Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995

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Parliamentary Record 11


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 23 May 1995 I come now to the national micro-economic reforms that impact on the road transport industry, and implications that arise in terms of the budget. Members will recall debate on and the passage of the Road Transport Charges (Northern Territory) Bill in recent days. The purpose of that bill is to enable the Northern Territory to participate, as an equal partner, in a nationally-consistent set of heavy vehicle registration charges. While that bill is now ready to be enacted at any time, the government does not intend to commence the legislation until it is abundantly clear that all the states are ready to proceed. A new livestock loading scheme is to be introduced in the Northern Territory to provide a concessional loading arrangement for hauliers of live cattle. The scheme is based on the tare weight of trailers used by livestock hauliers, and a schedule of charges that increases as the tare weight of trailers increases. The higher the weight, the higher the charge will be because it is linked to increased road wear caused by higher axle loads. This new livestock loading scheme will ensure Northern Territory operators will not be disadvantaged in competing with livestock hauliers operating in adjoining states. The new loading scheme has been developed in consultation with the transport industry, the Cattlemens Association and the Livestock Exporters Association. A further development in the livestock export area should see the construction of a dedicated weighbridge at the livestock export yards at Berrimah in close proximity to the new port at East Arm and the private shipping facilities at Hudson Creek. While the Livestock Exporters Association intends to arrange this installation without financial assistance from the Northern Territory, the government stands ready to provide whatever further assistance is necessary to ensure that livestock exports remain efficient and competitive. The burgeoning live cattle export industry is adding significant pressures to the Territory roads network, particularly in the wet season. My department is also working closely with both the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries and the Livestock Exporters Association to keep abreast of the strategies being developed for the market and subsequent turn off of cattle so that transport infrastructure support keeps pace with demand. In the November sittings last year, I tabled a report on the progress that has been made with our road safety strategy since its launch in March 1993. Despite these activities, the year is not a good one and the higher accident level is a cost that we all have to bear. Aboriginal people continue to be over-represented in that, although they constitute 23% of the population, unfortunately they account for 40% to 50% of the fatalities. Fatigue, alcohol and failure to wear seat belts continue to be the major problems. These will be pursued with vigour in the coming year by my department and the Road Safety Council. Negotiations are proceeding with a developer to secure premises at Palmerston for a Motor Vehicle Registry office. This is expected to be operational later this year and will be a boon to Palmerston residents and rural dwellers. It demonstrates our commitment to providing accessible services to all Territorians. Total revenue from motor vehicle registration fees and charges and driver licensing is to increase by $ 1.043m to just over $14m. This revenue increase is based on: a population increase of 1.5% raising $165 000; miscellaneous fees and charges to raise $131 000; an increase in light vehicle registration charges, including motor cycles, trailers and caravans, of $668 000; and an increase in motor vehicle licence fees of $79 000. The average cost of registering a small sedan, for example a 1.6 L Ford Laser, will rise by less than $3 for 6 months or about $5 for a full year. Taking into account the full cost of registration and compulsory third-party insurance, the increase will be from $251.30 to $256 per annum. For a larger car, for example a 3.8 L Holden Berlina, the registration charge 3485