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More Funding for Vehicle Safety Standards

Jim Lloyd, Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads

TRS15/Budget 10th May 2005

The Australian Government will spend an additional $8.8 million over four years ($2.0 million in 2005-06) to research better vehicle safety standards and administer the safety standard system, the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Jim Lloyd, said today.

"The Government's aim is to reduce the national road fatality rate by 40 per cent by 2010. The improved vehicle occupant protection offered by new cars today will make a substantial contribution. We are pressing on with further research that will save more lives through improved vehicle design and updated design rules," Mr Lloyd said.

"The research will concentrate on protecting pedestrians, vehicle compatibility and side impact protection. Side impacts with poles or other vehicles are one of the leading causes of fatalities to vehicle occupants on Australian roads.

"We will continue the programme of vehicle crash tests that began in 2004-05. The programme involves a series of vehicle-to-vehicle tests to understand and improve the compatibility of vehicles when they collide, as well as vehicle-to-pole tests to support the new test procedures that are being developed to improve side impact safety.

"Our research into side impact protection will make a significant contribution to vehicle safety regulations around the world; the work done to date will be presented to the biennial Enhanced Safety of Vehicles Conference in Washington in June 2005.

"The funding will also help maintain the technical resources needed to administer the Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme (RAWS) and hold down the waiting times for inspecting used imported vehicles. The Government's extra funding in 2004-05 substantially reduced the backlog of inspections; our extra funding will ensure that waiting times do not blow out again," Mr Lloyd said.

The Budget also announces that the Government has decided to reduce compliance plate fees for the mainstream vehicle industry by 20 per cent from 1 July 2005. The fees are paid by full volume motor vehicle manufacturers and importers to cover the cost of vehicle standards regulation. Over time, the reduction in the fees will bring them into line with the cost of administering the regulations.


Media contacts:
Fiona Telford Mr Lloyd's office 02 6277 7060 / 0407 908 504