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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 9 Hansard (7 September) . . Page.. 2958 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

member of the Assembly to receive a full briefing on the measures within this package also extends to the animal welfare amendments. This legislation promotes responsible pet ownership, animal sales and animal welfare. That is quite a range of outcomes to keep in balance, and I believe that we have achieved that. This package is one where we should definitely allow the tail to wag the dog.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell ) adjourned.


Mr Smyth , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (10.47): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, the Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Bill provides for a streamlined regulatory framework for the provision of public passenger bus services in the ACT in one piece of legislation. This approach is consistent with the government's competition neutrality policies and legislative reform obligations. The bill, previously known as the Public Passenger Transport Bill, was tabled as an exposure draft in December 1999. It has since been the subject of a public discussion paper and extensive industry and intergovernmental consultation.

The bill covers all public passenger services using buses where a fare is charged, for example by ACTION, private operators such as Transborder and all tour and charter operators. It does not cover services that are not available for use by the general public, services such as those provided by organisations for their own use-for example, courtesy coaches provided by car repair centres.

Operators of public and privately owned passenger services, for the first time in the ACT, will be subject to the same rules and regulations and have the same rights and obligations. The legislative framework makes provision for the later inclusion of taxi and hire-car vehicles, pending the outcome of the current national competition policy review of these industries.

The bill brings ACT passenger transport legislation more into line with that operating in New South Wales and will facilitate agreement of cross-border arrangements, particularly for ACT-based small tourism operators.

Developed in consultation with industry, the bill will introduce accreditation standards for all bus operators. No operator can commence services without accreditation. Accreditation standards will ensure that the industry maintains high-quality services and safety standards, while adopting sound commercial practice. The accreditation arrangements will ensure that ACT bus operators are well placed should national schemes for mutual recognition of bus operators be introduced in the future. To gain accreditation, operators will be required to meet standards similar to those that apply in

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