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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 28 October 2015) . . Page.. 3771 ..

We are the first but we will by no means be the last jurisdiction to move on this question. I note New South Wales are currently inquiring into these matters, as are a number of other states and territories. Change is inevitable. It has to happen for the benefit of consumers and for the benefit of the economy overall. Governments need to make decisions in the interests, and the best interests, of all. We need to balance competing interests and competing priorities. But if your starting point is that you want a better transport system for your citizens, you must back these reforms.

It comes as no surprise that the weasel words we hear from Alistair Coe once again demonstrate just how far behind and how lost in the past the Canberra Liberals are. Every effort to improve transport services in this city is opposed by the shadow transport minister—every effort. We see it time and time again—negativity for the sake of it; opposition for opposition’s sake; and never putting the interests of Canberra citizens first. That is what we get time after time. You name the transport reform and Alistair Coe is against it. That is exactly what we see time and time again. And here we are, with another private members’ day in the Assembly, and we have exactly the same negativity from the shadow transport minister. If he is not moving motions condemning investment in light rail, he is moving motions condemning investment in the future, in better transport services for Canberrans.

Let me be clear, in concluding this afternoon, that this government will back consumer interests, we will back protection for drivers and a better deal for drivers and that will be our priority in reform for the future. I have extreme confidence that that is the position that Canberrans support overwhelmingly, and we will see them vote with their feet when on Friday Uber enters into this market.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Justice, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform) (4.32): I will not be supporting Mr Coe’s motion but I will support the amendment proposed by Mr Barr. Mr Coe’s motion asks that the government “respond to the devaluation of perpetual taxi plates brought about by the government’s ride share policy”.

There are several things to ask about this. First of all, I would like to know exactly what Mr Coe proposes the government do. “Respond” is not a very clear request. I listened very carefully to Mr Coe’s remarks and I also heard him do a press conference at lunch-time as I waited in the media cue. I heard a lot of concern but no clear proposition on what the actual response should be. If Mr Coe wants the government to pay for the plates or to compensate plate owners then his motion should be clear about that and he should be willing to state it and state how much he is prepared to pay for that.

The second question is about how the government should respond to the emergence of ride sharing providers which has been facilitated by rapid improvements in technology. If the Canberra Liberals have an alternative policy on ride sharing, one that is different to the regulatory environment introduced by the ACT government, I would very much like to hear it. This is the moment to stand up and say, “Actually, we have an alternative idea.” In fact it would have been better to have heard it even earlier. But if they have an alternative policy they should put it on the table. Let us hear it. Let us hear the specifics, because this is a real issue—it is on our doorstep right now—that the government has had to address.

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