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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3661 ..

MR CORNWELL (continuing):

The Goulburn Post has commented that, although the press release announcing the temporary cancellation of these two trips to Canberra stated that the return of those two trains would be subject to a late October review of both staff and patronage demand on the corridor, the train has been removed completely from the internal computer.

While buses have been replacing all Xplorers in the two weeks the trains were withdrawn, due to the staffing difficulties, spokesmen said that there were not even provisions in the timetable from 1 September to replace the withdrawn morning and evening Xplorers. The new timetable due for release from September 21 has no provision for the morning and evening trains. So it looks as though they have taken them out completely.

The question then is: what is going to happen to the rest of the service between Canberra and Sydney and, I repeat, the intervening stations for people who live en route? What about Bungendore and various places like that? What is going to happen to Mittagong and Bowral? Maybe we will chop out trains from the entire region and replace them with buses. We do not know.

But I believe that this ACT Labor government has been remarkably tardy in taking action to raise this matter with Mr Carr and, equally, the federal ACT Labor members have been remarkably quiet. Mrs Dunne has already mentioned our new member for Monaro, who has been remarkably quiet. You have to wonder why. I think there is extreme embarrassment, and I can understand that.

I urge this government, as I urge this Assembly, to do something about this whole matter. I believe that the battlers they purport to represent will be the people who are most disadvantaged. The one thing that you have in train travel is time. That time is sometimes imposed upon people because of costs; others-the retired, et cetera-can enjoy the travelling because time is not of great importance to them.

I believe that we owe it to those people; they have as much right to travel as anybody else. They do not necessarily have the right to travel as they would always like, but that is a matter of financial circumstance. Nevertheless, they have every right to travel, the same as everybody else.

I have read a lot in the newspaper of Carr for Canberra-the Premier of New South Wales coming up to save federal Labor. May I conclude by saying that, if he does come to Canberra, it won't be by rail!

MRS DUNNE: (6.20) I am glad that this important matter has created so much interest, and I am pleased to see that the Chief Minister is sufficiently moved to consider what is being said and whether or not it needs to be amended. The Liberal opposition will not be supporting paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) of his amendment, for the very simple reason that they are the same words as are in the existing motion.

This is a pathetic attempt by the Chief Minister; he has done it two or three times today. It happens often in private members business with amendments that say, "omit all words after,"with a view to substituting something else. It is as though, on a private members

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