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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (29 February) . . Page.. 466..


MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

I think the salient point is that the ACT Government has shown its commitment to Canberra Airport by setting aside $100,000, as Mr Wood said, in the budget. We will continue to do that. We look forward to negotiating, just as we have been negotiating in the past with Mr Brereton. Notwithstanding who should win after Saturday, we look forward to continuing those negotiations with the Federal Government and the Federal Airports Corporation, and working very closely with our regional partners around New South Wales to make sure that the best possible outcome is achieved for the people of the ACT. I thank members for their contributions.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

EXECUTIVE BUSINESS - PRECEDENCE

Motion (by Mrs Carnell) agreed to:

That Executive business be called on.

MOTOR VEHICLES (DIMENSIONS AND MASS) (AMENDMENT) BILL 1996

Debate resumed from 22 February 1996, on motion by Mr De Domenico:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR WHITECROSS (11.34): The Motor Vehicles (Dimensions and Mass) (Amendment) Bill primarily deals with changes that are aimed at implementing the development of national uniform road transport legislation, and the Labor Party will be supporting these changes. The changes outlined by Mr De Domenico in his presentation speech are sensible changes as far as we are concerned, and we are happy to support them in bringing road transport vehicles in the ACT into line with national standards in terms of length and other things. We think it is sensible, and we also think it is sensible that on-the-spot fines can be imposed on the owners of vehicles as well as on the drivers of vehicles. It is one of the regrettable elements of the road transport industry that from time to time, in an effort to shave costs, drivers can be put in an awkward position by the owners of vehicles in relation to compliance with the law.

It is, therefore, only fair that that be recognised by our laws and that owners have to take responsibility for ensuring that their drivers are not breaching laws. Otherwise you can have the ambiguity arising where the driver may feel that he owes his job to breaching the law in certain ways and the owner can say, "It is nothing to do with me". I think it is very sensible that owners have to share with drivers the responsibility for ensuring that road rules are abided by and that mass and dimension rules are abided by. In sharing that responsibility, both the driver and the owner are made to take responsibility. It is not good enough for drivers to hide behind the fact that they are employees; nor is it good enough for owners to hide behind the fact that they are not driving the vehicle. We think that is a sensible change.


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