Page 3991 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 17 November 2015

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a taxi network and provides a legislative framework for the regulation of taxis, ride share vehicles and hire cars. All transport booking services will require accreditation, while the government maintains a broad regulatory power over the day-to-day operations of these services.

To ensure compliance with the new regime a number of offences are created. Most interestingly, section 36I is added to the act which, amongst other things, allows a court to order a transport booking service to “do stated things or establish or carry out a stated project for the public benefit even if the project is unrelated to the offence”. I note the comments of the scrutiny committee regarding this section. However, I am satisfied with the detail provided by the government when I was briefed on the bill.

There are a couple of further points that I think we should be making with regard to this scheme as a whole. Firstly, I think we need to be very careful that ride share vehicles do not end up becoming quasi taxis with regard to ranks and hails. If that does happen it really does undermine the system of taxis in the ACT even further.

Secondly, I think it is extremely important that advertising of ride share vehicles is closely monitored. If, for instance, a vehicle can advertise that it is a ride share vehicle on the outside of the car it may well, in effect, lead to quasi rank and hail-type services. We need to be very careful if the government is going to go down this regulatory approach that there is indeed a separation or a differentiation between taxi services and those of ride share services. Otherwise we risk further undermining the problems of the taxi industry caused by this government’s change in policy.

As members would be aware, the scrutiny committee’s latest report contained a discussion about the compensation issue for perpetual plate owners, that is, whether perpetual plate holders should be compensated as a result of the regulatory changes pursued by this government. In concluding its discussion on compensation, the scrutiny committee said:

… the Committee notes that in terms of whether the plate holders may be said to have a right to compensation for loss of a property right, the brief discussion above points to two key issues arising. The first is whether the licence plate is properly styled as an interest in property, and the second is if this is so, whether the limitation of the property right is important enough to justify an exception to the principle that provision should be made for compensation.

In effect, the scrutiny committee raises questions about whether the government is obligated to pay compensation to perpetual plate holders for deterioration in their potential property right. However, compensation for perpetual plate owners is outside the purview of this bill. Whilst I support the bill I call on the government to support perpetual plate owners in these very troubling times.

I have spoken before in the Assembly about my concerns for perpetual plate holders. I was disappointed that the Chief Minister, with the support of Mr Rattenbury, failed to support my motion in the October sitting week calling for adequate support for perpetual licence holders. Whilst we can have a lengthy debate about whether a perpetual plate is property or not and, therefore, probably requiring fair compensation, the reality is that compensation is the fairest and easiest way to transition into the

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