NTC calls for a re­vamp

Body says HVNL is oner­ous

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

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.

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