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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (15 June) . . Page.. 1854 ..

MR OSBORNE: Are ACT WorkCover responsible for inspecting fireworks that are for sale? I do not know the answer to this question. Are they the body that also try to ferret out the illegal fireworks from organisations and stores?

MR SMYTH: The dangerous goods inspectors are part of WorkCover. The police also have certain powers under the act. Under the act, fireworks have to be tested to make sure they conform to the standard, and that information has to be submitted before a licence can be issued for their sale. My understanding is that the three firms that sought licences for the sale of shopgoods fireworks also supplied information that said that the fireworks they would sell complied with the law.

V8 supercar race

MR QUINLAN: My question to the Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts relates to the traffic arrangements for the GMC400 and the additional money that the Assembly approved to operate the event. On a couple of occasions, and most recently at estimates hearings, you indicated that at least part of the additional $1.5 million that has been allocated to the GMC400 was to satisfy the NCA's request to speed up the process of the erection of barriers and the provision of traffic measures for the race. This year traffic appears to have been held up by the barricades, et cetera, for longer than was the case last year. How do you reconcile telling us, I think on a couple of occasions in this place, that the money was being allocated to reduce the amount of traffic congestion and now we find that the disruption has lasted longer?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I think I said on previous occasions that some of the additional money would go to shortening the construction period-the time that it took to put up and take down the GMC rally. We closed some of the streets early in order to shorten the period of construction. This enabled more intense activity to take place in the final week before the race. The GMC rally was taken down on the Monday, which enabled all the street closures to be removed for the start of traffic on the Tuesday morning.

MR QUINLAN: I have had a call from a lady constituent from Campbell who said that the congestion was such that she could not get out of her driveway to keep an appointment. What steps have been taken this year to measure the impact of the elongated traffic congestion that we paid extra for? What measures have been taken to evaluate the impact of the race on traffic?

MR SMYTH: The traffic was monitored each day in the lead-up to the race and over the weekend. I expect that a section of the final report on the GMC400 will be devoted to how the traffic measures and the closures went, and that there will be an assessment of what can be done to improve it next year.

School buses

MR HIRD: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services, Mr Smyth. I refer to a media release by Mr Berry of 4 June of this year relating to free school buses. Can the minister advise the house how many applications the government has received to date under the free school student travel scheme?

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