Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 240 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission Act-
Summary report of the inquiry into motor vehicle fuel prices
Final report of the inquiry into motor vehicle fuel prices
An investigation into the competition implications of the provision of wheelchair accessible taxi services by a single network in the ACT.
I ask for leave to make a statement in relation to those papers.
MR QUINLAN: I have just presented the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission's report of October 2001: An investigation into the competition implications of the provision of wheelchair accessible taxi services by a single network in the ACT. I wish to thank the senior commissioner, Mr Paul Baxter, and his fellow commissioners, Ms Robyn Creyke and Mr Peter McGhie, and the commission staff for the work on this report.
The commission was required to conduct an investigation into the competition implications of the allocation of wheelchair accessible taxi-WAT-licences to a single network and completed this investigation in October 2001. The findings are that the objective of promoting competition in taxi services, including wheelchair accessible taxis, will be served by initially allocating all of those taxis to a second network to facilitate its establishment and viability.
The benefits of allocating all existing WATs to a second network outweigh the costs, and the objective of improving the standard of taxi services to the disabled community is best served by keeping the existing WAT fleet together. Although the commission found that allocating all WAT licences to a single network could be justified, the government has decided not to force the existing wheelchair accessible taxi licence-holders to transfer to the second network.
Notwithstanding this, the government supports the establishment of a second taxi network and is considering how this might be encouraged. The government is also concerned about the quality of service provided to the disabled community. My colleague Mr Bill Wood, Minister for Urban Services, who has responsibility for taxis, has this matter under consideration. Again, I thank the commission for its work and commend the report to the house.
MR SMYTH: Mr Deputy Speaker, I would like to make a few comments.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is leave granted for Mr Smyth to make some comment?
MR SMYTH: I do not have the report before me, but the Labor Party made great show in the lead-up to the election of how bad it was. I think that was a stunt that has badly backfired on the Labor Party. They referred it to the commissioner, assuming they would get the result that said that this was a bad thing. I am very pleased with the quality of the commissioner's work and that the work he does indicates that this would be a good