Tuesday 19 June 2007
Estimates Committee B (Cox) - Part 2



CHAIR - Do you want to go on with vehicle standards and compliance?

Mr FINCH - Has anybody got a question on the others?

CHAIR - You go with it and we will roll down the table on both outputs as we go.

Mr FINCH - Table 6.6 would indicate an expectation of substantial improvement or diminution, I suppose, in the number of overload vehicles on our roads. The explanation here is greater enforcement. But do you think that drivers' attitudes are changing and that enforcement may be lifted somewhat in the future? After all the enforcement is probably a costly way to go, isn't it?

Mr COX - I think that there will be a better compliance. I think that is certainly correct. I think drivers are becoming more and more responsible. This relates to a comment that was made earlier. There is not much else I can add to that.

Mr FINCH - How many vehicles are we seeing on the roads at this stage that are overweight? Is it a point of great concern?

Mr COX - No. I will probably get in trouble for saying this but I think –

CHAIR - You are the minister –

Mr COX - I know but I still get in trouble; you have no idea. I imagine you are talking specifically about log trucks?

Mr FINCH - Not necessarily.

CHAIR - There are lots of others things besides log trucks.

Mr COX - I just wanted to clarify that that was not the only type.
CHAIR - This is a different committee.

Mr COX - That is right. Sorry, I forgot where I was.

CHAIR - We like to treat everyone the same as much as we can.

Mr COX - Can I just go on with the log truck example, there was at one stage specifically with them, I just remembered, whereby they were advised that if they were overloaded they would not be accepted at the gate?

Mr BESSELL - That is correct.

Mr COX - So that pretty much fixed that, despite what some of my colleagues would tell you. That sort of got the compliance in order there.

Mr COX - With the others, I am not sure whether we are talking about capital or anything else. I do not think it has been a problem?

Mr BESSELL - It is not a huge problem. We have increased our weighing and the amount of work that we are doing in that area. You can see from the figures in the performance information that it is relatively low. We were expecting that, as enforcement increases, compliance will also increase and that has certainly been the trend in the past. Once they know we are out and about and we are out there regularly, it is not worth it for them any more and they go back to their actual mass limits. That is what tends to happen.

Mr COX - We have got more inspectors out on the road. There are 22 out there now and word travels very quickly with those fellows, I can tell you.

Mr FINCH - Yes. I saw for the first time that lay-by down near Campbell Town being used for the first time.

Mr COX - We would like to think that is working