Tasmanian Government logo
Department of
State Growth



In 2007, the State Government received legal advice that some community transport providers were, inadvertently, operating in breach of the Passenger Transport Act 1997 (PTA) and Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999. Temporary exemptions are currently in place for community transport service providers to alleviate this situation, while the Safe Community Transport Review (SCTR) was undertaken.

The subsequent identification of a further range of issues (outside the scope of the SCTR) necessitated the need to undertake a more comprehensive review of the PTA in late 2008. The aim of the PTA Review was to develop and implement a contemporary legislative framework, which is clear in its intent, to support the safe, sustainable and affordable delivery of passenger transport services.

As a result the SCTR and PTA Review were combined into one project because the legislative instruments for achieving the aims of the SCTR are the same as those required to provide a more modern and up to date PTA.

Current Situation

This Review has now been completed and the three Acts that make up the passenger transport reform package have been passed by both Houses of Parliament unamended.

The three Acts are:

Key Policy Reforms impacting on Community Transport

  • The new legislation makes it clear that, unless using a large passenger vehicle (a vehicle with 10 or more seats), community organisations that provide passenger transport to their clients do not require operator accreditation.
  • Community transport providers utilising a large passenger vehicle will continue to be required to hold operator accreditation, and those providers using vehicles with 10 to 12 seats will be subject to a modified (less onerous) operator accreditation scheme.
  • A new framework for operator accreditation that focuses on safety in the passenger transport industry, rather than imposing restrictions on competition. It will also improve the operator accreditation scheme by making it easier to administer, and more flexible.
  • Lowering the definition of a large passenger vehicle to match the Australian Design Rules definition of a bus (which is a vehicle with more than 9 seating positions including the driver, as constructed). Presently, a large passenger vehicle is defined as 'a motor vehicle with a seating capacity of 13 or more adults, including the driver'. The legislation will also make it clear that it is not possible to remove seats from vehicles simply to avoid regulation.
  • A revised vehicle inspection program resulting in a decrease in the number of vehicle inspections, and potentially, audits required under operator accreditation.  This will reduce compliance costs for operators, without compromising safety.
  • Introduction of a new test to determine when a driver of a motor vehicle needs an Ancillary Certificate. An Ancillary Certificate is required when a driver is driving a vehicle used to operate a regular passenger service, or to provide a passenger service where:
    • the passengers, or any of them, pay a fare; and
    • the service is available for use by any member of the general public; and
    • the service is a transport concern.
  • This means drivers of a motor vehicle (irrespective of its seating capacity) providing a community passenger transport service will not be required to hold an Ancillary Certificate.
  • Enabling a vehicle defect notice to be issued in respect of a motor vehicle that is used to operate a passenger transport service that is (or may be) unroadworthy, or the vehicle does not comply with the relevant standards or statutory requirements.

Temporary Exemption

Currently, community transport services are operating under a temporary exemption from some elements of the legislation governing passenger transport services relating to small vehicles and driver licensing. This period of exemption is presently scheduled to end on 1 July 2013.

When the new legislation commences, (anticipated for 1 July 2013), this temporary exemption will no longer be required.

Next Steps

The next stage of this project involves three major tasks. These are:

  1. Development of associated regulations to implement and support the key reforms which will include the specification of fees and the identification and enactment of new offences. It should be noted the development of these regulations will involve consultation with relevant stakeholders.
  2. It is anticipated the implementation of the new legislation and the reforms listed above will occur from mid-2013.  If a staged program of implementation is required, the department will provide all stakeholders with advance notice of when different systems and obligations will take effect.
  3. Development of a best practice information 'resource kit' to guide those transport organisations falling outside the regulatory framework in managing their safety risks.