Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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EXPLOSIVES REGULATIONS 1991 NO. 329

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

STATUTORY RULES 1991 No. 329

Issued by the authority of the Minister for Land Transport

Explosives Act 1961

Explosives Regulations

Section 21 of the Explosives Act 1961 (the Act) provides that the Governor-General may make regulations for the purposes of the Act.

The regulations are designed to ensure the safe transport and handling in non-military areas of Commonwealth explosives, as defined in the Act. They replace regulations first made in 1962 and amended in minor respects in 1965. "Explosives" is defined in section 5 of the Act as meaning:

       substances or articles capable of producing an explosive, incendiary or pyrotechnic effect;

       substances or articles prescribed by the regulations to be explosives; or

       containers that have contained a substance or article to which either of the preceding paragraphs applies, and have not been certified to be free from explosives.

The regulations therefore prescribe that each of the substances and articles listed in Schedule 1 that is not capable of producing an explosive, incendiary or pyrotechnic effect is an explosive for the purposes of the Regulations. This ensures that there can be no doubt that such articles as small arms ammunition are explosives for the purposes of the regulations.

It should be noted that the inclusion of certain categories of materials or articles such as toxic agents in Schedule 1, or the making of provision for their transport in the regulations, does not imply that the materials or articles are present in Australia, whether as equipment of the Defence Force or in the possession of foreign armed forces.

The regulations apply only to those kinds of explosives to which Part II of the Act applies. Part II of the Act applies to the following classes of explosives, which are referred to as "Commonwealth explosives" in the regulations:

       explosives that are the property of, or are in the possession or control of, the Commonwealth;

       explosives that have been manufactured by the Commonwealth and are to be, or are being, exported; and

       explosives that are the property of, or are in the possession or control of, the government or the armed services of a foreign country and are in Australia with the approval of the Commonwealth for a purpose related to the defence of the Commonwealth.

The first category includes not only military munitions but also any other explosives which are the property of the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth instrumentality.

The Commonwealth may need to transport explosives not only for the purposes of the operations of the Defence Force but also to move explosives manufactured by the Commonwealth from the factory to a testing range, and for a variety of other purposes.

In this Statement, the term "explosives" means the same as the term "Commonwealth explosives" used in the regulations.

Explosives are classified according to the United Nations classification system for dangerous goods, to bring Australian practice into line with that prevailing internationally. Briefly, the UN Classification grades explosives into six "hazard divisions", according to the level of risk posed, with 1.1 being the highest-risk hazard division and 1.6 being the lowest; allots each substance or article a number by which it may be referred to; and assigns each substance or article to a "compatibility group", to ensure that substances or articles which in combination present particular hazards are not handled or transported together.

The regulations also provide that they do not apply to the handling of Commonwealth explosives in a place, or under the circumstances, set out in regulation 5; briefly -

       places permanently occupied by the Defence Force;

       places declared by the Minister to be a defence practice area;

       places where explosives are manufactured or tested; or

       places that are declared by the Minister in writing to be places to which the regulations do not apply;

       transport, for the purposes of an exercise, on Defence Force vehicles, between temporary encampments of the Defence Force and a nearby place at which the exercise is being conducted; or

       transport of an explosives demolition kit by the Defence Force for the demolition of explosives in an emergency.

Penalties for the offences created by the regulations, or for a breach of an order, are set by section 20 of the Act at a fine of $1,000 or a prison sentence of six months, and in addition a fine of $200 a day for each day on which a continuing offence continues. Section 20 authorises lower penalties to be prescribed, but no lower penalties are prescribed by the regulations.

Orders may be made in very limited circumstances either by the Minister or a Competent Authority for the purposes of the regulations. Orders are limited in their duration to 90 days. An order made by the Minister overrides the regulations; an order made by a Competent Authority is invalid to the extent of any inconsistency with the regulations. Orders are disallowable instruments for the purposes of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

More detailed notes on the separate provisions are contained in the attachment.

The regulations came into force on the day of Gazettal.

