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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2697 ..

MS TUCKER: I ask a supplementary question. You are saying that there have not been any complaints to ACTION about overcrowding this year, on both the morning and afternoon buses to Gold Creek junior and senior campuses and Holy Spirit? You are saying they are actually underpatronised, are you?

MR SMYTH: The advice I have is that they are underpatronised. The advice I have is that on the afternoon service there are 13 students from Holy Spirit and one student from the Gold Creek Primary School. I do understand - in fact, a note came down after question time commenced - that the Catholic Education Office has now been in contact with ACTION and has quoted figures similar to those you have, indicating that there is the potential next year for something like 125 students wanting to go to the Holy Spirit School. The school transport liaison committee did not know of that concern, but we review the services in the lead-up to the school year and, based on those numbers, we will certainly provide some sort of service for the start of the school year. If patronage is there and patronage warrants the service, we will provide the service.

Legislative Assembly - Members' Staff Allowances

MR KAINE: I direct a question to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, in the debate this morning in connection with the proposed disallowance of a determination you said that a member could not be given an increased staff salary allowance because no provision was made in the budget and you did not know where the money would come from. Chief Minister, about eight months ago you issued a determination, I presume, increasing the staff salary allowances of the then four crossbenchers to the tune of $10,000 each - $40,000. That was two-thirds of the way through the fiscal year. Obviously, no budgetary provision had been made. What were the financial arrangements made to accommodate that $40,000?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I will have to take that question on notice to find out what the financial arrangements were at that stage. It is always possible for the Government to use the Treasurer's Advance when the issue could not have been foreseen. In this particular case, we have known since a long time before the budget was even debated in this place that Mr Kaine was unhappy about his staff allocation. I just make the point that the Treasurer's Advance would not be available in this situation, because the situation was foreseen.

MR KAINE: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I can assure the Chief Minister that the Treasurer's Advance was not used eight months ago. I can inform her, if she is uninformed, as to what the process was, but I would like the Chief Minister's assurance that the same arrangements as applied eight months ago can be set in place today to accommodate this new change in the determination.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, it is a debate. You cannot ask that question.

Mr Berry: You do not want to answer it.

MS CARNELL: I can say no, but it is a debate.

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