ACT Government sets agenda with productive sitting week
Transport was the major focus for the ACT Government in this sitting week
We made a historic move to become the first Australian jurisdiction to legalise ridesharing services. These world leading reforms will result in services like Uber legally begin operations in the ACT this week, while also dramatically cutting the leasing fees for taxi services to increase competition and drive further innovation in the demand responsive transport industry.
We also announced plans to manage Canberra’s growth, reduce congestion and protect our liveability by improving our public transport system. Our new agency Transport Canberra will be responsible for integrating buses with the new light rail network, ensuring a single ticketing system, a central contact for information and coordinated timetabling.
We made a number of important steps to care for the vulnerable in our community. This week has seen the announcement of Uniting Care being selected to deliver vital services to Canberra’s vulnerable families, teaching them life skills and practical parenting skills to keep kids with their parents when possible. This is in addition to the passing of the Children and Young People’s bill number three, giving stability to children under the age of two in care.
We also passed the new legislation this week that allow individuals with a conviction for a historical consensual homosexual act to apply to have their conviction extinguished. This amendment bill rights the wrongs of the past and allow affected individuals to be free of the burden of a criminal record.
The Government took important steps to ensure fair pay for workers on Easter Sunday. By making it a public holiday we’ve made sure they are properly paid if they choose to give up spending the day with their family.
The One Canberra Reference Group Report was tabled in the assembly. It contains 20 practical initiatives based on a set of values that have been defined by and for all Canberrans, to create a more inclusive and liveable city for all Canberrans.
Hundreds of community groups, schools and charitable organisations will be able to run raffles, housie, bingo and other low-risk lotteries without having to apply for permission under new laws which passed the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday. These changes will mean community groups can spend more time fundraising and less time filling in forms.
The ACT Government also moved to protect women seeking abortion clinic services by establishing an exclusion zone that protesters must adhere to. Women who have made what is already a difficult decision to have an abortion have the right to be able to access the medical services they require without being forced to endure the judgement of others. The termination of a pregnancy is legal in the ACT and if protestors want to undertake in political activism through peaceful assembly then I again encourage them to bring that activism to their political representatives, not to individuals seeking legal medical services.
There is a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks, with one last sitting week in November. My Government will continue to focus on ensuring Canberra remains the most liveable city in the world.