Page 541 - Week 02 - Thursday, 9 March 2006

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As I said, in order to save ourselves from further musings on workers compensation and all things workers compensation, hopefully this will be the final amendment bill for the time being. I thank members for their support today.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Amendment Bill 2005

Debate resumed from 15 December 2005, on motion by Mr Hargreaves:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (12.20): I am resuming debate today on the government’s Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) Amendment Bill 2005 tabled by Mr Hargreaves in December. Whilst I will not go through in great detail all of the aspects of the government’s bill, because many of these are self-explanatory and straightforward, I will now highlight some areas that should be further discussed.

The opposition, whilst supporting the bill in principle, is concerned at the onerous nature of the requirements on a demand-responsive service provider under this piece of legislation. For example, let us look at the explanation for new section 95 in the bill, which says:

New Section 95 provides for regulations about the operation of demand responsive service vehicles and provides examples of what types of provisions may be included. These examples include the use of the service by people including the payment of fares, where the services can operate, how passengers are picked up and dropped off, record keeping, the transport of luggage and animals, and passengers not being allowed to stand if the service is a bus. Other examples include, maximum speeds, payment of fares, vehicle equipment, the use of various parking zones, signage on the vehicle, use of decal signs and livery, drivers dress standards.

This means that even the types of stickers that might be put on the outside of a vehicle are to be dictated by the government. While I can certainly agree that there have to be standards in place and the government needs to be happy that a service provider is not some Nimbin-style forest bus, which would look slightly out of place in the ACT landscape, I wonder whether perhaps they are a bit too tight on these requirements. Is it an unnecessary imposition? I would be very happy to hear what the minister might say in response to that and whether he thinks that we are overly concerned or not. I would like to see a justification of why we need that depth of control on the standards of the exterior appearance of these vehicles.

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