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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (22 September) . . Page.. 1976 ..


Debate resumed from 25 June 1998, on motion by Mr Smyth:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HARGREAVES (11.01): Mr Speaker, the people on this side of the house support the Bill. This is part of a national reform package to ensure the safety of dangerous goods being transported by either road or rail. The amendment provides uniformity between all States and Territories, and it allows consistency and clarity when enforcing the laws between the States and Territories. The amendment reduces duplication amongst the States and therefore, we hope, reduces administration costs. One of the features of this Bill is that the burden of responsibility no longer lies with the driver. In fact, it focuses on those who are most accountable, the people who actually pack the goods up for putting on the trucks and the contractors themselves. That safeguard is a very positive one.

We note that the laws are being phased in over a six-month period to assist the industry comply with the changes. Indeed, they need to. We support the amendment because it allows that uniformity and consistency. This legislation does not need to cover explosives, infectious substances and radioactive material. We believe that they are reasonably adequately catered for in the Dangerous Goods Act, the Clinical Waste Act and the Radiation Act 1983. We congratulate the department on making the connection between those two and not trying to do too much at once, and we would encourage them to keep an eye on it.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (11.03), in reply: Mr Speaker, I thank all members for their interest. It is very important that we make sure that these goods, if they have to be transported, are transported in a safe and appropriate manner. I thank the Labor Party and all members for their assistance in ensuring that this happens smoothly and quickly.

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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