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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2607 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

position in Urban Services has been declared surplus. My question is: Why are the needs of the relatively few disabled workers in the ACT Public Service not being safeguarded?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, there are a number of people with disabilities employed across my department and across the ACT Government. Positions do become redundant. In this case one of the officers involved is a person with a disability and that person will be given all the assistance they need to find further employment inside the ACT Government. We do not have involuntary redundancies. That person will be given all the assistance that she is deserving of.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, does your department have an EEO policy giving disabled people better than a fair go or do you think that they are adequately cared for by this "caring" Government?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, this Government is committed to EEO and across Urban Services - in Housing, still in CityScape, contrary to what some across there would say, at the nursery and in some other areas of my department - we employ people with disabilities. We are pleased to employ them. We are very proud to have them because they fulfil wonderful functions and carry out very productive occupations. In this case, the position itself is redundant. The person is not redundant. There are no involuntary redundancies. This person will be catered for to the best of our ability.

Advanced Transport System

MR HIRD: My question is to the Chief Minister, Mrs Carnell. I refer to yesterday's announcement regarding the site for a test track for an advanced transport system developed by an Australian company known as Bishop Austrans. Can the Chief Minister inform the parliament how this project came about and how the ACT Government was able to secure such an exciting project for Canberra and the region?

MS CARNELL: Thank you very much, Mr Hird. This project is very exciting and I hope that all members of this Assembly will share my excitement with it. The Bishop Austrans project came about - - -

Mr Berry: You are pretty easily excited.


: I understand that Mr Berry is always upset when the Government has another success. The project came about as a result of the Government's approach to encouraging companies and businesses to come to the ACT. The approach we took was proactive. We got the Commonwealth - via NCA, the CSIRO and the ANU - and CanTrade to act as a team. That team went to a board meeting of the Bishop Austrans company and made a presentation, as they did in a number of other circumstances. That presentation, I am told, was of world class. As has been said by representatives of Bishops in media releases over the last couple of days and at the launch yesterday, the presentation showed Canberra in a different light, from their perspective. It showed

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