Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 83..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
accessible-taxis are out doing business that is not their prime business. In addition, the wheelchair-accessible taxis could be used to take up the slack on underutilised and underused public transport routes out of hours.
We have also recommended that the government consider establishing another taxi radio network. We can do all that we can about deregulating the licences of taxis, but that does not do anything about freeing up people's entry into the cooperative-and the cooperative itself acts as a monopoly. We can solve the problem of licences, but we cannot do anything about the fact that the way the cooperative currently operates means that members of the public who want to enter the industry can be effectively excluded from doing so by not being able to become a member of the cooperative and have access to the radio network and the dispatching network.
We are also concerned about the costs. There are considerable costs associated with owning a licence, per se. In addition to those considerable costs, there are enormous costs associated with being a member of the cooperative and paying for the right to access the radio information, all of which drives up the cost of taxi fares and makes it a not very competitive part of the public transport network.
There are some difficult decisions for the government if it reads the report and considers the recommendations. As the Chair of the Planning and Environment Committee, I recommend that the responsible ministers read the report and put the lie to the Chief Minister's statement that ministers do not read reports. If the recommendations of the committee were to be taken seriously, as they should be-this is the third committee to have inquired into this, and it has come up with virtually the same recommendations; it is about time that government started taking notice of committees-we would see a much revised Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Amendment Bill from this minister and the government when they do their response in less than three months time. I move:
That the report be noted.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Planning and Environment-Standing Committee
MRS DUNNE (5.14): I present the following report:
Planning and Environment-Standing Committee-Report 25-Draft Variation to the Territory Plan No. 217-Heritage Places Register-Whitley Houses Section 23 Blocks 6, 11 and 12 Griffith and Section 10 Block 4 Braddon, dated 7 January 2004, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.
That the report be noted.
It seems almost superfluous to table this report. It was completed just after Christmas and published and circulated out of session, and the government responded before I got the opportunity to table the report. The committee was exceedingly concerned that we were