NTC calls for a revamp
Body says HVNL is onerous
THE National Transport Commission expects to draft a whole new Heavy Vehicle National Law after it completes its review of the existing one.
According to National Transport Commission Chief Executive Paul Retter, the appraisal of the national law will be a back-to-basics overhaul which is expected to result in an entirely new performance-based law fit for purpose
“Since May 2018, we have heard a lot from industry about the government not being prepared to make wholesale change to the law. Based on our discussions with governments, I am firmly of the view that this is not correct,” Mr Retter said.
“The HVNL, in its current form, does not reflect best practice,” he said.
“We understand that it is onerous for industry and the regulator, falls short of being truly national and is overly prescriptive and complicated,”
The 2012 Heavy Vehicle National Law consolidated 13 model laws and brought six of the eight state and territory laws into a single national law.
“However, it is fair to say that while the HVNL was better than what preceded it, it was subject to a fair amount of compromise.”
Mr Retter said the National Transport Commission was best placed to undertake the review as it was not beholden to any particular jurisdiction.
But the ATA has called for a different approach. Chair Geoff Crouch said that because the commission drafted the first Heavy Vehicle National Law, it was time for a fresh set of eyes.
“The review needs to start from scratch, so it would make sense to bring in a team who were not involved in the development of the law we have now,” he said.
“We need new ideas from people who are experienced in other areas of regulation, not the same ideas again.”
Meanwhile, Mr Retter promised the NTC review and subsequent proposed legislation would acknowledge that one size doesn’t fit all across this vast country.
The NTC will finalise the terms of reference for the review in the next few months for approval by the Transport Infrastructure Council.
The NTC’s Paul Retter speaks at Trucking Australia.