Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 11 Hansard (15 November) . . Page.. 3464..
MR HARGREAVES (continuing):
Good patronage information data is critical to ensuring that our transport service is designed and delivered effectively and efficiently. The new ticketing system will also ensure more efficient passenger loading times and help build better reliability by assisting each bus to meet its timetable.
Public transport is being strategically planned for new development areas such as Molonglo. The planning process includes: designing criteria and standards for public transport for road layouts of Molonglo; applying a consistent public transport network structure to support the patronage from Molonglo; developing an illustrative network for trunk and secondary routes and developing specifications for a bus interchange at the Molonglo group centre and supporting infrastructure.
In February last year the government announced its taxi release program to ensure that the industry remains viable and responsive to consumer needs. Since then three taxi licence ballots have been held, resulting in the release of 40 standard taxi licences. These are available to operators for a lease fee of $20,000 a year, which can be paid quarterly. There has been a very strong demand for these licences, with the last ballot for 20 licences attracting 170 applications.
On 27 November there will be a ballot of 12 wheelchair accessible taxi licences, for which there are in excess already of 30 applications. The government expects that this ballot, together with the recent decision to allow greater flexibility to WAT operators regarding the type of vehicle they operate, will improve the viability of WATs and the level of service they provide.
We are also providing $1 million to introduce a nightlink taxi service. This is a great initiative. I think I have described the Stanhope government as looking forward into the future. It is travelling well at the moment and will travel well into the future thanks to our public transport system.
Mr Stanhope: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.
Supplementary answers to questions without notice
MR BARR: Yesterday in question time Dr Foskey asked a question in relation to the responsibility of the National Capital Authority or federal department of environment and heritage in relation to environmental assessments for planning approvals processes in relation to settling ponds and lake options in the Molonglo Valley.
As I indicated yesterday, Mr Speaker, I cannot, of course, speak for the National Capital Authority or the federal government, but I can advise Dr Foskey that any proposal for development within the lower Molonglo River corridor must be in accordance with the development control plan that is agreed by the National Capital Authority, and that the commonwealth Department of the Environment and Water Resources is responsible for the implementation of the Environment Protection, Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999. It is likely that development proposals within the lower Molonglo River corridor, including any stormwater management strategy, would be assessed in terms of their national environmental significance under this commonwealth act.