Page 101 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 7 December 2004

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actively involved in the legislative process of setting up the reformed statutory oversight process, that their voice is heard and that we in the opposition—I am sure the crossbench will join with us—ensure that the voice of the community is heard as much as possible in the somewhat strained circumstances that the community will find itself in in the next four years.

I commend Dr Foskey for bringing this matter of public importance to the attention of the opposition, the Assembly at large and the community, and I hope that this is the way that she will continue to advocate on behalf of Canberra’s vulnerable people.

MR SPEAKER: The discussion of the matter of public importance has concluded.

Road Transport (General) Amendment Bill 2004

Mr Quinlan, by leave, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo—Treasurer and Minister for Economic Development) (4.55): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill amends the Road Transport (General) Act 1999 to clarify and remove doubts expressed in some quarters as to the effectiveness of ministerial declarations pursuant to section 12 of that act.

Section 12 empowers the Minister for Urban Services to declare in writing that the road transport legislation, or a provision of the road transport legislation―

(a) applies to an area that is open to or used by the public; or

(b) does not apply to a road or road related area.

The declaration has effect until it is revoked or, if a period is stated in the declaration, for that period. Such declarations are disallowable instruments.

The issues addressed by this bill relate to the minister’s power to suspend application of the compulsory third party motor vehicle insurance scheme in relation to motor sport events, such as rallies and the upcoming Summernats. The bill addresses concerns expressed by the NRMA for a number of years that the minister’s declarations were, in the past, potentially ineffective. Successive ACT governments have relied on these declarations to delineate the times and geographic areas within which the compulsory third party motor vehicle insurance scheme is either applicable or inapplicable in relation to the types of events that I have outlined. While this government accepts the view in principle that such declarations are inherently valid, it has taken the opportunity to provide clarification to all relevant parties.

While the amendments are technical in nature, their effect is to provide specific validation of declarations under sections 12 and 13 of the act. Clause 2 provides for the

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