O’Beirne said the Queensland group “have suggested that the level of attention NSW want is too much and that we have a perfectly acceptable location control system. But that would not meet the requirement in NSW”
Another example of the differing points of view is the requirement laid out in the standard that doors are interlocked with brakes. O’Beirne said the Queensland stakeholder group viewed this technical requirement — which would add a further $5000 to the vehicle’s price tag — as unnecessary. “There are different views and some meeting in the middle is inevitable and if there isn’t it might not be an Australian standard, it will be a NSW standard, as we already have. We already have a thing in NSW known as Mines Department Guidelines (MDG No 1, Guidelines for Free Steered Vehicles). This is de facto legislation. There is no equivalent in Queensland,” said O’Beirne.
Some informal exchange of information has taken place between the two projects. Pratt and his team have seen the vehicle operating in Queensland and have incorporated some of the ideas into the NSW vehicle.
It not yet completely clear that all non-flameproof equipment in Queensland will have to conform to the proposed Australian Standard, with the state’s Department of Mines & Energy understood to be still considering its position on the matter. The group managing the vehicle trials in Queensland was meanwhile finalising its response to the draft standard at press time. The Queensland DME, like other parties with an interest in proceedings, may just have to be content to await the outcome of the draft standard.