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Friday, 8 November 1985
Page: 1824


Senator VANSTONE(11.00) —I wish to make just a few points. I would like to express regret that there is not some form of amendment before the chamber that would delay this legislation at least until 1 December. From South Australia's point of view, the impression that has been given to members of the industry by Senator Vigor is that it would be a clear possibility for him to arrange that so that industry people could come forward in a very reasonable way and put forward their concerns. The industry in South Australia does not regard itself as being informed of the details of this legislation. I quote what one member of the industry said at a public meeting that Senator Vigor attended. He said:

I suggest that what we do is request for a deferment until we've all had an opportunity to have a look at it. As I've said, on our behalf, we got it Saturday.

He went on to say that he represented approximately 500 truckowners and he outlined what he thought would be the cost to them. These people are not unreasonable. They are simply saying: `Please give us time to acquaint ourselves with this legislation'. I just express that regret.

I have some questions that I hope can be answered. I understood, from comments made by certain public servants at a public meeting in Adelaide, that people who chose to register their trucks through the States rather than going for the interstate registration and wished to take loads interstate needed to get a very inexpensive form of licence. I would like to have that matter confirmed. I also ask: In what position would that put, for example, farmers around the borders of the States who have their trucks registered in their State and who want to take a load of their produce interstate and, in order to make their journey a little more economical, want to pick up a load of someone else's goods and bring it back on the return journey? As we all know, the rural industry is hard pressed enough without further imposts being put on it.

I would also like to have clarified some matters with respect to the amendments that have been moved by Senator Vigor. In particular, I would like somebody to explain what the financial consequences will be for someone who pays $1,000 for the registration of a prime mover and $400 for the registration of the accompanying trailer. Although I am not an expert in the road transport industry, I am informed that a very significant number of people in the industry have one prime mover and two or three trailers to accompany that prime mover. They leave one trailer in one place while it is being packed and they use the other trailer to travel somewhere else. I understand that, under this legislation, there is an option for those people who believe that they will not travel interstate the average mileage that leads to the fee of $1,400 to fit a charge meter. If there is a different registration for a prime mover and a trailer, does that mean that people who wish to avail themselves of paying a lesser registration-obviously two trailers do not move with one prime mover at the same time-will have to put a charge meter on each of the trailers that they have?

I would like also to draw honourable senators' attention to two reports of the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills. I hope that the Minister for Veterans' Affairs (Senator Gietzelt) will make a further comment on that Committee's concerns. The first report, the thirteenth report of 1985, which is dated 16 October, raises the Committee's concerns and the second report, dated 6 November, contains some of the Minister's answers. I appreciate that these reports are available to honourable senators and that those who are interested in this legislation would have already read them. Therefore, it is not incumbent on me to reread them simply to occupy time. But I draw honourable senators' attention to the fact that a couple of times in the second report the Standing Committee thanks the Minister for his answers. Perhaps I can use one example. On page 8 of the fourteenth report the Committee states:

The Committee thanks the Minister for this response.

For the purpose of my argument it does not matter which point the Committee was considering. The Committee goes on:

In continuing to draw attention to the breadth of the power in the sub-clause 45 (1), together with the response, the Committee wishes to promote a fuller consideration of the issues involved at the Committee stage of the debate on the Bill.

Using that as an example, I ask the Minister to respond particularly to each and every one of the concerns raised by the Senate Standing Committeed for the Scrutiny of Bills.