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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 3417 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

To date, national reforms implemented in the ACT include heavy vehicle charges, transport of dangerous goods, vehicle standards and most aspects of vehicle operations. The legislation presented today will add vehicle registration, driver licensing and road rule reforms to the lists of these achievements.

The preparation of this draft legislation necessitated an overhaul of the ACT road transport legislative structure. The Government decided to model the restructure on the approach New South Wales adopted in implementing the national reforms. Using their legislation as a base for developing ACT law will ensure that the ACT also adopts the national requirements, as New South Wales closely mirrored the national transport reforms in its legislation. Other benefits from this approach include learning from New South Wales' experiences in implementing the national reforms and opportunities to reduce cross-border differences, making administration of transport law in the ACT more efficient.

Mr Speaker, the Government has taken further steps to make ACT roads safer by including in this reform package offences and other deterrents for those motorists who choose to speed or drive dangerously. These offences are located in the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Bill 1999 and include driving furiously, menacing driving (commonly known as road rage), two new forms of negligent driving, one of causing death and the other of causing grievous bodily harm, as well as a regulation power to provide for speed inhibitors in relation to certain proscribed offences under the Act.

The Government has also taken steps to combat the growing trade in stolen vehicles by providing police with additional powers. These powers are located in the Road Transport (General) Bill 1999. They include provision for police officers to enter motor vehicle repair premises under the authority of the Chief Police Officer at any time to inspect for stolen vehicles, trailers or parts, and for police officers to use tyre deflation devices under the authority of the Chief Police Officer in relation to the pursuit of a vehicle.

As the Motor Transport Act 1936 has been repealed by the introduction of the national initiatives, other local legislative amendments which would have been included in this Act have been included in the legislative package. These include Mr Osborne's private members Bill on drink driving and restricted special licences. The Government supports the initiative put forward by Mr Osborne. The legislation will provide for mandatory licence disqualification for drink drivers, preventing those who have had a restricted licence cancelled from applying for a further restricted licence and making repeat drink drivers ineligible for a restricted licence.

The Road Transport (General) Bill also provides that people disqualified from driving following convictions for other types of serious driving offences, for example, culpable, dangerous or menacing driving, are similarly ineligible for a restricted licence. Mr Speaker, implementation of the vehicle registration and driver licensing reforms by 1 December 1999 is a requirement for National Competition Council policy assessment. The Motor Traffic Act 1936 and the Traffic Act of 1937 and related regulations are to be repealed and replaced by the Bills presented today.

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