Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (14 June) . . Page.. 1791 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

So what I am asking for in this motion is that we actually do ask the government to do some work to provide a substantial rationale for their public policy approach to education and transport. We are asking also that that work be done in consultation with the community because, as we know, they have not done that at this point in time. We also know that this government has a consultation protocol which it used to be proud of. Maybe that is not the case now that Mrs Carnell is not here. She used to be proud of it. I remember the launch well and I supported it. It is a good document. So I am sure that members of this Assembly agree that we need to see proper consultation with the community before we come up with these sorts of social policy initiatives. For that reason I am asking support of the Assembly for this motion. All this motion is doing is asking government to support its public policy with some kind of analysis.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (6.26): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, Ms Tucker asks that we support our policy by some sort of analysis. It is curious. I wonder if she is now heralding a new era in policy release in the lead-up to the next election when she will put out her policies. She will ask the public to comment on them. She will do an RIS and probably do a BIS, gather the consultation together, and then, before she presents her policies for election she will confirm whether or not she will carry them out.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, political parties go to elections with policies. They ask people to take them at their word. When we reformed the bus service in 1998-99 the constant chip and gibe across the house from Mr Hargreaves was: "What about your free school buses? When are you going to implement that?" Now, suddenly, we are in a position to implement that. Through good financial management we have made up the $344 million debt that Labor left us. Now that we are in the position to do it we are told it is just a glib vote-buying policy.

Well, we took that policy to the electorate. The electorate would have considered that in the lead-up to the 1995 election and it is one of the policies they elected us on. When politicians go out there the fundamental complaint that we often get is that politicians do not keep their word. Here we are attempting to keep our word, now that we are in a position to do so, and what do we get from those opposite? They say, "Oh, don't do it. This is a terrible waste of money." They want more research; they want more consultation.

I think we had some really effective consultation. We have gone out to the electorate. We have posted to every family in this territory. We have sent out with their schoolchildren an application for one of these free school bus passes. What have we got? I understand we have now got about 16,000 applications. That is more students who want a free bus pass than use the buses at the moment. If you want accurate consultation, we have been out there talking to the community and the community have said to us that they want this.

Mr Berry: No, you have not. Show me the survey.

MR SMYTH: Mr Berry says, "No, you have not." We put this promise on the table six years ago. We took it to an election.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .