Page 3886 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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Emergency Services Authority to become an Emergency Services Agency was a disastrous decision with a disastrous result. It is a decision that will hang over this minister’s head and this government’s head for a very long time. As a consequence of this decision, emergency services, to this day, are in a not so fantastic position.

Where is the evidence to support the destructive timetable slashing of ACTION bus services that was a result of the functional review? The 2006 network which was created as a consequence of the slash and burn functional review was a disaster. The 2006 network was a terrible outcome. My constituents in the southern Tuggeranong Valley, particularly the elderly, really were disadvantaged by the slash and burn effect on the 2006 bus timetables.

I have constituents living at the back of Banks and Conder, who, if they were lucky, were only able to catch one bus a day. That has been partly rectified by network 08, but there is still a long way to go. We have had all this unnecessary pain because of a totally incompetent functional review. We have had school closures, library closures and ACT shopfront closures. All these front-line services have been badly cut as a result of the incompetent functional review. (Time expired.)

Motion (by Mrs Dunne) proposed:

That the time allotted for Assembly business be extended by 30 minutes.

Question resolved in the negative.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.14): I will not take up the time of the Assembly by calling for unnecessary divisions. This refusal is, of course, another example of the Stanhope government hiding from the truth. We will not extend the time for this debate, but—

MR SPEAKER: Order, relevance! The question has been decided, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: We will not extend the time for this debate, Mr Speaker, simply because the Stanhope government is afraid to come up with the facts about the functional review. This has been a contentious issue since before the fruits of the functional review came to light in the disastrous 2006 budget.

It is the first time that a government in the ACT has reviewed the operations of the ACT government in secret. There have been precedents, and the most obvious one is the functional review instituted by Chief Minister Trevor Kaine under the tutelage of an eminent jurist, Mr Rae Else-Mitchell. That was an open review, the results of which were published for all to see. On this occasion the Stanhope government has caused this document to be presented to cabinet and therefore has said that this is a cabinet-in-confidence document.

Dr Foskey and Mr Smyth, when we last debated this motion, outlined the lengths to which they had gone in the public accounts committee to bring this matter before the Assembly and to get a copy of the functional review report into the public domain. This is not the only occasion. There have been other motions in this place, and my government transparency bill requires the publication of the functional review.

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