Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 854 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
I understand that only two natural gas vehicles are still in operation, despite AGL continuing its offer to pay for decommissioning costs or to buy back natural gas vehicles and despite $14,000 being set aside in the Energy Research and Development Trust to convert five vehicles to natural gas. Could you please explain why it is taking your department so long to put in place this trial and expand the use of natural gas vehicles in its fleet?
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I will have to take that question on notice. I will find out from the department why it has taken so long and what they have done to implement the trial.
MS TUCKER: I have a supplementary question. I have had some answer to this concern in one letter from the Minister and I was concerned. It is not a comprehensive answer. In one part of the letter, which you have signed, Mr Smyth - I will read it - you say:
The conversion of vehicles to natural gas has been temporarily on hold while Totalcare resolves a number of issues in relation to the conversion of the vehicles.
Minister, is two years what you normally consider to be "temporarily on hold"?
MR SMYTH: Again, I will have to find out what has progressed inside the department since writing the letter.
MR OSBORNE: How is your gas-powered car going, Kerrie?
Ms Tucker: Pretty cool, thanks.
MR OSBORNE: Beauty. My question is to the Minister for Urban Services, Mr Smyth. I do hope he does not take it on notice as everyone else seems to be doing today. Minister, in a recent newspaper article the Liberal Victorian Minister for Roads, Geoff Craige, said that he and that State are seriously considering returning the State to annual vehicle inspections. Mr Craige said that he was interested in making the change to annual inspections after learning that police figures for last year showed that 50,000 fines were handed out to motorists who failed random checks and that about 5 per cent of crashes in Victoria in 1998 involved suspect cars. The Minister said that he was thinking about changing to annual inspections as he would consider any plan to save lives. He said:
Anything we can change to save one person's life, in my view, is a worthwhile project.
He also said: