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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (14 June) . . Page.. 1706 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

It will be interesting to see what line of attack the government will adopt. How are they going to argue that free buses will improve education in schools? They cannot. They cannot argue along those lines. It is fallacious to argue that free buses will improve the lot of kids in all our schools, and this has been demonstrated to be the case.

Mr Speaker, the Financial Management Amendment Bill 2001 (No 2) restores some sanity to the education debate. It puts the money where it should be-in our schools-and it guarantees improved education outcomes. There is wide acceptance in the community that there should be better education outcomes in our schools. We know that everybody wants that. People will not be bought off by cheap election bribes but they will respond warmly to attempts to improve education demonstrably in our school system. The proposal to save this money, to prevent it from being spent before the election, will do that, and I urge members to support the bill.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Fair Trading (Fuel Prices) Amendment Bill 2001

Mr Osborne, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR OSBORNE (11.05): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, members may recall that about 18 months ago the Assembly passed legislation of mine to establish temperature correction of wholesale deliveries of fuel. It took over a year for the oil companies to comply with this requirement, but they eventually did so. As it happens from time to time with changes to the law, it turns out the act does need some finetuning. This bill gives the act a little tweak.

The act that was passed by the Assembly was well written and provided a minimalist approach to establishing the practice of temperature correction. Unfortunately, in this case, some oil companies have not done the right thing and seem intent on exploiting a form of words in the act that, as it turns out, are not specific enough. This bill changes that.

Rather than go over all the arguments for temperature correcting fuel, I will just briefly remind members of a couple of key points. As we all know, petroleum products change their volume according to changes in temperature. As they heat they expand and as they cool their volume shrinks. Different types of fuel react differently to changes in temperature, but they all change volume and all do so according to a precise scientific formula.

In Canberra our fuel supplies all come from warmer climates than ours, a factor that is obviously more noticeable during winter. Typically a load of fuel could leave Sydney in winter at around 25 degrees Celsius, arriving in Canberra at, say, 12 degrees Celsius air temperature, and zero degrees once it reaches a storage tank three metres underground.

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