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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (13 June) . . Page.. 1627 ..

� that the existing fare structure be maintained. The Commission will consider closely the relativities between flagfall and distance rates for day and night hirings during the next taxi fare review.

Since 1989 the setting of taxi fares in the ACT has been based on a 'taxi cost' index. The Commission has recognised that this index has deficiencies in reflecting actual taxi industry costs and has constructed a new costing and pricing model that encompasses a more realistic treatment of labour costs.

The Commission has also recognised the possible changes to the industry structure flowing from the introduction of network competition and considers it more appropriate to provide only a one-year determination for fare increases. The Commission has determined that it will monitor the effects of the changes over the next 12 months so as to be in a better position to issue a medium term direction to take effect from 1 July 2002.

The Commission's inquiry and report ensure that the Government is setting the taxi fares through an open and transparent process. This accountability flows from the very nature of the Commission's inquiry process that ensured that a large cross section of the community could express their views about taxi services. The Commission released an Issues Paper in December 2000 which called for public submissions, released a draft report in April 2001, invited further comment and released the Final Report in late May 2001.

The new fare structure as determined by the Commissioner will commence on 1 July 2001.

The Commission's report also considered other relevant matters within the local taxi industry. The Report notes and supports the Government's recent initiatives to improve community access to services through the release of additional Wheelchair Accessible Taxi licences, the introduction of network competition and the development of sensible cross-border arrangements with NSW. The Commission considered there are strong arguments to support the removal of competitive restrictions and expressed the view that performance benchmarks could be raised.

The Government welcomes the Commissioner's Report and looks forward to future determinations and associated recommendations concerning the restructure of the industry.

I commend the Commission's Report to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission-ACTION-final determination


MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.42): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the following paper:

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