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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3767 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

of merit by taking talented women and giving them encouragement and rewarding their improvement in capacity with positions that merit their capacity.

One of the most significant things we can do in helping women to achieve their proper position in public life is to acknowledge their achievements. In a sense, this answer today is part of doing that. It was disappointing to see in the launch of the Labor Party women's policy-

Mr Berry: How many did you recruit to the fire service in six years? Not one.

MR HUMPHRIES: I know you are a bit upset, Mr Berry, about this fact. The fact is that, despite not having a quota system, we have made a lot of progress. Of course, for you people, not having had any women in your ranks for the last three years must rank as a fairly galling fact. I would have thought that in launching the women's policy not mentioning the name of a single Labor woman candidate in your media release was not exactly designed to engender confidence that you people are going to put Labor women into your next Assembly team. I wonder which one of you is going to kiss a seat goodbye to make sure that happens.

I am very proud of what we have achieved. It stands for itself. I hope that we can continue that record into the next Legislative Assembly.

Free school bus scheme

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services, and maybe the Minister for Education. It relates to the government's free school bus scheme that is due to commence operation next week. I am aware of a situation in which an 18-year-old disability pensioner attends courses both as a year 12 student at Copland College and as a literacy student at Bruce TAFE. The student lives in Dunlop and until the introduction of the government's new scheme received as an entitlement of her pension free travel between home and both centres of study. This entitlement will end on 28 September, after which she will only be entitled to free travel between home and Copland College. Can the minister say why someone who is already disadvantaged should be further disadvantaged by the so-called free school bus scheme?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, we have said that those who have free travel rights will retain those free travel rights. That will be maintained. If Mr Hargreaves wants to provide the details, I will certainly look into the case.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much. This is but one example. My supplementary question is this: how are you going to level out the playing field?

Mr Humphries: It is a bad example because it is not typical.


MR HARGREAVES: Will I start again, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, please.

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