Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 2099 ..
MR BERRY: This is the very point that I make. This is about allowing the Government to proceed right up to the gate and then come out with a bunch of figures, probably the bodgie ones which were referred to by my colleague Mr Quinlan this morning. They would be drawn up in such a way as to make privatisation a very attractive option. You can imagine that the Government would be pursuing some sort of a parallel public relations exercise to try to frighten people out of public bus services. The Government must stop now. Do not proceed any further. Get round the table and reassess what you gave the Transport Workers Union and their members last time round.
If you want to reassess it, in accordance with your own agreement, you have to do it with them, not against them. You are trying to take them on head-on. At the risk of being repetitive, I say again that it was designed for confrontation. It failed. It must be resisted, because the ground rules here are wrong. You are trying to gut the intent of Ms Tucker's motion and that should not be allowed.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (3.52): Mr Speaker, I want to make a few comments in this debate. The Labor Party and Ms Tucker have been quick to buy into the negotiation going on between the Government and ACTION and have been very quick to characterise the state of play as the Government attempting to walk away from negotiations, to act in bad faith, to leave these negotiations at a crucial stage and somehow to engage in one-upmanship by looking at the tendering out of services.
Mr Speaker, I think we need to see what has been happening against the background of what has been going on with ACTION generally over the last decade at least and probably for a lot longer - for as long, practically, as ACTION has existed. That is the very serious problem with the lack of effective delivery of services to the people of the ACT. I would like members just for a moment to withdraw from the mode of attacking each other on either side of the chamber, accusing each other of botching this and gutting that, and so on, and just think about - - -
Mr Berry: You are.
MR HUMPHRIES: We can have that debate as well, but let us just think for a moment about what we are trying to achieve here, which is a higher quality of service to the people of the ACT.
Mr Berry: No, that is not what the motion says.
MR HUMPHRIES: I know that is not what the motion directly refers to. Mr Speaker, that is not what the motion directly refers to, but the debate is essentially all about how we get to an outcome where we improve the quality of service. If Mr Berry does not think that is what the ultimate outcome is all about, then I think he has lost sight of the wood for the trees. If it is not about improving quality of service, it ought to be.