Page 1826 - Week 05 - Thursday, 10 May 2018

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We also hope that the government has learnt from the problems that continue to occur with the MyWay ticketing system and will therefore improve ease of access, incorporating feedback from passengers using the current MyWay system. Commuters are unlikely to complain about not having to pay when the MyWay system is down on their bus, or the entire network, so we do not hear much about these sorts of problems. This still costs the territory, not only in direct revenue but also in the loss of useful passenger data that would have otherwise been captured. For this reason, we will closely monitor the ticketing aspects of light rail and will hold the government to account if the ticketing experience is not seamless and reliable for both light rail and bus passengers.

The bill also sets standards for acceptable passenger conduct and behaviour on the light rail service. The bill gives light rail staff the power to issue move-on directions to unruly passengers and the police the power to remove those passengers from light rail vehicles and platforms. We agree that we should protect the safety, security and comfort of all passengers on light rail. We accept that any limitations on personal freedom contained in this bill are reasonable and demonstrably justified to protect the safety of light rail passengers, staff and infrastructure.

I also note that the bill provides for the carriage of pets on light rail, as long as they are contained in a carrier. There is also provision for the minister to make further determinations to allow animals to travel on light rail in other ways. I encourage the minister to consider allowing pets to travel on buses in the same way. Australia is a nation of pet owners. Most Canberrans own at least one pet. Pets should be allowed to travel safely on our public transport. This would boost community engagement and accessibility by allowing owners to take their pets to the park, or even to the vet, on the bus, and would enhance the operation of light rail as part of Canberra’s integrated transport network.

While not opposing the bill, the Canberra Liberals will remain vigilant to ensure that the light rail operations are conducted efficiently and that they provide the best possible service to Canberrans along the route. We will continue to hold the government to account in this area.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health) (4.33), in reply: To conclude the debate, I am pleased to speak to the Road Transport Reform (Light Rail) Legislation Bill 2018. Passing this bill is another milestone in the delivery of light rail, which will help create a modern and sustainable public transport network for the Canberra community.

This stage of reforms is focused on regulating the operation of the light rail as a public passenger service and provides the foundation for the delivery of light rail passenger services later this year. The bill addresses matters such as ticketing and the conduct and behaviour of passengers and persons engaging with the light rail service. The bill also takes the first steps in regulatory reform to create a seamless customer experience across the territory’s public transport network.

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