Page 3797 - Week 10 - Thursday, 27 August 2009

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gases and liquids. In general terms, the volume of dangerous goods brought into the territory is not great. As we all know, the ACT does not have a significant mining, chemical or heavy manufacture industry profile. Members should note that the model legislation does not deal specifically with the transport of explosives or radioactive material.

Dangerous goods are substances and articles that are potentially hazardous to people, property and the environment. They may be corrosive, flammable, explosive, oxidizing or reactive with water. Whatever their properties and their potential for injury and destruction, great care is needed in their handling, storage and transport. Australia has adopted a system of classification and labelling for dangerous goods based on the United Nations system used in other countries. This system helps people to quickly recognise dangerous goods, their properties and dangers. For this purpose they are divided into nine classes, which, in some cases, are further divided into subclasses.

Class 1 is explosives. The road transport of explosives is not regulated under this bill but is regulated under the Dangerous Substances Act 2004.

Class 2 is gases. The class is subdivided into flammable gases such as butane, non-flammable, non-toxic gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and argon and toxic gases such as ammonia and chlorine. The non-flammable, non-toxic gases can cause suffocation while the toxic gases can cause death or serious injury if inhaled.

Class 3 is flammable liquids, the vapours of which can ignite in air or contact with a source of ignition, the most obvious example being petrol.

Class 4 is a group of other flammable substances comprising flammable solids such as sulphur and phosphorus that are easily ignited by external sources, substances liable to spontaneous combustion and substances which, in contact with water, can be flammable gasses that can spontaneously ignite.

Class 5 is oxidizing substances that are not necessarily combustible by themselves but which produce oxygen which increase the risk and intensity of fire in other materials with which they may come into contact. It also includes organic peroxides that are thermally unstable and likely to react dangerously with other substances.

Class 6 is toxic substances that are likely to cause death or serious injury if swallowed, inhaled or brought into contact with the skin and infectious substances such as clinical waste.

Class 7 is radioactive material. The transport of radioactive material is not regulated under this bill but under the Radiation Protection Act 2006.

Class 8 is corrosive substances, such as acids, that can severely damage living tissue or attack other materials, such as metals.

Finally, class 9 is miscellaneous dangerous goods that present a danger but are not covered by other classes.

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