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Thursday, 1 September 1960

Mr Whitlam m asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice -

1.   What requests and suggestions were made at the meetings of the Australian Transport Advisory Council in the last three years for legislation by the (a) Commonwealth, (b) Territories and (c) States?

2.   What action has been takenon these requests and suggestions?

Mr Opperman - The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows: -

The Australian Transport Advisory Council considers a number of matters which might involve Commonwealth or State legislation. The following are the principal matters considered by the Council during the last three years which concerned Commonwealth or State legislation and/or the regulations made thereunder:

(a)   Commonwealth Aid Roads. - The council considered and advised on Commonwealth Aid Roads policy prior to the passing of the Commonwealth Aid Roads Act 1959.

(b)   Railway Standardization. - Regular reports on railway standardization are made to the council which considered the Albury-Melbourne standardization proposal prior to the legislation ratifying the agreement between the Commonwealth and New South Wales and Victoria.

(c)   Interstate Road Transport - Road Maintenance. - Consideration has been given to a number of aspects of State legislation and its possible amendment to secure a reasonable contribution from interstate road operators for roads maintenance.

(d)   Commonwealth Civil Aviation (Carriers' Liability) Act 1959. - This has involved the interstate adoption of the provisions of the relevant part of the Commonwealth Act by the introduction of uniform State legislation.

(e)   Australian Roads Traffic and Vehicle Standards. - Recommendations of Committees established by the council in these fields have been adopted for incorporation in State and Territory road traffic legislation.

(f)   Pollution of the Sea by Oil and the Safety of Life at Sea. - International conventions requiring the passing of Commonwealth and State legislation on a uniform basis.

(g)   Powers of Courts of Marine Inquiry. - Involves the passing of uniform legislation by the Commonwealth and States regarding the constitution of courts of marine inquiry, with particular reference to the appointment of Assessors to advise the Courts.

(h)   Passenger Traffic on the Australian Coast. - The relaxing of restrictions on the carriage of Interstate passengers on overseas ships has been considered. If adopted it will involve amendments to the Navigation Act.

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