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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 12 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 3863..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

large capacity carriage from places such as the airport to, say, Belconnen, Parliament House and the museum for which there was a defined route, it was not possible to do so by cab and there was no ACTION bus route. We wanted to make it quite legal for people to do that and to have a regulated regime under which that could fall.

Deane's Buslines actually do that at the moment. They provide a service from the city to the airport and back. It is almost a regular bus service. I have forgotten how frequent it is now. It is about every half-hour, every hour or something like that. They have a bus route which is not frequented by ACTION buses, so there has been that take-up. I anticipate from the genesis of this question that it is about what Mrs Dunne was talking about—dissatisfaction with the taxi system in this town. I think we all share dissatisfaction with the taxi system in this town. It seems to be about a massive dose of finger-pointing.

Mrs Dunne: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. This question is about implementation of the Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Amendment Bill—there is no reference to taxis in it—and what the minister has done about demand-responsive public transport, which, by his own admission, is over and above the taxi service.

MR SPEAKER: Please read the question again, Mr Pratt.

Mr Pratt: My question reads as follows:

... on 9 March this year, this Assembly passed the Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Amendment bill 2005, which was supposed to enable the introduction of demand-responsive public transport systems. What actions have you and/or your department taken to facilitate demand-responsive public transport in the ACT since then?

MR SPEAKER: I call Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, the most obvious bit of demand-responsive transport in this town is the taxi system. That is a simple fact. It is also about alternative bus systems. There is a big finger-pointing exercise round town. Canberra Cabs are pointing at us, they are pointing a finger at the drivers and the drivers are pointing a finger at Canberra Cabs, and away we go. We have been trying to get some sort of regime going whereby they are forced to provide a decent service, and we continue to do so. I will go into some detail later, but last night's effort when they had the computer go down and 100 people missed their planes and that sort of thing was totally unacceptable. Coincidentally, we have been considering whether to bring forward in this place legislation to mandate an operator-assisted service.

MR PRATT: I have a supplementary question. Minister, can I take it therefore that you will take on notice steps to list the action that you have taken since the introduction of that legislation? If no action has been taken, will you outline why it has taken so long to act on the issue?

MR HARGREAVES: The legislation is enabling legislation, it is facilitation legislation. It is there for people to take up the option of providing an alternative transport system if passengers require it. It is not something that the government has


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