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Tuesday, 12 November 1985
Page: 1957

Senator SANDERS —I address my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Transport. Is he aware that Australia now has one of the most stringent motor cycle noise laws in the world under Australian design rule 39? Is he further aware of the proposal to make the noise rules even stricter under the proposed ADR N1?

Honourable senators interjecting-

Senator SANDERS —I notice a lot of people in this place who are not interested in transportation for the masses. Does the Minister realise that major manufacturers such as BMW have stated publicly that they would no longer supply motor cycles for the Australian market and that a total of 62 per cent of all motor cycles now on sale in this country would not pass the new rules and would be banned in the future? Does he realise-keep laughing, folks-that 5,000 jobs are at risk in the Australian motor cycle sales and service industry as a result of ADR N1? If so, what steps willl be taken to eliminate the economically suicidal, environmentally unnecessary and totally discriminatory new law?

Senator GIETZELT —I think honourable senators would be aware of Senator Sanders's penchant for riding BMW motor cycles, so we can understand his interest in the subject. I think it is a matter of concern for the whole community. The Minister advises me that he does not necessarily agree that Australia has the most stringent motor cycle noise laws in the world. Nevertheless, he concedes that they are somewhat strict. The Minister informs me that there are proposals, however, to make them even more strict. There is a push from the New South Wales Minister to reduce the level of noise by a further three decibels, which would amount to a 50 per cent cut, and I am sure that that would be a matter of some concern to Senator Sanders.

Some manufacturers have already indicated their difficulty in producing motor cycles which comply with the proposed new rule, so the Government is well aware of the problems identified by the industry. However, it is a matter of consultation with the States and the States obviously would have to agree to some change in the current regulations. The matter has therefore been listed for the next meeting of the Australian Transport Advisory Committee and will be on the agenda for consideration, at which time the State and Commonwealth Ministers will have an opportunity to consider all the views, including the views of the honourable senator. That meeting, I understand, is scheduled to take place in Hobart, of all places, early in December. So if there is a lobby group interested in this matter the opportunity will present itself to the Tasmanian senator.

It is the Minister's view that stricter standards should not be adopted before full consultation takes place or without some clearly identified public need. The Government is well aware that existing standards need to be enforced thoroughly, including those relating to motor cycle service and replacement parts. That, therefore, requires consultation with the industry and those who have pleasure in riding motor cycles, taking into account the overall public interest.