PART 1 -- PRELIMINARY

Regulation 1 -- Citation

1.       Provides for the regulations to be cited as the Explosives Regulations.

Regulation 2 -- Interpretation

2.       Defines the terms used in the regulations.

3.       The primary identification of an explosive substance or article for the purposes of the UN Classification is the UN number, which is listed in Column 3 of Schedule 1. It is perfectly possible for several apparently similar substances or articles to have different numbers, and according to their properties, different hazard classifications. It is not practicable to repeat the full UN Classification in the regulations, and the definition of "UN Classification" in regulation 2 therefore refers to the latest edition of the UN Classification.

Regulation 3 -- Substances prescribed to be explosives

4.       Includes in the definition of "explosives" all those articles or substances listed in Schedule 1 which are not capable of producing an explosive, incendiary or pyrotechnic effect. This ensures that articles such as small arms ammunition or other ammunition with inert projectiles are included in the definition of "explosives". Such articles are already included in the UN Classification.

Regulation 4 -- Classification of explosives

5.       Introduces the UN Classification of explosives. This Classification is set out in Schedule 1.

6.       Briefly, the UN Classification grades explosives into six "hazard divisions", according to the level of risk posed, with 1.1 being the highest-risk hazard division and 1.6 being the lowest; allots each substance or article a number by which it may be referred to; and assigns each article or substance to a "compatibility group", to ensure that substances or articles which in combination present particular hazards are not handled or transported together.

Regulation 5 -- Regulations not to apply in certain circumstances

7.       This regulation excludes the operation of the regulations under certain circumstances and in particular places. The regulations do not apply to:

       the handling of explosives by the Defence Force on premises permanently occupied by the Defence Force, or that is declared to be a Defence practice area;

       the handling of explosives in a place where the explosives are manufactured or tested;

       the handling of explosives in a place that is declared in writing by the Minister as a place in which the regulations do not apply;

       transport of explosives, for the purposes of an exercise, on Defence Force vehicles, between temporary encampments of the Defence Force and a nearby place at which the exercise is being conducted; or

       transport of an explosives demolition kit by the Defence Force for the demolition of explosives in an emergency.

Regulation 6 -- Samples

8.       This regulation provides that the regulations, and orders made under them, apply to the handling of samples of explosives even if the explosives are not of a kind included in the UN Classification. A Competent Authority may give written directions, with a lifetime of 90 days, for the handling of the particular samples specified in the direction.

Regulation 7 -- Saving of laws of States and Territories

9.       Provides that the regulations will not override the laws of a State or Territory where the State or Territory law is capable of operating concurrently with the regulations.

Regulation 8 -- Handling of certain explosives prohibited

10.       Provides that it is an offence for a person knowingly to handle, otherwise than in accordance with the directions of a Competent Authority:

       packaged explosives, if the packaging is not of a kind approved by the Competent Authority, or if the UN number and hazard classification code, and the name of the explosives as set out in Schedule 1, are not clearly visible on an external surface of the package; or

       explosives of a kind not specified in Schedule 1.

Regulation 9 -- Authorised persons

11.       Allows the Minister or a Competent Authority to appoint authorised persons for the purposes of a specific provision of the regulations. "Authorised persons" have the power to appoint supervisors of transport (under regulation 11 -- see paragraph 14); to direct that particular berths be made available for a ship (under regulation 68 -- see paragraph 95 below); and to specify protective clothing to be worn when handling certain kinds of explosives (under regulation 82 -- see paragraph 107 below).

Regulation 10 -- Competent Authority

12.       Allows the Minister to appoint as a Competent Authority a Senior Executive Service officer in the Australian Public Service, or a commissioned officer in the Defence Force of the rank of Commodore, Brigadier or Air Commodore or above, as a Competent Authority for the purposes of either the regulations except for regulation 69, or for the purposes of regulation 69, or both. A Competent Authority has the power to give approvals and directions, make certain appointments, and make certain orders, under the regulations.

