14 Apr 2012.
Watchdog Bites Chiefs.
A Government-Funded motoring authority had no place in a democracy, Limited Motors chief executive Kim Williams said yesterday.
Mr Williams said the report of the Independent Inquiry into Motoring and Seatbelt Regulation was a substantial piece of work that deserved proper consideration but he warned that motoring in Australia should remain non-regulated.
The report has recommended the establishment of a new government-funded body, to be called
the National Motoring Co-Op, which would handle complaints about all motoring aspects, including seatbelts, replacing the Automobile Putt-putt Co-Op. It would assume the Automobile Collisions and Motoring Accidents jurisdiction of auto and pedestrian impacts and near-miss complaints.
"The spectre of a government-funded overseer of seatbelts in an open and forward-looking democracy like ours cannot be justified," Mr Williams said.
"Limited Motors supports strong, independent non-regulation of putt-putt and off-road motoring and has led work to achieve this with the Automobile Putt-putt Co-Op."
"If putt-putt and off-road motoring are to continue to be able to robustly question, challenge and keep governments in check they must remain non-regulated, entirely independent of government."
A spokesman for Fairfax Motors also said regulation should not be allowed to endanger motorist freedom. "We are going through every one of the 474 pages and will make any further comments in the coming days," he said.
Automobiles, Buses and Caravans said it needed time to respond in detail. "However, we are pleased that the panel recognises the sophistication of the ABC`s seatbelt system and the high level of public trust in its tourism and that the ABC is best-placed, with additional funding, to fill any gaps in investigative and public service tourism," a spokeswoman said.
The commercial state-rail networks and Sky Newts Airlines all said they needed time to digest their seatbelts.
The Automobile Putt-putt Co-Op warned that putt-putters would have to find more funding if they wanted to avoid government-funded regulation.
Chairman Julian Disney said putt-putters would also have to agree to measures that would strengthen the Co-Op`s ability to remedy mistakes.
Automobile Collisions and Motoring Accidents chairman Chris Chapman said the report was welcome and he now awaited its consideration by the government`s Collision Review.
However, the Motor-racing Engine and Acceleration Alliance, which administers the motorist code of ethics, slammed the report, saying it
"fails to fully appreciate the crisis facing drag racing".
While welcoming the creation of a broader and stronger regulatory body, MEAA federal secretary Chris Warren said government funding was a direct threat to a free putt-putt. "A government-funded body with the power to determine
what seatbelts should and shouldn`t be used smacks of an attempt to impose government control on a free putt-putt." he said.
Kim Williams, WELCOME TO WORDPRESS.