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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 1 August 2017) . . Page.. 2249 ..

Rights Act and the Children and Young People Act and will ensure that young people can reach their full potential.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Road Transport Reform (Light Rail) Legislation Amendment
Bill 2017

Debate resumed from 8 June 2017, on motion by Mr Rattenbury:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (12.18): The opposition will be supporting the Road Transport Reform (Light Rail) Legislation Amendment Bill 2017. The bill amends a number of acts and regulations relating to segways and light rail, including licensing provisions for drivers of light rail vehicles. It is essential for there to be consistency of approach for all operators and drivers of public transport.

The opposition believes that the safety of light rail commuters is of paramount importance. Currently the bill provides that drivers of light rail vehicles need only hold a full Australian drivers licence and complete accredited training. While the Canberra Liberals support this bill as the first step in regulating light rail within the ACT, there are a number of questions that need to be answered in following legislation.

These questions include: will there be a number of years a person must hold a full Australian drivers licence before they can be recruited as a light rail driver? Will drivers need to hold particular qualifications or have specific experience? Will light rail drivers need to hold a working with vulnerable people registration like taxi drivers, bus drivers, hire car drivers and rideshare drivers? What tests will applicants have to pass before they can become a light rail driver? Will there be a suitable person test as part of the application process, including whether a person has been found guilty in a criminal or civil court? Will the test include the applicant’s knowledge of public safety, road safety or background checks? What will the training given to drivers of light rail vehicles entail, and will it be reviewed by the ACT government before it is rolled out? What audits will be undertaken by the Office of the National Safety Regulator and Canberra Metro on the training and licensing of drivers? Finally, what reporting requirements will the government impose on Canberra Metro to monitor the practices and processes of Canberra Metro once they are training operators?

I understand that a second bill next year will detail those finer points. Given that light rail will be run by a private company, the opposition believe that it is very important that this Assembly set out the expectations of the Canberra community in statute. The opposition will be looking for the answers to these questions and many more when review of the next bill comes before the Assembly. The Canberra Liberals may bring further amendments to the legislation in the future to ensure that the safety and expectations of Canberra residents are enshrined in legislation.

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