All changes made to the description and title of this division.

View division | Edit description

Change Division
senate vote 2018-11-27#4

Edited by mackay

on 2019-10-11 16:53:58


  • Bills — Road Vehicle Standards Bill 2018, Road Vehicle Standards (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018, Road Vehicle Standards Charges (Imposition — General) Bill 2018, Road Vehicle Standards Charges (Imposition — Customs) Bill 2018, Road Vehicle Standards Charges (Imposition — Excise) Bill 2018; Second Reading
  • Road Vehicle Standards Bill 2018 and others - Second Reading - Reduce vehicle emissions


  • <p class="speaker">Helen Polley</p>
  • <p>A primary role of our parliament is to make, monitor and update laws which have a key focus on the safety of Australians. Our parliament has a strong record of bipartisanship when it comes to dealing with legislation surrounding national security measures and other laws that go to making our communities safer. The opposition extends the same hand of bipartisanship when it comes to legislation relating to road safety and motor vehicle standards. During the calendar year of 2017 there were 1,224 road deaths in Australia and more than 35,000 seriously injured on our roads. In 2018 alone there have been 874 deaths on Australian roads.</p>
  • <p>Sadly, thanks to the actions of this current government, Australia no longer builds cars and must rely on imports. With nearly 1.2 million new cars sold in this country each year, we must ensure that the standards applying to motor vehicle imports are up to date and fit for purpose, especially with the rate of deaths on our roads, which I mentioned earlier. We must not dumb our cars down. With the annual economic cost of road crashes in Australia at approximately $30 billion per year, it is essential that governments do everything they can to ensure that cars being brought into this country are the safest they can be.</p>
  • The majority voted in favour of an [amendment]( to the usual [second reading motion](, which is "*that the bill be read a second time*". That is parliamentary jargon for agreeing with the main idea of the bill. The amendment was introduced by Victorian Senator [Janet Rice]( (Greens).
  • ### Motion text
  • > *At the end of the motion, add:*
  • >
  • > *", but the Senate notes that:*
  • >
  • > *(a) the Ministerial Forum on Vehicle Emissions was established in October 2015 to address emissions from motor vehicles;*
  • >
  • > *(b) the Draft Regulation Impact Statement on Vehicle emissions standards for cleaner air released by the Ministerial Forum notes that:*
  • >
  • >> *(i) Australia is estimated to have experienced a 68 per cent increase in deaths attributable to air pollution during the period 2005 to 2010, with total of 1,483 deaths in 2010; and*
  • >>
  • >> *(ii) it is suggested that, in OECD countries, road transport accounts for approximately half of the cost of the health impact of air pollution (including these preventable deaths);*
  • >
  • > *(c) while the Prime Minister insists that we will meet our Paris targets 'in a canter', the transport sector is now responsible for 19 per cent of Australian greenhouse gas emissions and has continued to grow in emissions year on year since 2001;*
  • >
  • > *(d) despite two discussion papers, three draft regulation impact statements, two additional reports and over three years of work, there has been no substantive government action to reduce emissions from motor vehicles; and*
  • >
  • > *(e) the Government has proven itself completely unable to deliver meaningful reductions in vehicle emissions and therefore cannot be trusted to reduce deaths from vehicle pollution or meet our international climate change obligations."*
  • <p>This legislation is therefore timely. It is 17 years since the Motor Vehicles Standards Act and its regulations were last reviewed. This package seeks to bring the regulatory regime into the 21st century and to make it more streamlined, reducing compliance costs to the industry by approximately $68 million. The legislation will create an online register which will provide consumers an opportunity to check that the vehicles they are interested in purchasing comply with Australian design standards. Despite having some concerns about the finer details of these bills, based on consultation with stakeholders, Labor will support this package. We believe that the stakeholder concerns, which I will address shortly, should be taken into account in the rules and subsequent technical and administrative arrangements provided for by these bills.</p>
  • <p>The road safety package will replace the old Motor Vehicle Standards Act, which regulates imported vehicles, and includes five pieces of legislation: the Road Vehicle Standards Bill 2018, the Road Vehicle Standards (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018, the Road Vehicle Standards Charges (Imposition&#8212;General) Bill 2018, the Road Vehicle Standards Charges (Imposition&#8212;Customs) Bill 2018 and the Road Vehicle Standards Charges (Imposition&#8212;Excise) Bill 2018. Under existing rules, people demonstrate that a vehicle complies with safety standards using the physical attachment of a compliance plate, but this legislation replaces that system by creating a register of approved vehicles that comply with Australian standards.</p>
