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TRAFFIC AMENDMENT (ACCREDITATION AND MISCELLANEOUS) ACT 1997 (NO. 57 OF 1997) - SECT 6

Part VII inserted

After section 61 of the Principal Act , the following Part is inserted:
PART VII - Alternative compliance schemes and operator accreditation

62.     Interpretation of Part

In this Part –
accredit means approve a person's membership of an approved alternative compliance scheme;
road transport law means a provision of this Act or of regulations made under this Act.

63.     Commission may approve alternative compliance scheme

The Commission may –
(a) approve alternative compliance schemes; and
(b) amend approved alternative compliance schemes; and
(c) cancel approved alternative compliance schemes.

64.     What is an alternative compliance scheme?

(1)  An alternative compliance scheme is a scheme that provides for one or more elements of a person's transport operations to be conducted without direct government supervision or interference if the person puts in place an auditable management and operating system by which the person is able to demonstrate a high degree of compliance with road transport laws for that element, or those elements, of the person's transport operations.
(2)  Without limiting the matters in respect of which an alternative compliance scheme may be prepared and approved, such a scheme may relate to any one or more of the following:
(a) mass management;
(b) fatigue management;
(c) maintenance management;
(d) prescribed matters.
(3)  The purpose of alternative compliance schemes is to –
(a) reduce the cost of enforcing road transport laws; and
(b) reduce the impact of road transport law enforcement on accredited transport operators; and
(c) provide flexibility for transport operators without compromising road safety or the structural integrity of the road system.
(4)  An approved alternative compliance scheme may authorise variations from the requirements of a road transport law in relation to any one or more of the following:
(a) vehicle mass limits;
(b) vehicle dimension limits;
(c) driving hours;
(d) prescribed matters.
(5)  Where a person or vehicle that would otherwise not comply with a requirement of a road transport law is operating in accordance with an approved alternative compliance scheme that authorises variations from those requirements –
(a) the approved alternative compliance scheme is taken to be a permit issued by the Commission authorising the person or vehicle to operate in that manner; and
(b) no proceedings are to be taken in respect of the failure to comply with the requirements of the road transport law to the extent of the authorised variation.
(6)  Subsections (4) and (5) have effect notwithstanding any other enactment.

65.   Ministerial guidelines

The Minister may issue the Commission with directions or guidelines for the approval of alternative compliance schemes.

66.   Applications for accreditation

(1)  A person may apply to the Commission to be accredited as a member of an approved alternative compliance scheme.
(2)  An application for approval is to be –
(a) lodged with the Commission; and
(b) made on a form provided or approved by the Commission; and
(c) accompanied by the prescribed fee, if any.
(3)  The Commission may require the applicant to provide any further information that is necessary for a proper consideration of the application.

67.     Approval of membership of alternative compliance schemes

(1)  The Commission may approve an application for accreditation as a member of an approved alternative compliance scheme about mass management if the Commission is satisfied that the applicant has in place management and operating systems for nominated vehicles that will allow the applicant to comply and demonstrate continuing compliance with the road transport laws, and any authorised variation of those laws, relating to mass limits.
(2)  The Commission may approve an application for accreditation as a member of an approved alternative compliance scheme about fatigue management if the Commission is satisfied that the applicant has in place a management and operating systems for nominated drivers that will result in the effective management of driver fatigue.
(3)  The Commission may approve an application for accreditation as a member of an approved alternative compliance scheme about maintenance management if the Commission is satisfied that the applicant has in place management and operating systems for nominated vehicles and drivers that will allow the applicant to comply and demonstrate continuing compliance with the road transport laws, and any authorised variation of those laws, relating to vehicle standards and maintenance requirements.
(4)  The Commission may approve an application for accreditation as a member of an approved alternative compliance scheme relating to any other matter if the Commission is satisfied that the applicant has in place management and operating systems for nominated vehicles or drivers that will allow the applicant to comply and demonstrate continuing compliance with the road transport laws, and any authorised variation of those laws, relating to that matter.

68.     Matters to be considered for purpose of approval

In determining whether to approve an application for accreditation as a member of an approved alternative compliance scheme the Commission –
(a) must have regard to any directions or guidelines issued by the Minister; and
(b) may have regard to –
(i) a relevant audit report obtained about the applicant complied by a person who, in the opinion of the Commission, is qualified to compile the report; and
(ii) the skills and training of the applicant's nominated drivers; and
(iii) the characteristics and capabilities of the applicant's nominated vehicles; and
(iv) the impact on road safety or road infrastructure that may arise as a result of accrediting the applicant; and
(v) any other matters the Commission considers to be relevant.

