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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 25 September 2007) . . Page.. 2609 ..

Bill agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.22 to 2.30 pm.

Ministerial arrangements

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts): As members are aware, the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Health is on leave for this month. The Attorney-General, Mr Corbell, is Acting Minister for Health and Acting Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services and stands ready to answer questions from members relating to those portfolio areas.

Questions without notice

ACTION bus service—safety

MRS BURKE: My question is to Mr Hargreaves, the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. Minister, during question time in the last sitting you said that there have been more than 56 reported rock-throwing incidents against moving vehicles in the ACT since June of this year. You also said, in relation to the threat against ACTION buses, “Apart from putting shatterproof glass on all windows, I really do not know how to address this issue.”

Given the large number of incidents over a long period of time, which are increasing in frequency, why don’t you or your government have any ideas and why haven’t you or your government taken any action (a) to give better protection to buses and (b) to address the general threat posed to all motorists and their passengers?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Mrs Burke for the question. Firstly, I indicated that I was not aware of what else could be done, and I accent the word “else”. We have an ongoing dialogue between the management of ACTION, the police and the Transport Workers Union to come up with a range of various initiatives, if we can, to ameliorate against those sudden and unpredicted attacks. We cannot predict these attacks. I underline that.

But have we sat there and done nothing? No, that is not quite true either. Members would know—and I have spoken about this in the past—that we have installed closed-circuit television cameras in our buses and we have a program to complete that within this budget year. We have increased surveillance at our interchanges. We also have some further physical security at our interchanges. We did put the shatterproof glass in the windscreens.

We were not clairvoyant enough to understand that people might stand on the roadside and throw a piece of rock horizontally at a bus. When that happened, of course, we had further consultations with the police and tried to institute other things, one of which is the examination of putting shatterproof glass right around all windows of buses.

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