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NSW passenger laws to be reviewed

Operators are being encouraged to have their say on a review of NSW passenger laws

By Sean Muir | September 27, 2012

The New South Wales Government has encouraged operators
to have their say on the way transport is governed following the release of a discussion paper
linked to
proposed review of NSW Passenger laws.

Transport for NSW Deputy Director General Tim Reardon says the current Passenger Transport Act does not integrate and unite modes of transport.

“Different passengers transport modes have different legal requirements and service arrangements, most of which are mode-focused rather than customer-focused,” he says.

“The review proposes changes to laws which will remove limits on how services can be delivered to the community.”

In a preliminary response to the discussion paper, BusNSW Executive Director Darryl Mellish says the association has been expecting changes to the legislation.

says legislation and regulations have not kept pace with changes
to policy and institutional settings
at both the federal and state level.

Mellish says in contrast to other reforms, which were preceded by
workshops and extensive industry involvement in preparing drafts, the government’s consultation process is lacking.

“Obviously there must be some short time frames imperative to meet, such as the introduction of new heavy vehicle laws,” he says.

“We certainly wonder if the transport bureaucrats have the resources and expertise to pull it all together, with outcomes in mind just not processes. There are still policy and procedure manuals that have not been updated despite the 2008 changes to bus contracts.”

Mellish says after his first reading of the discussion paper, he has several
concerns, including what
the impact
on deregulated services and charters will be, and how interchanges will be affected.

“There appears to be little on facilities at bus interchanges for drivers – toilets, meal facilities,” he says.

“How far down the planning process does the government want to go? Opal cards – will they be used for taxis and school children? We have some questions about sub-contractors, regarding bus service contracts. How will guidelines like the School Students Code of Conduct be affected?”

BusNSW has asked its members for comment and will prepare a submission.

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