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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (21 June) . . Page.. 2367 ..

MR HIRD (continuing):

These buses will be suitably equipped so that they can access and egress in accordance with the requirements of the elderly and the infirm.

Mr Berry: Mr Deputy Speaker, I take a point of order. I think the member is talking about the wrong line. Part 11 relates to the Department of Urban Services. I think the line he should be talking to is part 13-ACTION. ACTION are the people who deal with buses.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

MR HIRD: Thank you Mr Deputy Speaker. I wish Mr Berry would not interrupt. I do not interrupt him. But it is always the same: when he gets wound up and you start to make a lot of sense and your comments hit home, he has got to intrude into your time.

Mr Deputy Speaker, let me get back to the point I was making about buses. They are about providing good service. People need to be encouraged to use our public transport system. I commend the Minister for Urban Services and the Treasurer for their astuteness in ensuring that families will benefit from free school bus travel. Families are doing it tough. I notice that the opposition has left the chamber, so they must have been hearing a few home truths.

The opposition is saying that this side of the house is playing a cheap political trick. Let me assure you, Mr Deputy Speaker, that that is not the case. We are honest and sincere in acknowledging that we made a promise. But we could only deliver on that promise after we had addressed the huge superannuation deficit problems that we inherited. Having used good management to address that major issue for the workers of the ACT, we are now in a position to move on to the question of free school bus travel.

We will deliver on our free school bus travel promise. Those opposite see this as a cheap political trick but if they were in the same situation they would do the same thing. It sounds as though they are judging the good managers on this side of the chamber on the basis of what they would get up to. I hope that I am wrong. If they happen to form government after 20 October, I just hope that next time around the accountant of the year leaves the books and Treasury in better condition than the last lot did.

MR QUINLAN (5.32): This will probably upset you a little, Harold, but, if you want to use a little bit of variety and accuse me of good things, I was also the outstanding graduate in my year of '75.

I want to award to Mr Rugendyke the Freudian slip of the week. He pointed to this side of the house and spoke of his political opponents. I thought that if you were an independent you would not have political opponents. I thought you were an independent. If we are your political opponents, then it is logical to conclude that you are part of a coalition. There has been some cock-eyed logic used, particularly in relation to your position this year and last year. But you ought to get due credit for the slip of the week. I think you confirmed your position when, in responding to a hint that Mr Hird might be accusing you of criticising the government, you said, "No, I wouldn't do that." So the colours are on the mast, old son.

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