Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (17 June) . . Page.. 1969 ..
this issue in committee.
I thank the crossbenchers, Ms Tucker and Ms Dundas, for their cooperation and the cooperation of their officers over the past week on this issue. I particularly commend Ms Tucker for her insightful amendment, so that we will not look just at the competition issues, but will take the time to look at the transport implications. Last week people were saying at transport forums that adaptable, responsive transport is wanted. I have been calling for the minister to do something about demand responsive public transport for some time. Possibly, we have the means of starting that here. That is why we should look at it. I commend the motion to the Assembly.
MS DUNDAS(6.26): Mr Speaker, I will be speaking to and supporting both the substantive motion and the amendment. I rise to respond briefly to some words that the minister has spoken, including that by sending this bill to a committee we are evading responsibility and that is because we have not been paying attention. Minister, there is no way in the world that you could not have been paying attention to the debate that has been going on for the last 12 months about the taxi and hire car industry in this town. I have received many amounts of correspondence and had numerous meetings with people from the taxi industry and the hire car industry about the reforms that have been put forward. Yes, I agree with the minister that there are many sides to this debate. That is why we have committees in this Assembly to communicate with the community.
I think that it is very important that we use the committee process to investigate this issue fully. To proceed with this legislation today would be to do a disservice to the community, which is looking for the best outcome-the best outcome for taxi drivers, the best outcome for the hire car industry and the best outcome for people who use those services. Under Ms Tucker's amendment, we will also be looking at in terms of the draft sustainable transport plan, which is a very important consideration to be taken into account in looking at all modes of transport. It is important that all these things be considered before this piece of legislation is debated in this Assembly.
I know that the committees of this place work very well and I am sure that this one will conduct a very thorough investigation of this matter. Given the contention that exists on this issue within the community, I cannot see any other path to take. When the government receives the report of this committee-maybe I am being a bit pre-emptive here-I hope that it will consider it carefully. I have no idea what the report is going to say, but I can assure you that a lot of work will go into it from the community and from members of this assembly and it should not be readily dismissed.
Amendment agreed to.
MR WOOD(Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Heritage and Minister for Police and Emergency Services): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to speak again.
MR WOOD: I should cover the issue for Ms Tucker at some length. It has long been a contentious issue. It was one of the first that confronted me when we came to office. At