13.       The powers of a Competent Authority are set out in several regulations, which are described in the paragraphs listed in the following table:

Regulation          
6
8
9
17
19
21
25
26
56
63
69
79
84

Paragraph
8
10
11
29
32
35
43
44
87
92
99
103
110

Regulation 11 -- Supervisors

14.       This regulation requires an authorised person to appoint, in relation to the handling of explosives to which his or her own appointment as an authorised person relates, or in relation to each part of that handling, a person experienced and trained in the safe handling of explosives, and having knowledge of the applicable legislation, as a supervisor of the handling. If the transport of explosives is to be by road, and the load is large, an authorised person is obliged to appoint a supervisor; if the transport is to be by road and the load is a small one, or the transport is to be by rail, the authorised person is entitled, but not obliged, to do so. A small load is defined for the purposes of the regulations by regulation 14 (see paragraph 21).

15.       The supervisor is required to attend at, and supervise, the handling or part of the handling which he or she is appointed to supervise. The authorised person is empowered to give the supervisor written directions, and the supervisor must comply with any such directions.

Regulation 12 -- Directions by supervisors

16.       A supervisor may give directions in relation to the transport of explosives which he or she is appointed to supervise. It is mandatory for a person to comply with any such direction of a supervisor.

17.       Penalties for the offence of failing to comply with a supervisor's directions are set by section 20 of the Act (see the note on page 3).

PART 2 -- ROAD TRANSPORT

Division 1 - General

Regulation 13 - Interpretation

18.       This regulation defines the term "attendant" for the purposes of this Part. The definition refers to regulation 27 (see paragraph 46 below), which requires that a convoy of road vehicles being used to transport explosives must be accompanied by at least one attendant for every five vehicles in the convoy, and that at least one of the attendants is qualified to drive, and experienced in driving, every type of vehicle in the convoy. The diver of a vehicle which is carrying explosives may not act as an attendant. The supervisor may act as an attendant, and may travel either in one of the vehicles carrying explosives, or in another vehicle on which no explosives are loaded, but in the latter case must be in radio contact with the drivers of the vehicles.

19.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 14 -- Small loads

20.       This regulation defines a "small load", and makes provision for the carriage of such small loads by road transport.

21.       A load is a small load if:

       the load is to be loaded onto one vehicle;

       the net explosive quantity of the total amount of explosives in hazard classification 1.4S on the vehicle does not exceed 20 kilograms;

       the net explosive quantity of the total amount of explosives in hazard classifications other than 1.4S on the vehicle does not exceed 20 kilograms; and

       the net explosive quantity of the total amount of explosives in hazard classifications other than 1.4S, that are included in a particular division, does not exceed the mass in kilograms specified for the purpose in Schedule 2.

22.       If the load is a small load, regulations 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, paragraphs 23(b) and (c), regulations 24, 26, 28, 29, 31 and 32, subregulation 33(1), regulations 35 to 41 inclusive and regulations 44, 46, 47 and 49 do not apply to the transport of those explosives. The supervisor must ensure that the vehicle carrying the explosives is safe for the purpose, and attend at the loading of the vehicle.

23.       The regulations or provisions which do not apply to the transport of small loads are described in the paragraphs set out in the following table:

Regulation          
13
15
16
18
20
21
22
23(b),(c)
24
26
28
29
31
32
33(1)
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
44
46
47
49

Paragraph
18
25
27
30
33
35
37
40
80
44
47
49
52
54
57
59
62
64
66
68
70
72
75
77
79
79

24.       For the more dangerous materials such as the so-called fulminating compounds, which are used in primers for ammunition and which are in hazard group 1.1A, there is no lower limit; that is, there is no quantity which is considered small enough to justify exemption from full compliance with the regulations. For some other classes of extremely dangerous materials there is also no "small load" set, as can be seen by reference to Schedule 2.

Regulation 15 -- Unsupervised handling prohibited

25.       Regulation 15 prohibits the handling of explosives unless the handling is supervised by a supervisor.

26.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Division 2 -- Loading

Regulation 16 -- Supervisor's responsibility

27.       This regulation obliges a supervisor to ensure that the transport of explosives is carried out in accordance with the regulations.

