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Bills go back to Legislative Assembly with slight amendments

Proposed changes to road transport legislation in NSW clear the Upper House and have gone to Legislative Assembly for approval

By Brad Gardner | March 22, 2013

Proposed changes to the legislative framework governing road transport in New South Wales have cleared the Upper House and have now gone to the Legislative Assembly for approval.

The Legislative Council passed the Road Transport Bill, the Road Transport (Repeal and Amendment) Bill and the Road Transport (Statutory Rules) Bill yesterday.

The bills are designed to consolidate various transport laws and remove duplication, anomalies and inconsistencies.

While it passed the bills last month, the Legislative Assembly will now need to rule on a number of slight amendments the Legislative Council made to the Road Transport Bill.

The Council amended language in the Bill that Roads Minister Duncan Gay says could have led to someone being subject to a different penalty regime than what currently exists for a traffic offence.

“This was never the intention,” Gay says.

Furthermore, the Bill originally did not include a reference to an unlicensed driving offence. Gay says the omission could lead to offenders being subjected to lesser penalties, prompting the Legislative Council to slot in an amendment.

“This returns the language so that it is consistent with the current provisions and preserves the current penalty regime,” Gay says of the amendment.

The Legislative Council also amended clauses in the Bill relating to vehicle sanctions and hoon-type offences to preserve the existing penalties for both offences.

The Road Transport (Repeal and Amendment) Bill has specific importance to the trucking industry.

It will rename the Road Transport (General) Act as the Road Transport (Vehicle and Driver Management) Act.

The new Act will govern heavy vehicle mass, dimension and load requirements along with other regulations such as fatigue management.

It is designed to stay in place until NSW adopts national heavy vehicle regulations later this year, at which point the Act will be repealed.

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