RAIL SAFETY NATIONAL LAW (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (MISCELLANEOUS) AMENDMENT BILL

Tuesday 24 March, 2015

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (16:49): I also rise to speak on the Rail Safety National Law (South Australia) (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill. As many of my colleagues have alluded to on this side of the chamber, it is clear that this government simply is not doing enough in terms of rail, infrastructure and transport projects. The Labor Party does two things very well in terms of campaigning. One, is to campaign on fear and, two, is to campaign on hope. At the last state election, I have to hand it to them, they sold a lie to many people in Hartley because they offered them the hope of two things relating to this area. One, was that there would be trams on The Parade in the not too distant future, and we are still waiting for trams on The Parade. Two, is they made a promise that they would offer a parking solution in Paradise, and we are still waiting for that.

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (16:49): I also rise to speak on the Rail Safety National Law (South Australia) (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill. As many of my colleagues have alluded to on this side of the chamber, it is clear that this government simply is not doing enough in terms of rail, infrastructure and transport projects. The Labor Party does two things very well in terms of campaigning. One, is to campaign on fear and, two, is to campaign on hope. At the last state election, I have to hand it to them, they sold a lie to many people in Hartley because they offered them the hope of two things relating to this area. One, was that there would be trams on The Parade in the not too distant future, and we are still waiting for trams on The Parade. Two, is they made a promise that they would offer a parking solution in Paradise, and we are still waiting for that.

Mr Picton interjecting:

Mr TARZIA: No; we will build a car park—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, member for Kaurna!

Mr TARZIA: —without a car park tax. Any time your minister wants to say that he will introduce a car park at Paradise without a car park tax, that would be warmly received by the people of Hartley. So, two great hopes that we are still waiting for in terms of this area. Just broadly to commence my remarks, Deputy Speaker, it is great to have these things and it is great to look to the future, but the system we have, as the member for Chaffey just alluded to and as many members before me have alluded to, still needs a lot of work. So, I would encourage the government to have a good hard look at itself and address these weaknesses in the current rail system that we have.

The rail network system and the history of that is close to my heart. I actually had a grandfather who worked at the railways in the city many years ago. He was not a union member but he was very grateful for his time there and the skills he acquired and the friendships he acquired in the industry. So, I sincerely thank many of the employees who still to this day work in this area. Whilst I do not have rail in my electorate of Hartley, we are very grateful for the services provided to the people of South Australia.

I note that, in terms of the metropolitan public transport system, in 2012-13 total patronage on Adelaide Metro was 63 million. It is interesting that when you talk about trains, on average Adelaide Metro carries about 15 per cent by train. When you look at the different public transport infrastructure stops, there are over 80 railway stations and 28 tram stops. I note also that trams and trains are all accessible and our regular bus fleet, as at 2014, according to one of the DPC websites, was 86 per cent fully accessible. So, there are some things to be proud of, sure, but we have a long way to go.

I am generally supportive of this amendment bill and I will support it. I am pleased to support the Rail Safety National Law (South Australia) (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill, which provides for an array of amendments to the Rail Safety National Law. I understand the Rail Safety National Law is contained in a schedule to the Rail Safety National Law (South Australia) Act 2012.

As was pointed out, during the first year of operation the regulator discharged its obligations under national law facilitating the safe operation of rail transport in Australia, which included a scheme for accreditation across the country of several rail transport operators as well. Since the national law started, the need for minor amendments has been displayed to us, and if you look at what they are they are minor amendments. However, they will improve the law's operation overall.

I will just to touch on what these are, and I am generally in support of all of them. Firstly, the minor amendments will improve the law by removing a phrase from section 12 of the Rail Safety National Law (South Australia) Act to ensure a consistent approach in drafting style; to substitute the word 'cancel' for 'revoke' through the national law to ensure consistent terminology; and, also, to remove a requirement that, before making a person appear in person to provide evidence or documents, the regulator must first take all reasonable steps to obtain information of which the person has knowledge in the form of a written statement or by production of documents. We also have minor amendments that will improve the law's operation by delivering to the regulator a power to suspend the accreditation of a rail transport operator for not paying its annual fee, and so forth.

These are minor amendments. They have been put to relevant stakeholders, notably, major stakeholders in industry associations, but also, I note, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union has been consulted on this. They are also in agreement with these amendments. On the whole, the amendments seem uncontroversial. They have had adequate consultation. They do go to amending and improving the law that we have, so I have no hesitation in commending this bill to the house. However, at the same time, I ask the government to look in the mirror and address the problems that my colleagues on this side of the chamber have humbly brought to the attention of the government.