28.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 17 -- Packaging and labelling

29.       This regulation provides for the method of packaging and labelling of explosives. The "prescribed marking" referred to is defined in regulation 2. The marks are intended to ensure that packages containing explosives are not mistaken for others containing non-hazardous materials or articles, and that the type of explosives contained in a package can be identified readily, both in the ordinary course of transport and storage and in an emergency.

Regulation 18 -- Requirements for road vehicles

30.       This regulation obliges persons concerned with the transport of explosives to ensure that they are not loaded onto vehicles which are unsuitable or unsafe for the transport of explosives. The requirements with which the vehicle must comply are set out in Schedule 3. Even apart from the specific requirements of Schedule 3, the regulation provides that explosives are not to be loaded onto a vehicle which is unroadworthy or in a dangerous condition.

31.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 19 -- Loading of explosives with other goods

32.       This regulation provides that explosives must not, without the approval of a Competent Authority, be mixed on the one vehicle with other dangerous goods, nor with other goods which might aggravate the effects of an accident. For example, it is intended that significant quantities of explosives could normally not be combined with material which might act as "shrapnel" in the event of an explosion.

Regulation 20 -- Loading of unboxed ammunition or explosives in metal containers

33.       This regulation prevents ammunition in metal containers, or loose ammunition, from being loaded on a vehicle which is also carrying other explosives packed in non-metallic containers unless the ammunition and the explosives are separated by inert material.

34.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 21 -- Segregation of explosives

35.       This regulation sets out the manner in which different explosives may be combined in the one load. The hazard division of a combined load is always at least as high as that of the separate part having the highest hazard division; and some combinations, set out in the table in subregulation (6), cause the hazard classification of the combined load to be higher than the highest of the hazard classifications of the individual components making up the load.

36.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 22 -- Load limits

37.       This regulation sets out the limit to the total mass of explosives which may be loaded onto one vehicle. The limit is the least of the following:

       a combined mass of 10 tonnes;

       the load-carrying capacity of the vehicle; or

       (except where the explosives are loaded in a freight container) a load of which the height exceeds 2.5 metres above the vehicle floor.

38.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 23 -- Safeguarding the load etc.

39.       This regulation requires that the load is secured against theft or loss, movement of the load, or weather damage, and that suitable warning signs are affixed to the outside of the vehicle.

40.       Paragraphs 23(b) and 23(c), requiring the fixing of prescribed markings to, respectively, the front of the vehicle, and to the side and rear of the vehicle, do not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Division 3 -- Transportation

Regulation 24 -- Compliance with loading requirements

41.       This regulation requires the supervisor of the transport of explosives not to permit transport of the explosives if he or she reasonably believes that the provisions of regulations 16 to 23 inclusive were not complied with in loading the explosives.

42.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 25 -- Transport of explosives with other goods

43.       This regulation ensures that explosives are not, without the approval of a Competent Authority, transported on a vehicle on which there are dangerous goods other than explosives, or goods which may aggravate the effects of an accident. The provisions are similar to those in regulation 19 regarding mixed loading of explosives with other goods (see paragraph 32 of these notes).

Regulation 26 -- Towing vehicles

44.       This regulation makes provision for the situation where a vehicle is to be used to tow a trailer on which explosives are being transported. The regulation requires a supervisor not to permit, except with the written approval of a Competent Authority, a vehicle which is towing such a trailer to tow more than one such trailer, or a trailer on which explosives are loaded and another trailer carrying dangerous goods other than explosives, or goods which could aggravate the effects of an accident.

45.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 27 -- Attendants

46.       This regulation requires the supervisor of the transport of explosives to arrange for the services of attendants. The qualifications and duties of the attendants are set out in the note to regulation 13, in which the term "attendant" is defined -- see paragraph 18 above.

Regulation 28 -- Route

47.       This regulation requires the supervisor to arrange that the explosives travel by the safest practicable route, and to use a route which requires travel along a road on which there is an electric tramway only if there is no practicable alternative route.

