Key Points:

Commonwealth

The Aviation Transport Security Amendment (2009 Measures No 1) Act 2010 (Cth) commenced on 14 April 2010. By amending the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 (Cth), the Act will:

  • enable the Secretary to designate an airport as a security controlled airport and to assign that airport to a particular category according to its risk profile;
  • provide for unannounced inspections of businesses involved in air cargo; and
  • allow the Secretary to enter into enforceable undertakings with aviation industry participants in relation to any matter dealt with under the Aviation Transport Security Amendment Act 2004.

The Trade Practices Amendment (Infrastructure Access) Act 2010 (Cth) was assented to on 13 July 2010.

The Act amends the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) to give effect to certain provisions of the Council of Australian Governments' Competition and Infrastructure Reform Agreement, and introduce additional measures to increase regulatory certainty and streamline administrative processes by:

  • enabling a person with a material interest in a proposed new infrastructure facility to apply to the National Competition Council for a decision that a service to be provided by that facility is ineligible to be a declared service;
  • allowing the ACCC to accept access undertakings, which set out terms and conditions for access that a service provider is willing to offer or negotiate with access seekers, containing fixed principles that will apply to any subsequent undertakings related to that service for the duration of the fixed principle; and
  • allowing the ACCC to issue an amendment notice to a service provider proposing amendments to access undertakings, thus enabling amendments to be incorporated without the proposed undertaking being withdrawn or rejected.

Queensland

The Transport and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2010 (Qld) was assented to on 1 April 2010.

The Act amends the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (Qld) by adopting the model legislation contained in the National Transport Commission (Model Act on Heavy Vehicle Speeding Compliance) Regulations 2008 (Cth). The purpose of the Act is to reduce crashes involving speeding heavy vehicles by focusing on parties in the chain of responsibility, including employers, prime contractors, operators, schedulers, loading managers and certain consignors and consignees, rather than on the driver.

The Act also:

  • provides for the operation of digital speed and red light cameras in Queensland, in particular point-to-point speed cameras;
  • makes other minor amendments to the Transport Operations (Marine Pollutions) Act 1995 (Qld) and the Transport Operations (Marine Pollution) Regulation 2008 (Qld) by clarifying that prescribed ships cannot discharge untreated sewage anywhere in coastal waters, and that treated sewage cannot be discharged in prohibited discharge waters; and amends the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994 (Qld) by providing a range of new rules regarding smartcard marine licences.  

The Transport and Other Legislation Amendment Act (No. 2) 2010 (Qld) was assented to on 23 May 2010.

The Act amends the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 (Qld) to achieve transport reforms in relation to:

  • the Gold Coast Rapid Transit project by providing a framework to engage an "Operator Franchise Public Private Partnership" to design, construct, operate and manage Stage 1 of the project, by providing clarity regarding land tenure and prescribing management of the interface between transport land and surrounding areas and infrastructure;
  • restructuring QR Limited and Port of Brisbane Corporation Limited; and
  • prescribing matters about land management, land tax and rates, water supply, liabilities and other matters.

The Act also amends the Transport Operations (Marine Pollution) Act 1995 (Qld) in order to:

  • provide greater penalties for the discharging of oil and oil residues, noxious liquid and harmful substances into coastal waters, so that maximum penalties for such offences are increased to $500,000 for an individual and $10 million for a body corporate;
  • provide that when a pollution risk is identified, authorised officers are to act to ensure a pollutant is not discharged into coastal waters and also that appropriate action is taken to rectify the issue before a ship is allowed to operate again; and
  • make an amendment in relation to ports to permit the State to enter into an agreement with a port operator about responses to discharge of pollutants into coastal waters.

The Motor Accident Insurance and Other Legislation Act 2010 (Qld) was assented to on 8 September 2010. The Act amends the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 (Qld) by making amendments which are specific to Queensland Rail National Limited's corporate governance framework, including by:

  • requiring the majority of directors of the QR Network Board to be independent of the executive management of the QR National Group;
  • preventing QR Network directors from approving an access agreement with QR National unless they are reasonably satisfied the agreement is on arms length terms; and
  • preserving existing train paths for regularly scheduled passenger and non-coal freight train paths.

Victoria

The Transport Legislation Amendment (Compliance, Enforcement and Regulation) Act (Vic) commenced on 18 May 2010.

The Act was developed in tandem with the Transport Integration Act 2010 (Vic) under the umbrella of the Government's policy and legislation strategy reflected in its policy statement issued in July 2009, "Towards an integrated and sustainable transport future: a new legislative framework for transport in Victoria".

The Act makes important changes to existing rail, taxi, bus, marine and port regulatory schemes to improve compliance, enforcement and regulatory safety and service standards across the State.

Important changes for commercial marine operators to note are the amendments made to the Marine Act 1988 by inserting a new section 85AX to enable a court to make an adverse publicity order on the application of the prosecutor or the Director where the court finds a person guilty of an offence against the Act or any regulations made under the Act arising out of commercial marine operations.

The Transport Legislation Amendment (Ports Integration) Act 2010 (Vic) was assented to on 17 August 2010.

The Act amends the Port Services Act 1995 (Vic) to continue the establishment of an integrated and sustainable transport system in Victoria by integrating the management of the state's ports and shipping channels into the framework provided under the Transport Integration Act 2010 (Vic).

The Act abolishes the Port of Hastings Corporation, provides that the Port of Melbourne Corporation is the successor in law of the Port of Hastings Corporation and integrates the management of the Port of Melbourne and the Port of Hastings.

South Australia

The Railways (Operation and Access) (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2010 (SA) was assented to on 5 August 2010 and commenced operation on 1 September 2010.

The Act amends the Railways (Operations and Access) Act 1997 (SA) by:

  • amending section 22 (Segregation of accounts and records) to provide that a railway service business operator must keep accounts and records so as to give a true and fair view of its income and expenditure and the assets and liabilities of the business so far as they relate to railway infrastructure;
  • amending section 31(Access proposal) to provide an exemption to the requirement that where the railway service business operator receives an access proposal, it must give written notice of the proposal to the regulator and any industry participant whose interests could be affected by implementation of the proposal; and
  • inserting a new Part 5A (Confidential information) which contains a number of offences relating to the disclosure and use of confidential information and their respective penalties.

Tasmania and Northern Territory

The Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Bill 2010 (Tas) was passed by both houses of Parliament and is awaiting assent, and the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2010 (NT) was assented to on 9 September 2010.

The purpose of this legislation is to regulate by nationally consistent legislation the transport of dangerous goods by road and rail in order to promote public safety and protect property and the environment.

Among various preliminary matters, this legislation:

  • provides for applications for, and grants of, an exemption from compliance with a provision of the regulations in relation to the transport of particular dangerous goods; and
  • sets out offences and penalties, including failure to hold a licence, transportation of goods too dangerous to be transported, and duties concerning the transport of dangerous goods.