Page 1662 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 April 2005

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(3) parkland and 63 hectares of sportsgrounds. Repair costs will be up to $10,000 per hectare, depending on the degree of deterioration.

Transport—taxi licences
(Question No 314)

Mr Pratt asked the Minister for Urban Services, upon notice, on 16 March 2005:

(1) In relation to the suspension of approximately 22 ACT taxi driver licences by the ACT Road Transport Authority (RTA), how is it that these drivers were issued with taxi driving licences by the RTA despite not having held an Australian driving licence for the required 12 months;

(2) What background checks were actually performed on each of these taxi drivers prior to the issuing of their licences;

(3) When was this matter brought to the attention of the RTA and by whom;

(4) When were suspension notices issued for each of the breaches of requirement;

(5) What will now happen to the suspended drivers and will they be prosecuted for a breach of requirement;

(6) What procedures did the RTA have in place for processing such licence requests in the past;

(7) What will the new arrangements and procedures be for the issuing of such licences in the future.

Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) Section 62 of the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2000 contains the eligibility criteria for the issue of a public vehicle driver licence. Subsection 62 (3) (h) requires the applicant for a taxi licence to hold a provisional or full car licence, or a driver licence of a higher class, and to have held such a licence for at least 1 year.

This section was interpreted as including a licence from another country. However, the dictionary in the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1999 defines a driver licence as a licence issued under this Act authorising the holder to drive a motor vehicle on a road or road related area. Section 11 of the Act provides for mutual recognition of Australian Driver licences.

(2) Each applicant was required to meet the following criteria:

Demonstrate they have the skills to drive a taxi;

Be a suitable person to hold a taxi licence. This is verified by a police character check;

Be medically fit; and

Successfully complete an approved driver training course.

(3) The matter was brought to the attention of the RTA in October 2004 when Canberra Cabs raised concerns that one driver had not held an Australian driver licence for at least 1 Year.

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