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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 November 2015) . . Page.. 3992 ..

transport booking service model. I note that there may well be other jurisdictions looking to this issue as well. It provides consumers with the same choices and benefits that recognise the significant past investments made in good faith by perpetual plate owners.

Again, the opposition will be supporting this bill today which provides the backbone for a legislative framework to regulate ride share vehicles. However, we should not lose sight of the issue of perpetual plate owners. Furthermore, we must do all we can to ensure that regulations around transport booking services apply equitably to all market participants.

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) (11.31): I support the reforms that the ACT government is making to public passenger services in the ACT encompassing both ride sharing and taxi services. In my role as minister assisting on transport reform I have worked closely with the Chief Minister to develop these reforms. I think it has been a successful outcome, where we have consulted with stakeholders and moved quickly and responsibly to regulate an industry that needed regulation, balancing a whole range of competing interests.

In my crossbench role, on behalf of the ACT Greens I am also supportive of the reforms. They are a smart response that recognises the changes that were occurring in the industry and have responded in a fair and balanced way. Whenever there are complex reforms such as this, it is almost inevitable that there will be disappointed parties who feel the reforms should have favoured them more or that they have been disadvantaged.

There is no doubt the on-demand transport industry has changed due to the government’s reforms but it has changed in a way that will greatly improve the landscape for the users of these services, the public. And we must acknowledge that change to this industry was inevitable. It was occurring anyway, only in a way that was chaotic and unregulated.

Improvements in technology and the emergence of new business models meant that ride sharing services, of which Uber is the best known, were operating regardless, and efforts to stop this were fruitless. The services existed, people wanted to use them and the technology was there to support them. Regulation was the smartest option.

I can tell members that I attended the ministerial Transport and Infrastructure Council recently, and the people working in this area, the ministers and the officials, were very supportive of the ACT’s actions. They were only negative about the fact that their own jurisdictions had not been able to respond in the smart and nimble way that the ACT did.

Canberrans had been asking for change to their on-demand transport system, even before this government began the 2015 taxi industry innovation review. Canberrans are familiar with traditional options for on-demand travel, taxis and hire cars. They have had basic choices of fares—structured taxi fares and fares negotiated through hire car drivers or services.

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