Government moves to improve vehicle safety and better protect the community

Media Release

PF009/2018

07 February 2018

The Turnbull Government has today introduced to Parliament a package of legislation that will modernise and strengthen the laws governing road vehicles when first supplied to the Australian market.

The Road Vehicle Standards Bills are designed to maintain and improve vehicle safety while expanding consumer choice and reducing red tape.

This legislation will replace the existing Motor Vehicle Standards Act which has been in place for nearly thirty years and was written at a time when much of today's vehicle technology was not available.

The new legislation, to come into effect from 2019, will provide a modern, strong regulatory platform for vehicle standards that will better protect the community, provide more choice for specialist and enthusiast vehicles and be responsive to emerging technologies.

These reforms will save businesses more than $68 million a year in regulatory compliance costs—a significant saving on annual regulatory costs under the current framework which stand at around $250 million per year.

It will provide increased consumer choice through expanding and improving the pathways for importing specialist and enthusiast vehicles—including performance, low emissions, and mobility access vehicles.

The Bills will also give the responsible Minister strong powers to mandate the recall of vehicles if serious safety issues arise. The powers will apply to all road vehicles supplied in Australia, whether for private or commercial use, providing the Commonwealth Government with the necessary powers to uphold our national safety standards.

This legislative package is the most important set of changes to the Australian Government's regulation of motor vehicles in almost three decades which is why we have taken the time to consult on the details with interested stakeholders, including the automotive sector and consumers, prior to the Bills being introduced.

The Turnbull Government released exposure drafts of the legislation in December and stakeholders have been asked to provide feedback by mid-February. The House of Representatives will proceed to a second reading debate on the legislation only after the consultation period has closed.

The Road Vehicle Standards package of Bills and information on the consultation process can be found at infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/mv_standards_act.