48.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 29 -- Compulsory halts

49.       If explosives are being transported over a journey of more than 10 kilometres, the driver of the vehicle must stop in a safe location after not less than 1 kilometre or more than 10 kilometres to inspect the vehicle and the load. The vehicle must stop after each 2 hours' travelling time for the same purpose. At all stops regard is to be had to safety and to any laws of the State or Territory regarding the stopping of vehicles on roads.

50.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 30 -- Damage etc. affecting the safety of transportation

51.       This regulation requires the driver of a vehicle carrying explosives to stop the vehicle in the safest possible place if he or she reasonably believes that either the vehicle or the explosives has either been damaged or become defective.

Regulation 31 -- Inspection of vehicles

52.       This regulation requires the driver of a vehicle carrying explosives to stop the vehicle in the safest possible place for inspection. The driver and attendant must then inspect the vehicle and report the result of the inspection to the supervisor.

53.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 32 -- Repairs etc.

54.       A supervisor, on receiving a report under regulation 31, must investigate the matter, and if the supervisor considers that any action is necessary must ensure that the action is taken as quickly as possible and that public safety is preserved. If any necessary action cannot be taken at the place where the vehicle is stopped, the local police must be informed, persons in the vicinity must be warned of the hazard, and the explosives must be dealt with according to the instructions of the consignee as far as possible having regard to the public safety. The supervisor must not permit the explosives to be transported by the vehicle unless it is safe to do so.

55.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 33 -- Fire

56.       This regulation provides that if there is a fire on a vehicle carrying explosives, the driver, attendant and supervisor must so far as possible attempt to extinguish the fire, and the supervisor must ensure that the requirements of the previous regulation are complied with and must, if necessary, in addition seek assistance from the local fire brigade.

57.       Subregulation 33(1) does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the transport of small loads, only subregulation 33(2), requiring the driver and any supervisor to do their best to extinguish the fire, applies. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 34 -- Stopping vehicles in populated areas

58.       This regulation provides that the driver of a vehicle carrying explosives must not stop the vehicle in an urban area unless:

       the driver considers it necessary to do so in the interests of safety;

       the supervisor directs the driver to do so;

       the driver is required to do so by a lawful traffic direction;

       the driver is required to do so in accordance with regulation 29 (see paragraph 49);

       the driver is required to do so in accordance with regulation 30 (see paragraph 51);

       the driver is required to do so in accordance with regulation 38 (see paragraph 66).

Regulation 35 -- Refuelling

59.       This regulation makes provision for safety precautions to be taken while refuelling vehicles carrying explosives. Briefly, vehicles carrying explosives must not be refuelled:

       while the vehicle's engine is running;

       near buildings, other than buildings from which fuel is sold to the public;

       in a manner likely to cause fuel to be spilt.

60.       A person must be present at all times with a fire extinguisher ready for immediate use. If it is necessary to refuel vehicles in populated areas, the refuelling must take place only at places in lightly populated areas approved in advance by the supervisor, all reasonable safety precautions must be taken, any necessary warnings must be given, and the supervisor must be present during refuelling.

61.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 36 -- Distance between loaded vehicles

62.       This regulation requires that separate vehicles carrying explosives within a convoy must remain at least 100 metres apart unless otherwise directed by the supervisor.

63.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 37 -- Entry of loaded vehicles into buildings

64.       This regulation prohibits loaded vehicles carrying explosives from entry into buildings except buildings on Commonwealth land designed to accommodate vehicles carrying explosives.

65.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 38 -- Railway level crossings

66.       This regulation provides for necessary safety precautions to be taken when crossing railway level crossings. In particular, the driver of a vehicle carrying explosives must not drive onto the level crossing if it is not safe to do so, or if it is likely to be necessary to stop the vehicle on the level crossing, or if it is likely that the vehicle may be required to change gear on the crossing.

