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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 2806 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

That is not to say that CityScape has not done its part. CityScape over the last couple of years have performed well to get into the shape where they can compete. The Government will make some savings out of getting better value for its contracts.

In the recent contract which CityScape won we saved another $150,000. Mr Hargreaves fails to realise that the standards set inside the new contracts will ensure that standards are met. We now have standards that have to be met under contract. We end up not only saving the people of Canberra money but getting better service for that money.

MR HARGREAVES: I ask a supplementary question. I have noticed that there has been an increase in volunteers cleaning up their local area in the ACT, and I am sure the Minister will join me in congratulating the people involved. Do you consider it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to perform jobs that their taxes should pay for?

MR SMYTH: I think it is always very important that the community be involved in looking after their city. The thing that strikes me across my portfolio is the number of community groups that are willing to put something back into the city that is their home. At the BAC flats we have a group of tenants who regularly put together a concert to build community spirit there. Across the Territory we have something like 100 landcare, watercare, waterwatch and parkcare groups putting something back into their community. A huge number of people and groups have taken up the Adopt a Road program. It is very encouraging that people put things back into their community.

Mr Hargreaves: It is your job.

MR SMYTH: It is the job of all of us. Mr Hargreaves says it is my job. I would have thought it was the job of all of us as a community to make sure that the city is always clean. It is curious that Mr Hargreaves speaks about unions, because what he is actually talking about - - -

Mr Hargreaves: I beg your pardon. I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I did not mention unions at all, so I would ask you about relevance.

Ms Carnell: It is not a point of order.

Mr Hargreaves: Would you please zip up the Chief Minister as well?

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order, Mr Hargreaves. You have been interjecting continuously, even when it has not been your question.

MR SMYTH: Another long lunch, Mr Speaker. I understand that it is the Community and Public Sector Union, who apparently have only six members in CityScape, that have put out a media release. The media release referred to union concerns about a $653,000 budget cut and the assumed implications for cleaning services in the city. It was claimed, only by the union, that the public toilets will not be cleaned at weekends. I guess when you make an assumption it is like the old adage that you always make an arse out of somebody anyway. No agreements on changes to services have been reached, and weekend toilet cleaning is not even on the agenda.

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