Rail Safety National Law (South Australia (Miscellaneous NO 3) Amendment Bill - Second Reading
Adjourned debate on second reading.
(Continued from 28 March 2017.)
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (15:24): I rise to make some remarks in support of this piece of legislation, which I think it is fair to say is the result of some growing pains in the regime of the Rail Safety National Law. The Rail Safety National Law system has created a single rail safety regulator and promulgated laws to enhance that objective, which commenced in 2013 and operates across all jurisdictions.
It was originally agreed to in December 2009 by the Council of Australian Governments. The National Transport Commission identified amendments required, in cooperation with the regulator and all jurisdictions, and the ministers of the Transport and Infrastructure Council approved this particular bill in November last year, with South Australia being the host jurisdiction which is responsible for the passage of amendment bills through the South Australian parliament. This is the third bill to be brought to the South Australian parliament under this regime.
This particular bill will amend some of the powers to charge specific fees. When I referred, in my introductory remarks, to growing pains, I understood that the funds being invested in rail have expanded by some four times and the regulator is not resourced to provide that level of oversight of some $60 billion so therefore is seeking the means for significant rail projects to be able to charge additional fees. This will enact that objective and provide a range of supporting regulations in order to do so. With those remarks, I commend the bill to the house.
Clauses 1 to 4 passed.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Members have spoken generally about the need for the regulator to be able to charge additional fees, notwithstanding the unusual politicisation by the government of elements of their failed rail transport policies. Could the minister provide some indication of what the existing fees are and the order of change of this new regime of fees being proposed through this legislation?
The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS: I have been advised, for the honourable member's benefit, on what the applicable fees will be in a few different contexts. Maybe that will help. The highest fee would be $198,000 per annum. Examples of where that may apply would be where the proposed technology is not used or there is limited use in the Australian rail industry, or the project is highly complex and may involve significant technological operational change which presents a higher safety risk to the public, such as the introduction of a new passenger fleet or integration into an existing passenger network or major tunnelling.
There are other examples here, but I am just giving you a snapshot. If you want more detail, I am happy to come back to it. The second fee is the project component fee of (b), which is $140,000 per annum. This would be where the proposed technology is already widely used throughout the Australian rail industry or where the project is being constructed and delivered separately to the end operator or a maintainer. The third one, which is the lowest one, $93,000 per annum, would apply where the project involves substantial extension of infrastructure or substantial rolling stock modifications or where the end operator/maintainer is undertaking the project.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Similarly, could the minister provide some examples of the existing projects that will stay within the existing regime of fees, or the current regime of fees if you like, and are there are any projects that the government might be aware of which would fall into these new categories?
The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS: There would be some interstate, but there are none in South
Australia at this point in time, or planned in the immediate future, that would fall into that category.
Remaining clauses (6 to 10) and title passed.
Bill reported without amendment.