67.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 39 -- Speed limit

68.       This regulation provides that a vehicle carrying explosives must not be driven at a speed greater than the maximum applicable speed limit for that road, or the speed which the driver is directed not to exceed by a supervisor.

69.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 40 -- Restriction on transportation of explosives at night

70.       This regulation requires the supervisor of the transportation of explosives to ensure that if the vehicle carrying the explosives is to be driven at night, the warning signs required by regulation 23 are given a reflective treatment so as to ensure that they are readily visible at night.

71.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Regulation 41 -- Poor visibility

72.       This regulation restricts the driving of vehicles carrying explosives in conditions of poor visibility unless in accordance with the directions of a supervisor, or in the interests of public safety and security.

Regulation 42 -- Prohibition against explosives in cabin of vehicles

73.       Prohibits the carriage of explosives in the cabin of a road vehicle unless the cabin is not separated from the load space.

Regulation 43 -- Carriage of fuel

74.       Prohibits the carriage of fuel for a vehicle in the same load space as explosives carried on the vehicle.

Regulation 44 -- Supervisor to inform driver and attendant of certain matters

75.       Requires the driver and attendant to be given sufficient information to enable them to take effective action in an emergency.

76.       This regulation does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Division 4 -- Unloading

Regulation 45 -- Inspection of explosives

Regulation 46 -- Measures to be taken after unloading

77.       Requires the supervisor to inspect the explosives both after completion of the journey and during unloading, and after completion of unloading, cause the load space of the vehicle to be cleaned, and the warning signs removed or covered.

78.       Regulation 46 does not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

Division 5 -- Miscellaneous

Regulation 47 -- Vehicle engine not to operate during loading etc.

Regulation 48 -- Vehicles not to be left unattended etc.

Regulation 49 -- Certain persons not to attend loading etc.

79.       These regulations require certain precautions to be taken during both loading and unloading. Briefly, the vehicle's engine is not to be left running unless it is providing power for the loading or unloading; the vehicle is not to be left unattended and the explosives are not left unprotected from weather; and persons not connected with the loading or unloading are not permitted to remain in the vicinity.

80.       Regulations 47 and 49 do not apply to the transport of small loads. For the definition of a small load, see regulation 14 (described in paragraph 21).

PART 3 -- RAIL TRANSPORT

81.       This Part of the regulations makes provision for the transport of explosives by rail. The provisions closely follow those regarding transport by road and are therefore mentioned only where there are significant differences.

Division 1 -- General

Regulation 50 -- Interpretation

82.       Defines the terms used in this Part.

Regulation 51 -- Small loads

83.       Provides for "small loads" carried on a single rail vehicle in a similar way to the way regulation 14 makes provision for small loads carried on board a single road vehicle. "Small load' is a defined by subregulation 51(1) in a similar way to the definition in subregulation 14(1) (see paragraph 21 of these notes).

84.       If the load is a small load, only regulations 51 and 63 apply (for regulation 63, see paragraph 92).

85.       Once again, for the more dangerous materials, the limit is set by Schedule 2 rather than by the limit of 20 kilograms mentioned in the paragraph 51(1)(a). For example, by reference to Schedules 1 and 2 the limit for a "small load" of nitroglycerine in any form is set at 0.1 kilogram.

Regulation 52 -- Supervision of loading and unloading

86.       Provides that loading or unloading must be supervised by an officer or employee of the railway authority where the necessity for the loading or unloading comes about by reason of a change of rail gauge, an accident involving the train on which the explosives are being transported, or damage to or a defect in the railway vehicle.

Division 2 -- Loading

Regulations 53 to 59

87.       The provisions of this Division are closely similar to those of Part 2 Division 2 (regulations 16 to 23 -- see paragraphs 27 to 39 above). Regulation 55 provides that explosives must not be carried in a rail vehicle having plain bearing axles lubricated with grease, (because of the fire risk), or in a defective vehicle. In addition, if a van that is not covered is used, the explosives must be protected from the weather.

Division 3 -- Transportation

Regulation 60 -- Supervision of transportation by rail

88.       This regulation requires the supervisor, or the railway authority if there is no supervisor, to ensure that transport of explosives by rail is carried out in accordance with the regulations.

