Page 1200 - Week 04 - Thursday, 21 March 2013

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I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.

Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2013

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (10.14): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present the Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2013. This bill amends the Road Transport (General) Act 1999 and a range of other road transport legislation. Last year legislation was passed in this Assembly to provide for new payment options for people experiencing difficulty in paying their infringement notice penalties for traffic or parking offences. The Road Transport (General) (Infringement Notices) Amendment Act 2012 made available three new options: payment by instalment; community work or social development programs; and waivers. The government supported the introduction of these new options in the 2012 amendments.

Providing more flexible payment options for infringement penalties is an important step in addressing the issues identified by the targeted assistance strategy expert panel in relation to fees and fines. In particular, the new options will enable those who owe traffic and parking infringement penalties to avoid sanctions such as the suspension of their drivers licence provided they have arrangements in place to discharge the penalties they owe or, in exceptional cases, have their penalty waived. For road users who are socially or financially disadvantaged, it is hoped that these options will encourage their engagement with the penalty payment system.

The 2012 amendments had a default commencement date of 24 May 2013, which allowed the Office of Regulatory Services time to develop the system changes that support the new options, and to put in place other arrangements for their administration. The systems required to support these options have included changes to the rego.act system which processes traffic and parking infringements. These changes are required to enable the setting up of instalment payment arrangements following application of relevant eligibility criteria, monitoring of payments of infringement penalties by instalments and ensuring that a default on instalment payments is followed up. If a default is not rectified sanctions are able to be applied for non-payment.

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