Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 8 June 2017) . . Page.. 2080 ..
Road Transport Reform (Light Rail) Legislation Amendment Bill 2017
Mr Rattenbury, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.
Title read by Clerk.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health) (10.32): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
I am pleased to introduce the Road Transport Reform (Light Rail) Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 into the Assembly today. This bill will support the operation of light rail in the road environment, including for road testing and commissioning of the light rail vehicles. It is the first stage of reforms required to support the ACT’s road transport legislation. A second stage of legislative reforms will follow in 2018 to support the operation of light rail as a public passenger transport mode.
The bill makes a number of amendments to the road transport legislation to support the operation of light rail vehicles on ACT roads in accordance with the Australian Road Rules and to address insurance arrangements for dealing with personal injuries arising from a collision with a light rail vehicle.
Light rail vehicles will be vehicles under the ACT’s road transport legislation and, as such, drivers and the registered operator will be subject to the same laws and rules as the drivers and registered owners of other vehicles. Light rail vehicle drivers and the light rail operator will be able to be fined and charged with driving-related offences in the same way as any other driver.
The driver of a light rail vehicle who commits an offence such as speeding, failing to give way, dangerous driving or drink-driving will be subject to the same penalties as any other driver, which may include loss of their licence. This is consistent with the treatment of drivers and operators of other public transport modes in the territory
Light rail vehicles will not have to be registered in the same way as cars but the light rail operator will have to be accredited to operate a light rail system under the Rail Safety National Law. The Rail Safety National Law imposes strict safety requirements on the light rail operator. The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, which is responsible for accrediting the light rail operator under the Rail Safety National Law, has rigorous systems and processes to ensure that the rail operator is properly managing risks to safety associated with light rail operations.
Light rail vehicles will be covered by the ACT’s compulsory third-party insurance scheme, ensuring that a person involved in an accident with a light rail vehicle is