To be granted an exemption, a bus operator must demonstrate:
- that the exemption will not reduce the safe operation of the bus
- the competence and capacity to manage the risks to safety posed by the exemption, and
- the means to meet reasonable accident liabilities.
This is not an exhaustive list and operators intending to apply for an exemption should consult the Bus Safety Regulations (2020).
If an exemption is granted, the bus operator is only exempt from the specific requirements nominated – all other requirements of the Bus Safety Act (2009) and Bus Safety Regulations must be complied with.
Bus service details
You will be asked to describe the scope and nature of the bus service for which you are seeking the exemption/s:
- commercial bus service (route/demand responsive/tour and charter/courtesy)
- local bus service
- commercial minibus service
- community and private bus service (religious/educational/health/welfare/philanthropic/sporting/social body)
- courtesy bus service
- non-commercial courtesy bus service
- hire and drive bus service.
Bus service type
You will be asked to provide a description of the service to which the exemption/s relate.
- days/hours of operation, geographical locations covered, the type of patrons
- whether or not passengers are charged a fee to use the service
- how many buses are to be operated.
When applying for an exemption, you will be asked to describe the type of environment where the bus service generally operates.
Note: A built-up area is where there are buildings and/or houses next to the road or there is street lighting at intervals not over 100 metres apart for 500 metres or more.
Environment 1 (E1) – built-up areas, high population density, low speeds, shorter journeys.
Environment 2 (E2) – outside built-up areas, lower population density, higher speeds; longer journeys; narrow and/or undivided roads; hazards such as livestock, wildlife, trees close to the road; heavy vehicle traffic at higher speeds.
Environment 3 (E3) – outside built-up areas with extreme risk factors, for example, long steep roads with precipitous drop-offs; high volumes of heavy vehicle traffic at high speeds; narrow, unsealed, winding, undivided roads; blackspots, climate conditions such as fog, snow and ice.
Once you have submitted your application, we will likely require further documentation.
This will include evidence that:
- The exemption sought will impose a regulatory burden that is excessively onerous or unreasonable with regard to the purpose and objects of the Bus Safety Act and the principles of bus safety.
- The exemption sought will not reduce the safe operation of the bus service
- The operator has sufficient competence and capacity to manage risks to safety associated with operating the bus service in relation to the exemption
- The operator has financial capacity or public risk insurance arrangements to meet reasonable potential accident liabilities arising from the bus service in regard to the exemption sought. This could mean providing a copy of your public liability insurance, if you have it.
If any part of the bus service for which exemption is sought will be carried out by another person or persons besides the applicant, you must attach a separate document that lists the name and contact details (address, telephone and email) of each such person and provide details of the activities that it is intended that the person will carry out on behalf of the applicant.
Business documents (not applicable to individual applicants)
Note: Corporations Act refers to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
For a body corporate which is a company within the meaning of the Corporations Act:
- a copy of the certificate of incorporation
- a list of the names of all directors of the company, current as at the date of application.
For a body corporate other than a company within the meaning of the Corporations Act:
- a copy of the certificate of incorporation or registration or a copy of the document creating or evidencing the existence of the body corporate or, for government authorities or organisations incorporated under legislation, a letter on a letterhead stating the name of the legislation under which they are incorporated)
- a list of the names of all directors and/or office bearers of the body corporate, current as at the date of application.
For an unincorporated association or body:
- a copy of the certificate of business name or other document creating or evidencing the existence of the unincorporated body or association. For example, a certificate of registration, a printed extract from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission website
- a list of the names of all members of the committee of management of the unincorporated association or body, current as at the date of application.
For a partnership:
- a copy of the partnership agreement
- a list of the names of each of the partners of the partnership, current as at the date of application.
How will my application be assessed?
All applications will be assessed on:
- the nature and scope of the bus operator’s operation
- the exemption sought
- the requirements prescribed under the Bus Safety Act and Bus Safety Regulations.
Please note that we are unable to exempt bus operators from requirements related to certain provisions, such as general safety duties under Part 3 of the Bus Safety Act. Details of these certain provisions are provided in the above exemption guideline.
We will ensure ongoing compliance with an exemption through normal compliance and enforcement activities, such as safety audits and inspections.
We may impose conditions or restrictions on an exemption sought. We may also vary the conditions or restrictions, suspend or revoke an exemption granted at any time.
The bus operator can apply to vary the exemption.