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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 2070 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

I expect that when it comes to a vote on these motions we will have the support of Mr Moore. I quote from his statement on 31 May 1995 in a debate on the corporatisation of ACTION services:

In a situation where there is a privatisation of such public services I believe that government does lose control, and that is something I do have an ideological objection to.

I am sure, Mr Moore, that you have not flipped so far that your ideology has changed since your Faustian progression through the Government.

I would like to put the Government on notice. Even though you have called for expressions of interest from the private sector, please do not insult our intelligence by feeding us numbers from those expressions of interest as being indicative of future costs. There is no doubt that the private operators will start out with very sharp pencils to gain access to public transport services in the ACT, to gain the business and to destroy the public transport system of Canberra. I repeat the statement by Jon Stanhope: Public transport is a basic essential service in a civilised community. I certainly recommend that members support the motions.

MR BERRY (12.16): Mr Speaker, members who are considering these motions should consider the background to the entire matter. This is an ideological decision about privatisation. It is not new for the Liberal Party. It is something that is ingrained in their persona.

Mr Stanhope: Is it new for Mr Moore?

MR BERRY: I do not think it is that new for Mr Moore, but now that he is sitting where he is it is pretty clear what his ideological position is in relation to this matter. The Liberals discussed transport at their love-in at the Eagle Hawk Motel in December 1995. I will quote the changes that were made to the resolution of the love-in by the Chief Minister. The original notes read:

Competitively tender the transport system. ACTION is inefficient and the work practices are unacceptable.

The word "unacceptable" was crossed out by the Chief Minister and the words "very costly" were put in its place. The notes went on to say:

ACTION must be shaken out of complacency and whip into shape and then when it is in a state when it would be able to compete with private bus companies the Canberra bus routes should be put out to competitive tender and ACTION must then be forced to compete for those tenders.

The words "whip into shape and then when it is in a state when it would be able to compete" were crossed out and the words "made ready for competition" were substituted. It is very clear that this Government has always intended to privatise ACTION, no matter what.

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