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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2748 ..

Mr Osborne: Answer it.

MR HARGREAVES: I shall not and I will not, Mr Speaker, engage in this political ping-

MR SPEAKER: Mr Osborne, come to order!

Mr Osborne: I want to know why they can't do it now.

MR HARGREAVES: Name him, Mr Speaker. It hasn't happened yet.

Mr Osborne: Why can't they do it now, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Osborne, do you want me to name you?

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I am not going to continue this hysterical ping-pong game.

I want to address my remarks to the Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Bill. Mr Speaker, regardless of what sort of public bus service exists in this town, or even a private bus service plying their trade on non-public bus routes-for example, bus services which provide tourist services-this bill puts the standard up. It creates accreditation standards. There has been a lot of good work done on the part of the department, the union and all concerned in coming up with a set of standards for accreditation. If people want to oppose an accreditation standard, then all I can say is that they are afraid of quality assurance.

This bill covers all providers of public bus transport where a fare or other consideration is charged. It applies equally to all public and private sector providers consistent with competitive neutrality arrangements, and it establishes powers for the introduction and implementation of bus operator accreditation. If people oppose this it means there can be an open slather on bus safety. People who ply their trade as bus operators, be it tourism or on the major routes, will have certain safety standards, otherwise they do not get accredited, and that accreditation can be taken away from them if those safety standards are breached. Anybody who opposes those provisions is allowing for an open slather of unsafe standards. This bill creates enforcement standards and safety standards, and they are the strength of this bill. The bill introduces for the first time into the ACT a process of bus operator accreditation, and not before time.

Mr Osborne: What is the difference between a corporation and an authority?

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Osborne rabbits away and says, "What is the difference between a statutory authority and a corporation?" Mr Speaker, I offered Mr Osborne 48 hours ago an opportunity to come and talk to me. Mr Osborne not only ignored it; he said he would take me up on it. He did not darken the door. He did not beat any paths. As far as I am concerned, Mr Speaker, there are none so deaf as those that will not hear. Mr Osborne has made up his mind. It is a fat lot of use talking to someone with a narrow-

Mr Osborne: Well, just explain it to me. I am not very bright.

MR HARGREAVES: I am not going to continue my offer.

Mr Osborne: Explain it to me.

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