69.     Grant, duration and renewal of accreditation

(1)  If the Commission approves an application from a person for accreditation as a member of an approved alternative compliance scheme, it must give notice of the approval to the applicant.
(2)  Unless sooner terminated in accordance with this Part, the accreditation is effective for a period of 3 years and is renewable.
(3)  In determining whether to renew the accreditation of any person as a member of an approved alternative compliance scheme, the Commission may have regard to –
(a) the matters specified in section 68 ; and
(b) the compliance history of the applicant in complying with laws relating to road transport, whether in this State or elsewhere.

70.     Conditions of membership

(1)  The Commission may impose conditions on a person's membership of an approved alternative compliance scheme.
(2)  The conditions may be imposed –
(a) when the person is accredited as a member of the scheme; or
(b) when the person's accreditation is renewed; or
(c) at any time during the period that the person is accredited as a member of the scheme.
(3)  In a case to which subsection (2)(c) applies, the Commission must give the person notice in writing of its intention to impose the conditions.

71.     Obligations and benefits of accredited persons

If the Commission accredits a person as a member of an approved alternative compliance scheme, the Commission must enter into an arrangement with the person that specifies –
(a) the obligations of the person, and the requirements applicable to the person's nominated drivers and vehicles, under the scheme; and
(b) the manner in which the nature and intensity of compliance and enforcement activity directed against the person and the person's nominated drivers and vehicles will be lessened relative to people who are not members; and
(c) the details of any variations authorised under section 64(4) ; and
(d) any conditions placed upon accreditation, or renewal of accreditation, pursuant to section 70 .

72.     Identification of scheme vehicles

(1)  If the Commission enters into an arrangement in accordance with section 71 , it may require a person's nominated vehicles to be identified by any one or more of the following:
(a) a distinctive label;
(b) a distinctive number-plate;
(c) a distinctive identification plate;
(d) prescribed means.
(2)  An item of identification issued under subsection (1) remains the property of the Commission and must be returned to the Commission if –
(a) a person's membership of the approved alternative compliance scheme lapses or is cancelled; or
(b) the Commission requests in writing the return of that item of identification.
(3)  A person must not fail to comply with a request under subsection (2)(b) .
Penalty:  Fine not exceeding 25 penalty units.

73.     Immediate suspension of accreditation

(1)  The Commission may, by notice in writing given to a person who is accredited as a member of an approved alternative compliance scheme, suspend the person's accreditation for a period specified in the notice if it is satisfied that the suspension is necessary in the public interest.
(2)  The notice must –
(a) state the Commission's reasons for giving the notice; and
(b) state that the accreditation will be cancelled unless the person satisfies the Commission that the notice should be withdrawn.
(3)  If the person does not satisfy the Commission that the notice should be withdrawn, the Commission must cancel the person's accreditation.

74.     General power of suspension, cancellation and variation

(1)  The Commission may, if subsection (2) applies, give a person who is accredited as a member of an approved alternative compliance scheme a notice in writing stating that –
(a) it proposes to cancel or suspend the accreditation, or cancel or suspend the accreditation so far as it relates to specified nominated drivers or vehicles of the person; or
(b) it proposes to vary the accreditation in the way specified in the notice.
(2)  This subsection applies if –
(a) the Commission is satisfied that the person was accredited as a member on the basis of fraud or misrepresentation; or
(b) the Commission is satisfied that the person or a nominated driver of the person has contravened a condition that applies to the person under section 70 ; or
(c) the Commission is satisfied that the person or a nominated driver of the person has contravened a road transport law and that the contravention –
(i) is serious; or
(ii) is part of a persistent series of contraventions; or
(iii) taking account of the behaviour of all nominated drivers of the person, amounts to a pattern of contravening behaviour; or
(d) the Commission is no longer satisfied that the person and the person's nominated drivers and vehicles meet the requirements of section 67 ; or
(e) any prescribed fee is due but has not been paid; or
(f) the person requests or agrees to the suspension or cancellation.

75.     Part VII offences

(1)  A person who, in an application under this Part, makes a statement that is false or misleading is guilty of an offence.
Penalty:  Fine not exceeding 25 penalty units.
(2)  A person who, in connection with an alternative compliance scheme approved by the Commission under this Part, makes a statement that is false or misleading is guilty of an offence.
Penalty:  Fine not exceeding 25 penalty units.
(3)  A person who misrepresents a vehicle or driver as being a nominated vehicle or driver for the purposes of an alternative compliance scheme approved by the Commission under this Part is guilty of an offence.
Penalty:  Fine not exceeding 25 penalty units.


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