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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (29 February) . . Page.. 467 ..

MR WHITECROSS (continuing):

One of the other key changes in this legislation allows for bulk permitting exemption notices, which will allow bulk permitting exemption from the normal mass and dimension rules. These relate mainly to oversized vehicles and that sort of thing. I note that the Government expects that about 60 per cent of circumstances currently covered by individual permits will be able to be covered by bulk permitting. The Government has not actually set out in its explanatory memorandum in what circumstances they might seek to use the bulk permitting option, and I would be interested to know whether the Minister can put some information about that on the record in his reply. Given that those exemption notices are disallowable, we will have an opportunity to address individual exemptions as they arise and, if we do have any concerns, that will be the appropriate time to address them. For the information of the house, I would be interested in the Minister addressing that.

I note also that bulk permitting will provide a benefit, albeit only $58,000, to the industry in waived permit application fees. That is a small hole in the revenue, once again, in the name of industry assistance; but if it makes life more efficient for everybody concerned it does not seem to me to be an intrinsically bad thing to do, given the amount of money involved, and presumably that $58,000 was cost recovery. I also note the Government's claim that $74,000 will be saved to the transport industry in administration costs.

Overall, the matters contained in the dimensions and mass Bill are sensible changes. They are the result of a lot of work, not just in the ACT but in national forums, and we are happy to be supporting legislation to - - -

Mr Berry: You have them stunned already.

MR WHITECROSS: Mr De Domenico has not interjected once.

Mr De Domenico: A very sensible speech.

MR WHITECROSS: I am just reassuring my colleagues, who were upset that you had not interjected.

Mr De Domenico: I am surprised that Mr Berry has not found an angle on which he can attack the Government on this one.

MR WHITECROSS: Give him a chance, Mr De Domenico. We are always happy to support measures that are part of national schemes to make industry more competitive and to reduce inconsistencies between States. That is what this is about, and we are happy to support it. We will be taking note, as I said before, of the circumstances in which exemption notices are granted, and I look forward to hearing some further information from Mr De Domenico in his reply.

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