Australia, Bus Industry News

Bus industry fighting proposed review to Queensland Electrical Safety Act

BIC and QBIC are preparing to push back against proposed changes to the state’s electrical safety act that will have major implications for Queensland bus companies

The Queensland state government has announced its Electrical Safety Act is entering a new era with public consultation open on its review, causing the Australian bus industry to respond against proposed changes.

The Queensland government says electrical safety is a key priority of its term, with the way Queenslanders have used and interacted with electricity changing dramatically since the Electrical Safety Act was first introduced in 2002.

It says these changes have created new safety risks that must be managed, leading to a 2021 commission for an independent review of the act by Dick Williams.

Williams made 83 recommendations, ranging from emerging energy generation and storage technologies, including solar power and batteries, to electric vehicle and hydrogen-based electricity generation and storage technologies.

To ensure the government gets it right, it is releasing the report and asking for feedback from all Queenslanders including through a targeted discussion paper on three key issues from the report as well as general feedback on all issues raised. This feedback will determine what changes will be made to the Act.

Queenslanders can give their feedback on the discussion paper from May 16 to June 27 2023, while feedback on all other issues will be open through to August 15. 

“The Palaszczuk Government wants to ensure this Act is fit for purpose and keeps pace with changes in technology – that’s why we want Queenslanders to have their say,” Queensland industrial relations minister Grace Grace says.

“The key issues in the discussion paper include: the electrical safety considerations of new and emerging technologies; the changing landscape of electricity and the workforce; and electrical safety and electric vehicles.

“We know how much technology and electricity use has changed since 2002 and that’s why we commissioned a review of the Act. I encourage the community to have their say by providing feedback during the consultation periods, and I thank everyone who contributes.”

At its Suppliers Meeting this week, the Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) has announced it intends to respond against these changes.

It says one review recommends considering electric vehicles to be in the scope of appliances that can only be worked on by licensed electrical contractors, resulting in massive implications for heavy vehicle companies in Queensland.

This change would mean manufacturers could only use licensed electrical fitters or electricians to build and maintain high-voltage powertrain systems.

BIC says it is currently working with the Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC) to push against this with a report be submitted by June 26.

Its solution is to propose that upskilling existing personnel with post-trade courses is a better alternative in alignment with established global practices.

  1. Australian Truck Radio Listen Live
Send this to a friend