Page 1783 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 4 May 2011

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and you have now described them as “tiresome and tawdry”, will you apologise to all those who have a different opinion from you?

MR STANHOPE: Everybody who was in attendance at the meeting this morning, and everybody who listened to my comments, knows that the Liberal Party is not reporting or referring to them correctly. In fact, their attempt at misrepresenting what I said really does them no credit. What I said, and everybody in attendance knows what I said, was that the continuing tiresome debate about the value or non-value of art or public art was tiresome.

The question in relation to concerns about waiting times at accident and emergency was answered in full by the Minister for Health, the Deputy Chief Minister. The question in relation to health was answered by the Minister for Health. The question in relation to art was answered by me. My comments had absolutely nothing to do with Canberra Hospital or treatment at Canberra Hospital. My comment was directed, entirely and solely, essentially at the Liberal Party’s incapacity to engage, in a mature way, in a community conversation about the intrinsic value of art and of creativity. Really, it is a reflection of the Liberal Party, and I think it is a reflection or perhaps a moot example of why the Liberal Party occupy the opposition bench and why the people of Canberra have now, for more than a decade, rejected them as a potential alternative government, because they stand for nothing. They stand for absolutely nothing. (Time expired.)


MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Transport and concerns transport options in new parts of Canberra. Minister, last sitting you were asked about the provision of public transport in new suburbs and you told the Assembly that “the government is seeking to ensure equitable access to public transport by all Canberrans”. Minister, how is it equitable if people in new suburbs simply do not have access to public transport?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Hunter for the question. In relation to a government’s determination to provide services there are, of course, always issues and it is very difficult in terms of the resources available and the issues around the number of people that might access that particular resource at a particular time. Ms Hunter, I am sure you are aware of the equation—I know you are—that when the government, through TAMS, or through ACTION, provides a service into a newly established suburb where perhaps in the initial stage of the creation of that particular community in a new suburb the population is low and usage is low to non-existent, the cost to ACTION and to the network in providing a service into a new, emerging suburb at the outset—which would be highly desirable, of course, in relation to the capacity to create behaviours—is simply not cost-effective. Where resources are limited, governments, organisations and agencies take decisions around the best and most effective use of what is always a limited resource.

Ms Hunter, as I am sure you are aware, as suburbs begin to grow, as the population density increases, as more people are inclined to utilise public transport, the government does seek to then provide enhanced services and, indeed, in the budget

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