Page 1517 - Week 05 - Thursday, 11 April 2013

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In addition to the explanatory notes in the bill, parliamentary counsel is, as always, available to provide any further explanation or information that members would like about any of the amendments made by the bill.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Road Transport (General) 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 (General) Amendment Bill 2013. This bill will amend the Road Transport (General) Act to change the definition of bicycle to allow the use of European style power-assisted cycles, known as “pedalecs”, in the Australian Capital Territory.

Firstly, I would like to explain the current regulatory environment for power-assisted cycles, also known as electric bikes.

In the ACT, all motorised vehicles including motorised bicycles must be registered under vehicle registration laws unless they are specifically exempt. The road transport legislation provides an exemption for bicycles with auxiliary motors if their maximum engine output power does not exceed 200 watts at the engine’s peak.

The main difference between a power-assisted bike and a moped or motorcycle is the way it is propelled. For a power-assisted cycle, human power is the main means of propulsion. The motor is auxiliary, operating as a form of assistance. Use of a power-assisted bike is not subject to the registration and licensing scheme for motor vehicles.

For a moped or motorcycle, the motor is the main means of propulsion. Mopeds and motorbikes must comply with the registration and licensing requirements that apply to motor vehicles.

In May 2012, following a significant amount of work and encouragement by states and territories over a number of years, the commonwealth amended the Australian design rules to adopt a new vehicle category of “pedalec”. This category is a newer, higher performance category of electric bicycle with a maximum continuous power rating of 250 watts. Pedalecs are defined as vehicles meeting European standards for power-assisted cycles.

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