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Thursday, 27 September 1973
Page: 1607

Mr COHEN (ROBERTSON, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Will the Minister for Transport make available a research team to investigate the crash at Cabramurra in which 18 people were killed yesterday to ascertain the cause of the accident and the cause of the loss of life? Will he see whether lives could have been saved by the use of seat belts in the bus? If so, will he consider using the Commonwealth's constitutional powers regarding interstate trade to make it compulsory for buses transporting interstate visitors to be fitted with seat belts?

Mr CHARLES JONES (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Transport) - I am certain that the honourable member for Robertson and all other honourable' members join with me in expressing our regret at the incident and our condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives in this tragic accident. Unfortunately, it is accidents of this type which bring to the fore the need to introduce new regulations and to tighten up existing regulations where necessary. I would be quite happy to make available any officers of my Department to take part in research into the reasons for this accident. Like the honourable member for Robertson who is Chairman of the House of Representatives Select Committee on Road Safety, I have been concerned for some time at the laxity of interstate bus operations. Too many accidents have occurred in this field of operation. Because of this situation, at the last meeting of the ATAC, I was successful in having the export group prepare a report on the desirability of fitting seat belts to all buses operating over long distances, together with the adoption of provisions for tighter inspections of the braking systems of these buses. I can say further that, at the previous meeting of the Australian Transport Advisory Council in February of this year, a uniform code of inspection for buses operating over long distances was introduced by the expert group and adopted by that Council. I have with me a document setting out uniform


inspection standards for omnibuses which may be of interest to honourable members So that they might study it, I seek leave of the House to incorporate the document in Hansard.

Mr SPEAKER -Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows) -





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