OSOM in­quiry im­ple­mented

Australian Transport News - - News -

THE FED­ERAL GOVERN­MENT has caved into pres­sure from com­pa­nies and in­dus­try or­gan­i­sa­tions, launch­ing an in­de­pen­dent re­view into the de­lays heavy ve­hi­cle op­er­a­tors in­cur in get­ting spe­cial road ac­cess per­mits.

The Over­size Over­mass (OSOM) in­quiry will be car­ried out by WSP Aus­tralia and led by Pas­cal Felix, who was ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Heavy Ve­hi­cle Ser­vices for Main Roads Western Aus­tralia be­fore start­ing with the con­sul­tancy firm last year. Felix’s par­tic­i­pa­tion has been wel­comed by Western Roads Fed­er­a­tion CEO Cam Dumesny, who told ATN that Felix had helped to build a work­able over­size, over­mass sys­tem for the state at the height of the min­ing boom.

“From our per­spec­tive he was the right bloke for the job,” he says. “We pushed for it to be in­de­pen­dent, out­side of govern­ment.”

The re­view fol­lows con­cerns about op­er­a­tors of over­size and over­mass ve­hi­cles be­ing re­quired to wait for up to sev­eral months for per­mits al­low­ing them to ac­cess the road net­work.

Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (ATA) chair Ge­off Crouch es­ti­mates that the truck­ing in­dus­try wastes 4.5 mil­lion days per year wait­ing for ap­provals.

“For ex­am­ple, it can take more than 80 days to get a per­mit to trans­port OSOM steel prod­ucts on the Transur­ban toll­ways in Mel­bourne, be­cause the Transur­ban and NHVR pro­cesses do not work in par­al­lel,” he says, adding that he is “a great ap­point­ment” to the rolen

Felix will con­sult in­dus­try, the Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Reg­u­la­tor (NHVR) and road man­agers – in­clud­ing lo­cal coun­cils and state and ter­ri­tory road au­thor­i­ties – in pre­par­ing the re­port.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and Min­is­ter for In­fra­struc­ture and Trans­port Michael McCor­mack says the re­view will need to come up with both im­me­di­ate and long-term re­sponses to the is­sues.

“The Over­size Over­mass Re­view will there­fore con­sider what changes to the reg­u­la­tory frame­work and pro­cesses are re­quired to en­sure OSOM ve­hi­cle per­mits can be is­sued within a rea­son­able time­frame, with­out com­pro­mis­ing safety.”

Sched­uled to start im­me­di­ately, a draft re­port is ex­pected to be ready by Au­gust and the fi­nal re­port com­pleted by Oc­to­ber 2018, with a re­port to later be pro­vided to fed­eral, state and ter­ri­tory trans­port min­is­ters for their con­sid­er­a­tion.

In a sep­a­rate an­nounce­ment, NHVR chief ex­ec­u­tive Sal Petroc­citto wel­comed the re­view, say­ing it would en­sure the in­dus­try would get full vis­i­bil­ity of the per­mit process and help it iden­tify fu­ture im­prove­ments for heavy ve­hi­cle ac­cess.

“It’s im­por­tant that the per­mit process be timely and strike the right bal­ance be­tween safety, pro­tect­ing roads and bridges and en­sur­ing the pro­duc­tive move­ment of freight,” he says.

Pas­cal Felix

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