Page 3874 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015

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MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, when does the government expect to make a decision regarding the plans, and what are the potential uses that you envisage within the CFZ?

MR BARR: The government will make a decision after the consultation period has concluded and we have had an opportunity to consider the range of options. In relation to the range of options that are available under the community facility zone, I would invite the shadow minister for planning to look at the territory plan, which I am sure he is familiar with, which outlines the range of potential uses for the site, which range from supported accommodation through to a range of other community facilities.

Transport—ride-share services

MS FITZHARRIS: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, could you update the Assembly on the progress of the government’s reforms of the on-demand transport industry?

MR BARR: Today and tomorrow the government is making historic changes to the on-demand transport industry in Canberra. This morning the Minister for Justice and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform, Mr Rattenbury, and I signed a regulatory exemption to permit ride-sharing services to operate in the ACT. Canberra will become the first place in Australia where people will be able to take a ride-sharing service knowing that that service is legal and that it is regulated. Not only are we the first in Australia to do this but also we are one of the very few jurisdictions in the world to do this before services of this kind started to operate in our city.

As of tomorrow—Friday, 30 October—ride-sharing and third-party taxi booking services will be allowed to serve passengers here in Canberra, enabled by the regulatory exemption that we signed today.

Ride-share operators, drivers and vehicles will be subject to a range of strict safety conditions from day one, including that drivers must have police and traffic background checks as well as medical checks in some circumstances. Vehicles must have roadworthiness inspections by an ACT authorised examiner from an ACT authorised inspection station holding a motor vehicle repairer licence.

Specific compulsory third-party injury insurance arrangements will be in place for ACT drivers of ACT licensed vehicles. Ride-share vehicles must also be covered by third-party property insurance and booking services will have well-defined responsibilities for activity reporting as well as for their dealings with customers, including complaints and lost property. The government has insisted and expects that ride-sharing activity will meet the safety standards demanded by this community and will meet their expectation of quality services.

These arrangements are temporary. They reflect the government’s determination, if I can borrow the words of the new Prime Minister, to be agile in the face of change.

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