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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (19 September) . . Page.. 3795 ..


DPP, for increasing resources for the courts and for increasing the resources available to break the financial basis of that criminal organisation by way of the confiscation of criminal assets. In addition to that we have strengthened police powers to set up crime scene powers, we have introduced new laws to prevent gangs from building fortifications around their premises, and we have invested millions of dollars in ACT Policing's Taskforce Nemesis, which continues to bring excellent results. We will continue to do what is effective. We will continue to do what builds a strong and safe Canberra. And we will avoid the simplicity that comes from the opposition, which thinks that one simple step might solve all the problems, when the evidence is clear that it will not.

Taxis—licences

MISS C BURCH: My question is to the minister for regulatory services: today's Canberra Times reports that taxi plate owners are facing potential bankruptcy due to the government's plans to increase the regulated plates cap by 40 per cent. Why is the government increasing the cap on taxi plate licences when the Centre for International Economics report tells us that bookings, revenue and the value of existing licences continue to decline?

MR RAMSAY: I thank the member for the question. Noting that there was a significant statement on this matter yesterday, I refer the member to that ministerial statement. The findings of the evaluation that I brought forward and spoke on yesterday made it very clear that through the extensive stakeholder consultation for the evaluation we have seen very positive results.

Consumers have told us that there are now more choices for travel. It was made clear that the users of wheelchair-accessible taxi services have indicated their satisfaction. We have seen that business and tourism have benefitted from the reforms. The opposition speaks at times about how they would like to see business promoted more. One of the key drivers behind the work on the on-demand transport reform has been the hotels and the businesses that have been surveyed. They have shown that there has been a significant take-up of ride-share services, estimated by some hoteliers to be around 18 to 19 per cent of trips. There has been very positive interaction between ride-share drivers and hotels.

The evaluation indicated that the 2015 reforms to the industry have created net benefits to consumers of between $6.4 million and $8.8 million in 2016-17 and between $2.8 million and $3.8 million for the broader community. The government is driving this reform through for the benefit of all Canberrans.

MISS C BURCH: Minister, why is the government increasing the cap, given that it sold only one new taxi licence last year?

MR RAMSAY: The government has determined that there are more standard taxi licences that should be made available. Again I refer the member to my statement yesterday which outlined those reasons as well.


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