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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 3148 ..



Mr Speaker, I move that the Bill be agreed to in principle.

The Motor Vehicles (Dimensions and Mass) (Amendment) Bill 1995 will make a number of important changes to the Motor Vehicles (Dimensions and Mass) Act 1990. In the 5 years that the Act has been in operation, many changes to the technical and operational requirements for heavy vehicles have been introduced nationally under the auspices of the National Road Transport Commission. The amendments contained in this Bill are primarily intended to bring the Act into line with those changes and are another step towards the development of nationally uniform road transport legislation. These changes are fully supported by the transport industry. Brief details of the more important amendments contained in the Bill are as follows.

Dimensions limits

The Dimensions and Mass Act currently sets out the length and width limits to which all heavy vehicles are subject. The amendments provide that these limits are to be determined by the Minister. This measure, combined with the issuing of exemptions for classes of vehicles, will give the ACT more flexibility in adapting to changes in national standards. One of the more important dimensions that will be included in a determination will be that the length of articulated vehicles other than a bus will be restricted to 19 metres in contrast with the current restriction in the Dimensions and Mass Act of 17.5 metres.

Exemption notices

One of the more important operational changes resulting from the amendments will be the ability of the Minister to issue exemption notices. Exemption notices will be used to exempt classes of vehicles or combinations from the requirements set out in the Act or in determinations. Currently, exemptions can only be granted on an individual vehicle basis by permit. Exemption notices will allow bulk permitting of about 60% of vehicles that are at present issued with individual permits.

The remaining 40% of vehicles that require permits will continue to be dealt with on an individual basis. These are vehicles which require more significant increases over legal limits because, for example, they are especially wide. Individual permits will continue to be issued by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

This measure will result in a loss of revenue to the Government of about $58,000 per annum because of permit application fees that will not be collected. However, there will be a corresponding administrative saving to the transport industry estimated to be about $74,000 per annum.

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