  • <p>There will be two ways for a vehicle to make its way onto this register. The first, known as the type approval pathway, is for new vehicles being imported into this nation for sale. The vast majority of vehicles will enter the list via this route. The second, known as the concessional pathway, is aimed at a limited range of new and used vehicles which can be granted concessions on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis. This pathway will apply to specialist and enthusiast vehicles, classic and vintage vehicles, and vehicles that have a special purpose that could not be fulfilled if they had to comply with Australian standards. This latter category might apply to emergency vehicles and cranes. The legislation creates the specialist and enthusiast vehicle register to ensure that motor enthusiasts seeking to import unusual vehicles can do so without breaching Australian vehicle standards.</p>
  • <p>The legislation establishes road vehicle standard rules to define vehicles that are of general, specialist and enthusiast nature through needing to meet one of six criteria: high-performance vehicles, vehicles with environmental standards significantly superior to Australian mainstream vehicles, vehicles manufactured with modifications to assist people with a disability, rare vehicles, left-hand drive vehicles, and campervans and motorhomes not originally manufactured as campervans or motorhomes.</p>
  • <p>The legislation also includes provisions allowing for the importation of vehicles for purposes other than road use, such as for testing or racing. These vehicles will not be listed on the register. Relevant states and territories will decide whether such vehicles may be driven on roads within their borders.</p>
  • <p>The proposed changes will serve the interests of consumers. Consumers will be able to search the online register of approved vehicles using their vehicle identification number, VIN, to confirm that vehicles they want to buy comply with the rules. The new legislation will also require manufacturers to introduce a secure identification-marking requirement for all new vehicles. This provision is designed to provide a deterrent to vehicle theft and rebirthing. This is a sensible move.</p>
  • <p>The package also gives the minister for transport the ability to issue a recall notice on any road vehicle or road vehicle component and lays out the framework for voluntary recalls. This too is important. When manufacturers discover faults in motor vehicles, it's critical that there is a process by which they can be recalled quickly if they represent a risk to public safety. There have been some major safety recalls in recent years involving major manufacturers. We need a simple system that allows for efficient handling of such issues.</p>
  • <p>Administration of these new standards will be funded by industry participants on a cost-recovery basis. However, these bills do not outline the amounts to be charged. These will be prescribed in accompanying rules and regulations that will be subject to disallowance by this parliament.</p>
  • <p>Various industry groups have expressed concern over elements of the package. For example, the legislation allows some vehicles to be imported through a revised Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme which allows for the import of used specialist and enthusiast vehicles. It also creates a New Low Volume Scheme which applies to new vehicles where fewer than 100 vehicles are to be imported.</p>
  • <p>The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association raised concern about the inclusion of the New Low Volume Scheme under RAWS. The AAAA argued that, under the existing system, vehicles imported under the New Low Volume Scheme do not need to be individually inspected. Its concern is that, under the new system, low-volume imports will have to be individually inspected and that this will add costs to the industry. The AAAA suggested that the new arrangements would therefore disadvantage small workshops and benefit big manufacturers.</p>
  • <p>Concerns were also expressed regarding the effect of this legislation on companies that import vehicles from overseas and then convert them into campervans or motorhomes. Specifically, this legislation closes a loophole in the existing system that allowed some registered automotive workshops to import thousands of cars which they did not convert but simply on-sold at profit. This legislation's closure of that loophole has created concerns about the prospects of companies that do legitimately convert vehicles into campervans and motorhomes. Having considered these concerns, Labor has formed the view that the legislation as it stands serves the public interest. However, we take these industry concerns seriously. The opposition will monitor the operation of the legislation and the operations of its accompanying rules and subsequent technical and administrative arrangements.</p>
  • <p>Administration of vehicle standards is never easy. When we are importing 1.2 million cars into our country per year, we need to make sure that we get it right. We need a system that is simple but one that also allows people who want to import unusual and specialist vehicles an opportunity to do so. While I think there is still more we can be doing to mandate sufficient safety ratings on cars we import into our nation, this legislation includes some important improvements in the cause of public safety and security. I commend the package to the Senate.</p>
  • <p class='motion-notice motion-notice-truncated'>Long debate text truncated.</p>