Page 4890 - Week 15 - Thursday, 15 December 2005

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example, the area of operation, pick-up and set-down points and the requirements in terms of public information about the service.

Demand responsive service accreditation standards will be consistent with those applied to bus, taxi and hire car services—for example, standards for maintenance, complaints handling and records to be kept will be applied—and will ensure that the industry provides high-quality services and meets safety standards. Also consistent with accreditation requirements for bus, taxi and hire car operators, the amendment applies the tests used in assessing accreditation applications to demand responsive service operators. This will allow the road transport authority to apply “suitable person” tests to applicants for demand responsive service operator accreditation. It will be at the discretion of the road transport authority to audit demand responsive service operators to determine compliance with accreditation requirements and to maintain service quality and public safety.

Consistent with the approach in the Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Act 2001 for regular route bus services, the bill provides regulation-making powers in relation to demand responsive service contracts, operations, vehicles, drivers and passengers. The bill also provides for the determination of minimum fares for demand responsive services, as the government is concerned that vehicle maintenance and safety are not compromised by marginal operations. The fares for demand responsive services are expected to be lower than taxi fares but higher than regular route bus fares. A modest regulatory fee regime will cover the costs of administration to establish and monitor the accreditation scheme and the authorisation of service contracts processes. The fees will be reasonable and consistent with those for other public passenger services.

The bill provides an appropriate and flexible regulatory regime that supports new developments in the public passenger service industry by accommodating demand responsive public passenger services. It provides a legislative framework for the provision of niche services that are responsive to community needs for safe, reliable and efficient public passenger transport. I commend the bill to members.

Debate (on motion by Mr Pratt) adjourned to the next sitting.

Emergency Services—Select Committee

Proposed appointment

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (10.57): I move:


(1) a Select Committee be appointed to examine the functions, policies, procedures and financial performance of the Emergency Services;

(2) the Committee be composed of:

(a) one Member to be nominated by the Government;

(b) one Member to be nominated by the Opposition; and

(b) one Member to be nominated by the Crossbench;

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