.

Mr Speaker, in relation to the ACTION budget, the concerns that Ms Tucker has raised in this debate are, I think, legitimate ones and they are concerns that the Labor Party shares. The concerns that were raised in the debate we had yesterday on the ACTION fare structure are equally important and should be placed on the record again today when we are considering the ACTION budget. The fare structure is the most important element, or one of the most important elements, it would be fairer to say, in encouraging people to use the public transport system.

As I said yesterday, this Government has professed a concern about dealing with the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. It is laudable that the Government has acknowledged that is an issue of concern and there needs to be a strategy in place to deal with it. But to actually get people to stop using private vehicle transport for commuter trips, which is where we produce most greenhouse gas emissions, you need to have an attractive fare structure. I can only reinforce the comments that Ms Tucker made in relation to the residents of Gungahlin. As a Gungahlin resident, as the only member of this Assembly who lives in Gungahlin, I think it is disgraceful what the Government has done for residents of Gungahlin in relation to public transport.

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