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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (16 February) . . Page.. 146 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

or 25 per cent, in just two years. Where are the congratulations from those opposite? Where is the "Isn't this fantastic?" coming from those opposite? I think we will get old waiting. Mr Speaker, does this sound like a leadership vacuum or employment vacuum to you? The fact is that it is not. Those on this side of the house are working very hard to ensure that Canberrans have a real opportunity for jobs, a real opportunity for social equality, a real opportunity for the quality of life that comes with employment, and will continue with that focus even if those opposite continue to be negative.

School Buses - McMillan Crescent

MR HARGREAVES: I thank all members for being quiet while I ask my question. I express my appreciation in advance. I ask my question of the Minister for Urban Services. The Minister has visited the McMillan Crescent bus drop-off and pick-up area between St Clare's and St Edmund's colleges. It is noteworthy that he has finally, after a year in his job, visited what the CEO of ACTION described only last Thursday night as the busiest school drop-off and pick-up area in the country.

Mr Smyth: ACTION said that, not the CEO.

MR HARGREAVES: For the benefit of the deaf Minister, I say again that this is what the CEO of ACTION described as the busiest school drop-off. Can the Minister inform the Assembly how and exactly when the drop-off area will be made safe? Will he consider closing the street in peak student movement times?

MR SMYTH: I thank the member for his question. Yes, it is the busiest drop-off spot, apparently, in Australia for school students. In the afternoon we pick up some 1,800 students from St Clare's and St Edmund's and take them home safely. My understanding is that the number of buses we are now putting through that intersection is being assessed. ACTION have had staff there looking at it. The department is looking at it in light of what happened at the commencement of this school year, as we do at the commencement of all school years. I expect I will be given some recommendations very soon as to what we can do to make that intersection and that street work properly.

MR HARGREAVES: I ask a supplementary question. Can the Minister give an undertaking to this Assembly that the advice he is expecting will take less than the 12 months that he has been looking into this matter so far? Can the Minister also advise whether there is overcrowding on the buses servicing those colleges and, if so, how it will be addressed and when?

MR SMYTH: In the 10 months that I have been Minister these issues have been raised. These issues are normally looked at at the commencement of the school year. The school transport advisory committee will assess all transport.

Mr Moore: Are you going to consult?

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