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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2696 ..

MR HARGREAVES: I thank the Minister for that response. My supplementary question is: Can the Minister confirm that it is going to cost us $1,200 per student for five days' training at Goulburn? Will the ACT budget have to bear the initial cost? How much per annum have we provided for that?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I do not know what the costs, if any, will be. I do not know whether the arrangements have been finalised as yet, but I will find out. As to whether the ACT will bear those costs, this again is one of the uncertainties about the present arrangements. We notionally buy a police service with the various things that come with it, including the training of police, but some of the on-costs of changes in operations flow on to the ACT. From my perspective, it is not clear when we are supposed to bear those costs and when they are supposed to be supplied to us as part of our $54m contract with the Federal Police. That will certainly also have to be an issue in the renegotiation with the Federal Government. As to what costs we might bear and whether the ACT will have to budget for them separately, I will advise Mr Hargreaves when I have the answer.

ACTION - Palmerston School Service

MS TUCKER: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services. He has had notice of this question. Minister, is it the case that ACTION cancelled the afternoon school bus service returning to Palmerston from the Gold Creek senior site, Gold Creek junior site and the Holy Spirit Primary School for 1999? Why has the afternoon service been cancelled when, according to parents, 124 students who live in Palmerston will be attending Holy Spirit next year but will have no afternoon school bus home next year? Is the Minister aware also that parents are extremely concerned for the safety of many young children who would be forced to catch non-school buses home if their parents were unable to pick them up in 1999?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I thank Ms Tucker for notice of the question and I thank her for the question. Services for the Gold Creek Senior School have not been cancelled. The afternoon service to the Gold Creek Junior site has been withdrawn in the knowledge that an additional service route, route 50, will be available for students to travel to Palmerston in the afternoon. This service transports students directly from their school to their nearest bus stop. There will be no interchanging required. During 1998 the dedicated school service operating for Holy Spirit has averaged only 13 students from Holy Spirit and one student from Gold Creek Primary. These numbers do not justify a dedicated service, particularly when a route service is available. The Holy Spirit School finishes at 3.10 and the route 50 comes past the school at 3.21. Currently no other Gungahlin primary school receives a dedicated service, apart from Ngunnawal Primary, whose students access the high school's dedicated service. It is not uncommon for primary school students to use route services.

Mr Speaker, it is proposed that ACTION will monitor student patronage on the route services and, if the numbers justify it, they will consider providing a dedicated service. This review is carried out every year at the start of the school service.

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