Page 3875 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015

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Today I have brought into this place a bill to bring about full, permanent reforms to the on-demand transportation industry in Canberra, including a new framework to permit and regulate all kinds of booking services it could operate in the territory over time.

Let us be clear: our framework is not about one company or one business model. In a world that moves fast and changes fast, this framework is designed to meet the challenges of regulating today but also regulating the wide range of services that we know will emerge in the future.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Chief Minister, could you explain to the Assembly how these reforms will benefit consumers in the ACT?

MR BARR: We will always seek to put our community and our consumers at the heart of decisions and reforms that we make. More choices and lower prices are at the core of that approach, and that is exactly what today’s reforms will deliver for consumers in the ACT. The government has listened to the overwhelming views of Canberrans, listened to their desire for better public transportation in the territory, and this is what they want to see in their city. We have worked to meet that vision, and I am proud to say that through these regulations, and the legislation I have introduced today, we have achieved it.

Today’s reforms will provide broader and more differentiated choice about how to travel in the ACT. There will be new ways to book travel, new types of vehicles, new types of customer service and new ways to pay for travel. With new alternative business models come new fare structures to choose from. New businesses and new business models will mean more competition in the ACT—more competition which is good for consumers and will lower prices.

Competition is at the core of these reforms. With respect to how it will work for Canberrans, competition will lead to lower prices; competition will lead to higher quality; competition will lead to improved reliability and responsiveness; and it will lead to improvements in transport provision for Canberrans.

It speaks volumes about the state of the Canberra Liberals that they are now the party that is anti-competition. They want to protect the cartels. They are against competition, they are against Canberra consumers and they are against the future.

MADAM SPEAKER: Dr Bourke, a supplementary question.

DR BOURKE: Chief Minister, could you explain to the Assembly how these reforms ensure a level playing field to the existing industry and the central role that taxis will play in Canberra’s transport future?

Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order! Let us try not to anticipate too much. Mr Barr.

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