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A segway into tourism

11 Feb 2014

A segway into tourism Image

We could soon see fleets of Segways rolling along the waterfront as the State Government moves to change regulations as part of a red-tape reform.

It had previously been illegal to operate the two-wheeled vehicles on roads and shared paths in Victoria.

But the restriction will be lifted to allow guided Segway tours around Melbourne.

The change in regulations was announced alongside 35 other red-tape reforms by Acting Premier Peter Ryan and Treasurer Michael O’Brien in January.

The change in regulations will need to go through Parliament and a licensing authority will need to be established before we’ll see Segways in the neighbourhood, but one operator is definitely keen to get started.

Managing director of Segway Victoria Terry Smit said it was his company’s application to government that gained the support of the red tape commissioner, John Lloyd, leading to the reform.

Mr Smit said Segway Victoria had made an application to Government to operate Segway tours in Melbourne about two years ago, but had been rejected.

The company was then invited to meet with the red-tape commissioner mid-last year.

According to Acting Premier Peter Ryan, the red-tape commissioner met with 25 different associations and a range of individual businesses before putting his reform proposals forward to government.

Mr Smit is eager to start operating Segway tours in Melbourne and has proposed a tour running along Southbank, over the Webb Bridge and through Docklands.

He said while there were no firm time frames in place at this stage he hoped the company would be operating in Melbourne in time for the next summer holiday season.

“We’re delighted that this milestone has been achieved and are now waiting for the regulatory reforms that will make Segway tours in Melbourne possible,” Mr Smit said.

The Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) is also pleased with the planned reform.

“We welcome this change by the State Government as Segway tours will diversify the tourism experience and make Melbourne an even more enjoyable place to visit,” VTIC chief executive Dianne Smith said.

Treasurer Michael O’Brien said 22 of the red-tape reforms would be implemented in time to meet the Government’s commitment of reducing 25 per cent of red tape by July 2014, with the other 15 reforms to be introduced in the near future.

“The Coalition Government made a commitment to significantly reduce red tape by 25 per cent and we are on track to meet that target,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Cutting red tape encourages business investment in Victoria and the removal of these 22 unnecessary regulations will contribute to delivering more than $715 million in red tape savings to Victorian businesses and the wider economy.”

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