Page 4477 - Week 14 - Thursday, 28 November 2013

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developed over many years. The national law provides the national registration of heavy vehicles and prescribes the standards for these vehicles. It prescribes measures to control speed and prevent drivers driving while fatigued. It also imposes duties and obligations on operators, drivers and other people who may influence compliance with requirements under the law.

Administration of the national law will be the responsibility of the national heavy vehicle regulator, but the regulator will make agreements with state and territory road transport authorities to administer parts of the scheme. Police and road managers will also continue to be involved in implementation and enforcement of the legislation. Infringement notice offences and penalties will continue to be covered by current ACT laws and legal proceedings will continue to be brought before the ACT Magistrates Court and ACAT. Vehicle registration charges will be collected by the regulator. In future, part of the revenue will be given to states and territories for road maintenance while the rest will be retained by the regulator for administrative costs.

The bill is designed to reduce red tape and improve efficiency in the transport industry. This should increase productivity in the sector. The opposition is pleased to see a reduction in such red tape. However, we will watch carefully to see that the new laws, including the establishment of the national regulator, do not, in fact, bring another layer of red tape.

While the opposition will be supporting the bill, we have been disappointed by the process. The bill was presented to the Assembly in October and was set down for debate on Tuesday of this week. However, due to extensive comment from the scrutiny committee, debate had to be delayed in order to give the minister time to provide a response.

While the minister has provided a comprehensive response to the comments, it is disappointing the opposition has not had enough time to properly consider the legislation. As is often the case with a national scheme, the ACT is close to being the last jurisdiction to adopt these laws, and they have been rushed through the Assembly as the government is playing catch-up. In future, the government should be better prepared and bring large pieces of legislation like this earlier in the year so that the opposition and stakeholders have time to properly consider them.

The opposition is pleased to support this bill today and hopes that improved efficiency in the heavy vehicle transport sector follows.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.43): I will make some brief comments on both the heavy vehicle national law bill and the Heavy Vehicle National Law (Consequential Amendments) Bill. The two bills are complementary, of course, and they form a legislative package designed to implement the new nationally harmonised scheme for regulation of heavy vehicles. The national scheme is intended to streamline and improve efficiency for heavy vehicle administration, including issues such as accreditation, vehicle standards, and fatigue management.

I will try to improve the efficiency of the Assembly by addressing both of them at the same time. Despite these bills and the accompanying regulations being quite enormous, I want to keep my remarks fairly brief.

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