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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (21 June) . . Page.. 2380 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

the pain and suffering of others. That is what this is about. It is about the successes they have achieved on the basis of the pain and suffering of others.

Coming back to the buses, Mr Speaker, some of that pain and suffering was caused by the double bus fares that were inflicted on parents who sent their kids across two zones. These amendments seek to strike out the amount allocated to purchase the buses for the free school bus plan. Mr Smyth is now trying to re-create history: at first the new buses were only for the free school bus plan, but now they are for something else.

As the heat increases, Mr Smyth knows that they have hit the wrong button, and all of a sudden he is trying to create the impression that the aged and infirm will miss out because we cannot buy these free buses. The fact is that they were only ever going to be purchased for the free school bus system. The reason that people will miss out in relation to buses is because the government ditched its bus replacement program, and officials admitted that before the Estimates Committee. So let's stop kidding ourselves and stop trying to kid each other.

These amendments are part of a package of amendments designed to put money into schools and not into systems that advantage a small sector of the community. They are about nothing else. I notice that the independents have left us and I understand that the Greens will not support Labor in relation to this matter. That is a pity. I have heard the Greens express a view about gas-powered buses in the past, and they think we should have a few. We should have them in the normal bus replacement program that has been abandoned by the government. We should not have them in a cheap and glossy election promise that is designed to do nothing else.

The acquisition of these buses is certainly not designed to do anything in social justice terms or, as they describe it, social capital terms, because 75 per cent of the people are going to miss out.

Mr Moore: They are different. You do not even know that they are different.

MR BERRY: Oh, social justice and social capital are different are they? Well, okay, they are different.

Mr Quinlan: Social capital is when you capitalise.

MR BERRY: When you capitalise on society? So when you capitalise on society, you call it social capital?

Mr Quinlan: Yes.

MR BERRY: And when you look after the social justice interests of the community, it is social justice. I am pleased that Mr Moore has helped us draw the distinction. I urge members to support this as part of the package. There is a certain inevitability about the result, but I want to remind people that this is something that will go to the election, and that people fully understand what Labor will do after that time.

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