HNVL re­form needs 21st cen­tury think­ing

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

Ma­hon calls for to­tal re­vamp in con­cep­tion and ap­proach if it is to work well

“If we don’t chal­lenge it, we won’t get any­where. We’ve got to start the con­ver­sa­tion some­where.”

THE HEAVY VE­HI­CLE NA­TIONAL LAW (HVNL) must be sub­ject to a to­tal re­vamp in con­cep­tion and ap­proach if it is to ful­fil its prom­ise, ac­cord­ing to Queens­land Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (QTA) CEO Gary Ma­hon. Hard on the heels of giv­ing ev­i­dence to the Heavy Ve­hi­cle Na­tional Law (HVNL) amend­ments in­quiry, along with other in­dus­try bod­ies, Ma­hon tells ATN the han­dling of heavy ve­hi­cle reg­u­la­tion is mired in a mind­set of the pre­vi­ous cen­tury — and the first-half of it at that.

“In the world of apps and mo­bile de­vices and good­ness knows what else, there’s a whole lot of dif­fer­ent ways of think­ing about giv­ing im­pri­matur to dif­fer­ence, and just deal with the ab­so­lute ex­cep­tions at the mar­gin,” he says.

He points out that, even by con­ser­va­tive es­ti­mates, at least 150,000 per­mits are is­sued in this coun­try ev­ery year, adding that they took “at least 30 days” to be pro­cessed.

“So there are 4.5 mil­lion lost days be­fore you can blink. What other in­dus­try is pre­pared to put up with that?” he said.

Ma­hon pointed to the QTA’s ear­lier sub­mis­sion to the in­quiry, which called for a com­pre­hen­sive HVNL re­view to help it be­come safer and more pro­duc­tive and ef­fi­cient.

“We are an in­dus­try, along with the gen­eral busi­ness sec­tor, all lev­els of govern­ment and academia, that ought be charged with the broad­est terms of ref­er­ence in a re­view to chal­lenge this or­tho­doxy and bring for­ward to our law­mak­ers new think­ing, lat­eral think­ing, for ef­fi­cient reg­u­la­tory in­dus­try over­sight.”

In­sist­ing that the in­dus­try does not have the Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Reg­u­la­tor ( NHVR) in its sights on this, Ma­hon ac­cepts that such a view butts into bu­reau­cratic and po­lit­i­cal in­er­tia and re­sul­tant ac­tion must oc­cur if the in­dus­try is to avoid re­main­ing mired.

“If we don’t chal­lenge it, we won’t get any­where,” he says. “We’ve got to start the con­ver­sa­tion some­where.”

Gary Ma­hon

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