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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (16 February) . . Page.. 137 ..

MR MOORE: I am glad you interjected in that way, Mr Kaine, because I have always found it particularly fascinating to look around me and see the distinction between liberals and conservatives. Most people who look at the outside know the difference between a liberal and a conservative, both spelt with small letters.

Mr Quinlan: I take a point of order on the grounds of relevance, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order, Mr Quinlan.

MR MOORE: The answer to the question is that the Chief Minister is able to allow members of the Government to have a conscience vote. I emphasise that the legislation that I tabled in this Assembly went through Cabinet and was tabled by me with the approval of Cabinet, and it is something which Cabinet can be very proud of, Mr Kaine, because it is about saving lives.

ACTION Buses - Melba High School

MR QUINLAN: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services. It relates to school buses. I am sure Mr Moore knows a hell of a lot about it but I hope the Minister does not pass the question to him. I will address it initially to the Minister for Urban Services. Last year children from the Fraser, Charnwood and Dunlop area, where the local high school was closed by the Government, were enrolled in Melba High School. These children were able to take the old 406 service, which dropped them off and picked them up in Verbrugghen Street, directly opposite Melba High School. Under the new bus arrangements, the new No. 45 service runs down Kingsford Smith Drive and drops the children off right in the middle of a designated traffic accident black spot. They must then walk down Verbrugghen Street to the school. I think there is some arrangement whereby they can get one bus, a 46A or something, directly to the school gate. But the problem arises with the return trip home. They must cross four lanes of Kingsford Smith Drive, in this traffic black spot, and there is no pedestrian crossing. Will the Minister take urgent action to rectify this situation, or has he in fact taken some action?

Mr Moore: Mr Speaker, this actually falls in my area as part of healthy cities.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I thank the Minister for Health for his assistance, because this is indeed a healthy cities issue as well, in that accessible, suable public transport contributes to the wellbeing of the city. Mr Quinlan, I am not totally aware of the circumstances that you raise but would be concerned if children were disadvantaged by the new system in the manner that you have outlined. I would simply seek more information and I will give you an answer when I can.

MR QUINLAN: My supplementary question is: When you are seeking information, Minister, can you check whether this problem was identified by Melba High School in the process of planning for the new bus network and was ignored?

MR SMYTH: Again, Mr Speaker, I will have to take that on notice and get more information for the member.

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