TAC levy retained despite recommendation

The Victorian Motorcycle Council has given the Victorian Government’s response to Parliamentary Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety (PIMS) report a lukewarm reaction noting bitter disappointment that the controversial and prejudicial Motorcycle Safety Levy will be retained.

The Parliamentary Road Safety Committee conducted an 18 month inquiry into Motorcycle Safety over 2011 and 2012, researching both here and overseas. It released a 500+ page report representing the forefront of motorcycle safety knowledge and, tellingly, did not endorse the need for front number plates nor mandating high visibility or protective clothing.

The PIMS report made 64 recommendations, the primary one being setting up an Independent Office of Road Safety Data to remove the bias and politicisation of motorcycle road safety statistics. Some of the other key recommendations included the abolition of the unfair TAC motorcycle safety levy, redressing the TAC’s obvious negative approach to motorcycles in the media, constituting a working committee to introduce motorcycle traffic filtering and greater cooperation between road safety agencies for fundamentally better road safety data collection.

The Government however did not see fit to fully endorse all 64 recommendations notably rejecting an Independent Office of Road Safety Data, the abolition of the motorcycle safety levy, the call for VicRoads to engage with all sectors of the PTW community and for the Road Safety Agencies to set and incorporate trauma reduction targets.

The Premier Dr Napthine is on record in 2002 as describing the “Motorcycle Safety Levy” as being “unfair, discriminatory and bloody wrong” and pledged to abolish the levy.

“We call upon the Premier to uphold his pledge and rid the motorcycle community of a surcharge on their annual registration fees of nearly $70,” Peter Baulch – VMC Chair said.

“The PIMS inquiry was a no nonsense watershed analysis of Victorian motorcycling. It saw through the negative media stereotyping aided by the TAC’s abysmal motorcycle safety campaigns and represents the state of the art thinking on motorcycle safety. Disappointingly, the Government does not see as clearly as the PIMS committee. There has never been a safer time to ride a motorcycle in Victoria, but we’ll have to endure continued negativity from the Agencies.”

The Victorian Motorcycle Council strongly believes that the Parliamentary Inquiry provided the Government and the Agencies with a bluerint for safe motorcycling in Victoria. The Government response has failed to fully capitalize on this outstanding opportunity. The VMC is committed to pursuing the very best outcomes for all Victorian Motorcyclists.

VMC is Victoria’s peak motorcycling advocacy body and is a member of Australia’s peak motorcycling body, the Australian Motorcycle Council.

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