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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (29 February) . . Page.. 468 ..

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (11.40), in reply: Let me start with Mr Whitecross's request. To be very honest, Mr Whitecross, I do not know under what circumstances we would be considering giving bulk permitting, because we have not had a chance to do so yet. You note also that it is a disallowable instrument of this Assembly, and in that way the Assembly can have a look at that. I will get as much information as I can and get back to you on that one.

The process of the reform of the national road law is being coordinated by the National Road Transport Commission. The ACT is fully involved in this process, which will result in uniform road laws throughout Australia. Can I pay a compliment to my predecessor, Mr Lamont, for the work he has done on that forum. It is as a result of that work that the Government has put forward this piece of legislation, because it was done prior to this Government taking office. That needs to be acknowledged in Hansard.

A number of standards, including dimensions and mass standards, for heavy vehicles have been agreed to nationally. As Mr Whitecross said, it is great when you can come into a place and say that we have had uniform agreement from all political parties of all persuasions in a national forum to something that makes sense for the whole of the continent. That is good news to be able to bring to this Assembly. Notwithstanding that it is one of those issues that are considered to be very dry and boring by some people, the fact that we are starting to get this uniformity in an area such as transport is good news for all concerned.

The agreed dimensions and mass standards have been implemented in most other jurisdictions. The amendments to the Motor Vehicles (Dimensions and Mass) Act will provide for their implementation in the ACT. The amendments will also allow that the existing standards and any changes to them be set by determination, once again disallowable by this Assembly. One of the most important dimensions that is to be included in a determination following on from these amendments is that the maximum length of articulated vehicles, other than buses, will be 19 metres. Such vehicles are currently restricted to 17.5 metres. There is, once again, uniform agreement to that. Anything we can do to get uniformity in areas such as differentiation between owners and drivers of vehicles is worth while. It is not fair that one should be penalised because of something the other does. The bottom line is uniformity, with the standards being agreed to by all governments of all political persuasions around Australia. I welcome the Opposition's support for this, and we look forward to having more of the same in the future.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

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