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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 2028 ..



Mr Speaker, I present the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Commission's report, 'ACTION's Bus Fares for 1999-2000, Final Price Direction', pursuant to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Commission Act 1997.

This report is the first review of ACTION's fares by the Commission and I thank the Commissioner, Mr Paul Baxter, for his report.

The Government referred ACTION bus fares to the Commission to meet the price oversight requirements of the National Competition Policy and to ensure transparency of public transport pricing. The Terms of Reference for the investigation of fares were gazetted on 23 December 1998 and tabled in the Assembly on 2 February 1999.

Mr Speaker, I welcome the Commissioner's Direction on ACTION as a realistic assessment of where we are now and future directions.

In summary, the Commission directed that:

� Average fare price increases for ACTION in 1999-2000 should not exceed the growth in CPI;

�ACTION should submit any new fare structure to the Commission for approval against the Price Direction;

� There be no increase in average student fares in 1999-2000 with the

highest student fare capped at its current level; and

� Should ACTION decide not to alter its fares in 1999-2000, there will

not be an automatic crediting of any cost increase over the year

towards future possible price changes.

The Commission also recommended that:

� Minimum service requirements for the bus service in the ACT be agreed between the Government and ACTION as the basis for the Commission to determine a 'commercial fare';

� Detailed independent surveys be undertaken of bus travellers and nonbus travellers over the next six months. This information is designed to allow the Commission to consider further the issue of equity in the fare structure; and

As part of these further studies, particular attention be given to a review of school transport movements and of alternative fare structures for school student travel.

Public transport is designed to provide affordable transportation options for the community and to help to contain emissions and traffic congestion that would otherwise be caused by private motor vehicles.

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