Regulation 61 -- Maximum loads

89.       This regulation limits the total amount of explosives which can be carried on a rail vehicle to 40 tonnes or the total load capacity of the rail vehicle, and limits the amount of explosives on a train to 500 tonnes.

Regulation 62 -- Explosives not to be carried on passenger trains

90.       Limits the circumstances in which explosives may be carried on passenger trains. Briefly, explosives may be carried on a passenger train only if either the explosives are included in hazard classification 1.4S and the net explosive quantity does not exceed 20 kilograms, or if the explosives are of the kind known as railway track signals (ie small detonators placed on a railway line in conditions of poor visibility to warn of a train in the same section of line).

91.       Explosives in hazard classification 1.4S may be carried in the guard's van if the total quantity does not exceed 20 kilograms; railway track signals may be carried in either the guard's van or in the locomotive. Explosives are not to be carried in passenger-carrying rail vehicles.

Regulation 63 -- Segregation etc. of explosives on goods trains

92.       Requires that explosives must not be carried on goods trains unless the rail vehicle is at least 6 metres from the locomotive, and also from the guard's van, if any. It also prohibits the carriage of explosives on a train (except with the written approval of a Competent Authority) if the train is also carrying dangerous goods other than explosives, or goods not in themselves dangerous which could aggravate the effects of an accident.

93.       A train carrying explosives is not required to make the stops required for a road vehicle by regulation 29.

Division 4 -- Unloading Regulations 64 to 66

Division 5 - Miscellaneous

Regulation 67

94.       These provisions are similar to those in Divisions 4 and 5 of Part 2 (regulations 45 to 49 -- see paragraphs 77 and 79 above).

PART 4 -- BERTHING OF VESSELS

Regulation 68 -- Berthing of vessels

95.       The making of a regulation in the terms of regulation 68 is specifically authorised by section 11 of the Act.

96.       This regulation empowers the Minister or an authorised person to direct, by order, that a vessel may be berthed in a port specified in the order for the purpose of loading or unloading explosives. If the direction is given by an authorised person, the direction must not be made in respect of a vessel if:

       the total quantity of explosives to be loaded or unloaded exceeds 5,000 tonnes;

       if the total quantity of explosives exceeds 1,000 tonnes, and the total quantity of explosives in division 1.1, 1.2, 1.5 or 1.6 exceeds 200 tonnes in total;

       if the total quantity of explosives exceeds 1,000 tonnes, and the net explosive quantity of the part of the explosives in division 1.2 exceeds 500 tonnes; or

       if the gross mass of the part of the explosives in division 1.3 exceeds 2,000 tonnes.

97.       If the port is Fremantle or Geraldton, the person giving the direction under this regulation may direct that a suitable berth be provided, if the berth initially provided is not suitable. The reason for the specific prescription of Fremantle and Geraldton is that a former harbourmaster in Western Australia was vehemently opposed to the berthing of vessels carrying explosives, and advice received by the Minister indicates that the attitude of the Government of Western Australia has not changed. Consequently it is necessary that provision be made in the regulations for the provision of suitable berths in Western Australian ports in time of emergency. This subregulation is specifically authorised by subsection 11(2) of the Act.

PART 5 -- ORDERS

Regulation 69 -- Orders

98.       The making of a regulation in the terms of regulation 69 is specifically authorised by section 15 of the Act. The regulation is less broad than that which might be made under the authority of section 15.

99.       Regulation 69 provides for the making by either the Minister or a Competent Authority of orders in relation to the handling of explosives, or in relation to safety measures to be observed. Orders are to be made only in circumstances where the Minister or Competent Authority is satisfied that special provision of a temporary nature needs to be made, and have a limited life of three months from the date of the order.

100.       Orders made pursuant to this regulation must be notified in the Gazette, and are to commence on the day they are notified or such later day as may be specified in the order. Orders are disallowable instruments pursuant to the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, as required by subsection 16(3) of the Act.

