Page 257 - Week 01 - Thursday, 9 December 2004

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government that is assisting training development. The link between skill shortage and redundancy is unclear to me.

Hire cars

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services. I refer to the letter to the Limousine Industry Association from the Minister for Urban Services—in fact, the acting Minister for Urban Services—dated 9 September 2004 in which the government proposed to make a formal offer of $100,000 per licence to individual hire car licence owners sometime in the first half of 2005. Why is this figure not the figure that was discussed in the Planning and Environment Committee inquiry into the Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Amendment Bill 2003?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much for enabling me to break the duck, Mrs Dunne! I appreciate that very much. The first thing is that the government will not slavishly follow a standing committee, of which you were chair. We need to understand that an enormous amount of work needs to be done before an amount is determined.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR HARGREAVES: I can wait, Mr Speaker, because the clock runneth on, just like Mrs Dunne’s mouth. There is an enormous amount of work, as Mrs Dunne would know, in developing not only the amount that is to be offered but also the terms and enactment of the legislative requirements for the leasing, and people got on with. We have to understand that this is a total package effort here. We also need to understand, and I am sure Mrs Dunne’s memory is infallible on this one, that the government said there would be an offer of an amount which would come in by I think it was June or 1 July of 2005.

Mrs Dunne: It is 1 July 2005.

MR HARGREAVES: Okay. Well, the last time I looked at a calendar we have got over six months to go on that, well and truly over six months to go. I have had discussions with the limousine association, the contents of which I do not intend to discuss in this chamber, nor with the opposition, and breach that confidence.

Mr Smyth: I bet you won’t tell us how disappointed they were.

Mrs Dunne: Especially you!

MR HARGREAVES: Perhaps Mr Smyth or Mrs Dunne might like to get up and answer the question. I have absolutely no doubt that, by the conclusion of the next six months, there will be an honourable, dignified and just exit from the draconian regime that these people had stewardship over for many years. We have to remember that it was that lot over there that put the industry into such stress that people got ill and tried to leave the market. This government has entered into dialogue with that industry to try to come up with an amount of money that is justifiable and satisfactory, and enables them to exit the system without penalty. It was this mob that was going to give them nothing. It was this mob that was prepared to run the industry down.

Opposition members interjecting—

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