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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 4088..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

automatic; it allows the Assembly of the day to actually look at what we are doing. I would have thought that that was a very sensible process. I am sorry that it will not be supported.

Amendments negatived.

Bill, as a whole, agreed to.

Bill agreed to.

Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Amendment Bill 2003

Debate resumed from 17 June 2003, on motion by Mr Wood:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS DUNNE (6.14): Mr Speaker, the Liberal opposition's inclination with this bill was to oppose it entirely in principle but, on reflection, we have decided that we will support the bill in principle but when it comes to the detail stage we will be opposing all the provisions in this bill that relate to the taxi auction. We are not voting it down in principle, simply because there are definitely things that need to be addressed in relation to the buyout for hire cars and the hire car code of practice, which has generally had support.

The problem with this bill-and this is a very flawed process-is that the government's thinking has not changed one iota since November 2002, I think it was, when they first put forward their policy. The minister opposite said, "As a result, the concept of deregulation is dead." Deregulation of the taxi industry has been a fraught issue in every jurisdiction but, as I have constantly maintained, the issue will never be dead until you actually do it. It will not be easy and you will not have unanimous support, but at some stage it must be done.

But what we have here today is a bill that has been through a great deal of thinking and we have seen very little movement from the government in response to a very clear view from the community about what needs to be done. This bill was introduced last year; it was referred to the Planning and Environment Committee. The Planning and Environment Committee made a very large number of recommendations. For some reason the numbering system seems to have fallen over, so I cannot tell you easily how many there were.

The really principal ones, the ones that sort of go to the heart of this bill, are these: the committee recommends that, while the ACT needs a bill like this, the ACT government should not proceed with the legislation in its current form. Which part of this does the minister not understand? You have to remember that this was a unanimous report of a multi-party inquiry. The committee recommended that the government should not proceed with the legislation in its present form and that a new bill must be drafted to reflect an integrated sustainable transport approach and include such changes that have been recommended in this report to prevent further delay in urgently needed structural adjustment in the ACT public transport industry.

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