Mulder Gives Tourist And Heritage Railways A Better Go

Mulder Gives Tourist And Heritage Railways A Better Go

Victoria Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder

New Era For Tourist And Heritage Railways

Victor P Taffa

New regulations designed to improve the long term viability of Victoria’s tourist and heritage railways are being released for public comment, Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder announced today.

The proposed regulations in support of the Tourist and Heritage Railways Act 2010 apply to 17 tourist and heritage railway operators across the state.

“Tourist and heritage railways make a vital contribution to Victoria’s social, cultural, economic, tourism and community fabric, especially in regional areas.” Mr. Mulder said.

“Approximately 3,500 Victorians are actively engaged in tourist and heritage railway groups as employees, members and volunteers.”

“This new regulatory framework is designed to give tourist and heritage railway operators the increased certainty and security they need to survive, grow and prosper.”

Mr. Mulder said a detailed overview paper, A New Regulatory Framework for Reforming Tourist and Heritage Rail Operations in Victoria, is being released with the proposed regulations to provide background and context.

The Tourist and Heritage Railways Act, developed in close consultation with the sector, provides for:

  • A central register of assets used, controlled or managed by tourist and heritage railway operators
  • New land tenure and asset management arrangements, including a standardised lease applying to land vested in VicTrack, to improve security of tenure,
  • A voluntary registration scheme to promote improved performance and viability.

The proposed regulations prescribe the criteria for the asset register as well as the membership of an Advisory Committee established under the Act.

New offences are created to provide greater certainty in dealing with law enforcement issues which cause problems for some tourist and heritage railway operators, including graffiti, vandalism, trespassing, prohibited behaviour and rubbish dumping.

Mr. Mulder said tourist and heritage railway groups ran significant businesses with heavy reliance on hobbyists and community volunteers.

“These groups do a wonderful job and their ongoing viability has many significant benefits for their communities and for Victoria.” Mr. Mulder said.

“The new framework aims to minimise the many and varied risks to the viability of tourist and heritage railways and assist them in providing sound governance and financial management.”

Submissions on the proposed regulations and overview paper close at 5 pm on Monday 15 August 2011.

 

Tourist And Heritage Railway Operators Within The Scope Of The Tourist And Heritage Railways Act 2010:

  • The Bellarine Railway – Queenscliff
  • The Central Highlands Tourist Railway – Daylesford
  • Mornington Railway Preservation Society – Moorooduc
  • Yarra Valley Railway – Healesville
  • Castlemaine and Maldon Preservation Society – Maldon
  • South Gippsland Tourist Railway – Korumburra
  • Alexandra Timber Tramway and Museum – Alexandra
  • Walhalla Goldfields Railway – Walhalla
  • Red Cliffs Historical Steam Railway – Red Cliffs
  • Bendigo Tramways
  • Ballarat Tramway Museum
  • Portland Cable Trams
  • Melbourne Tramcar Preservation Association – Haddon
  • Steamrail Victoria (main line operator – operates out of Newport)
  • R707 Operations (main line operator – operates out of Newport)
  • Seymour Rail Heritage Centre (main line operator – operates out of Seymour)
  • Diesel Electric Railmotor Preservation Association (main line operator – operates out of Newport)