101.       Orders made by the Minister prevail over the regulations to the extent of any inconsistency. Orders made by a Competent Authority do not prevail over inconsistent provisions in the regulations.

PART 6 -- COMMONWEALTH EXPLOSIVES TRANSPORT COMMITTEE

Regulations 70 to 78

102.       This Part sets up the Commonwealth Explosives Transport Committee, which is to advise the Minister on matters relating to the transport of explosives, and provides for its membership and procedure.

PART 7 -- MISCELLANEOUS

Regulation 79 -- Packing explosives for transportation

103.       Provides that a person who packs explosives for transport must ensure that they are so packed that they can be transported safely, and packed in packaging approved by a Competent Authority.

Regulation 80 -- Intoxicating liquor and drugs

104.       Prohibits the carriage of intoxicating liquor on a vehicle on which explosives are being carried, except for the carriage of intoxicating liquor by a passenger on a train. The regulation also prohibits the possession or consumption of, or the being under the influence of, intoxicating liquor or drugs (including medically prescribed drugs), by a person engaged in the handling of explosives.

105.       For the purposes of this regulation, a person is to be taken to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor if the person has a blood-alcohol content exceeding 0.02 grams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. This is the same blood-alcohol limit provided for the drivers of heavy vehicles and in practical terms is the equivalent of a "zero" blood-alcohol content.

Regulation 81 -- Prohibition against smoking and other fire hazards

106.       Prohibits smoking, the carriage of cigarettes or smokers' requisites, and the use of fire or naked lights, within 20 metres of a road or rail vehicle carrying explosives, or carrying on any other activity likely to produce fire or explosion. Cigarettes or smokers' requisites, if taken within 20 metres of a road or rail vehicle on which explosives are loaded, must be enclosed in a metal box coloured red, and the box must not be opened within 20 metres of the vehicle.

Regulation 82 -- Handling of certain explosives

107.       This regulation requires additional precautions to be taken in the handling of explosives:

       in quantities exceeding 5 kilograms, if the explosives are capable of producing toxic smoke or lachrymatory effects (so-called "tear gas"), or are included in group G or H; or

       in any quantity, if the explosives are included in groups L or K.

108.       Briefly, there must be present during handling of such explosives an escort party with suitable protective clothing and breathing apparatus, equipment for neutralising the effect of the explosives, fire extinguishing equipment, and first-aid equipment. If the explosives are being carried by road, the escort party must travel on a vehicle on which there are no explosives.

Regulation 83 -- Damaged packaging

109.       This regulation sets out the obligations of a person who, while handling explosives, notices that a package is damaged or has leaked or spilled.

Regulation 84 -- Certificate that containers are free from explosives

Regulation 85 -- Empty containers not certified as free from explosives

110.       These regulations authorise a Competent Authority to appoint persons to issue certificates that containers which formerly contained explosives are now free from them, and requires that empty containers not certified as being free from explosives must be treated as if they still contained explosives.

Regulation 86 -- Delegation

111.       This regulation authorises the Minister to delegate to a Competent Authority his or her powers and functions under the regulations except the Minister's power to make orders; and authorises the Competent Authority to delegate to an authorised person the Competent Authority's powers, except the powers to make orders and the power to appoint an authorised person.

Regulation 87 -- Repeal

112.       Repeals the previous Explosives Regulations.

SCHEDULE 1 -- CLASSIFICATION OF EXPLOSIVES

113.       Sets out the UN Classification.

SCHEDULE 2 -- MAXIMUM NET EXPLOSIVE QUANTITY, IN KILOGRAMS, OF COMBINED LOADS

114.       This Schedule sets out the quantities which can be considered a small load for the purposes of regulation 15.

SCHEDULE 3 -- REQUIREMENTS FOR ROAD VEHICLES USED IN TRANSPORTING COMMONWEALTH EXPLOSIVES

115.       Part 1 of this Schedule sets out the safety standards which are required of a vehicle, and Part 2 for trailers, to be used for the transport of explosives.


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