As Truck Show opens, Newman warns NHVR on red tape

Queensland premier uses Brisbane Truck Show opening to reflect on its success, infrastructure and regulation

As Truck Show opens, Newman warns NHVR on red tape
Newman warns NHVR on red tape

By Rob McKay | May 16, 2013

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman put a shot across the bows of his state’s newest national body over red tape before cutting the Brisbane Truck Show opening ribbon this morning.

As more than 300 exhibitors made last minute preparations and added finishing touches to displays, Newman also acknowledged that much needed to be done on improving road freight infrastructure and commended the Brisbane Truck Show’s value to Queensland.

"In your sector, we have signed up to the national heavy vehicle law and I must say that, ultimately, this is a very good thing," he told a launch breakfast that Transport Minister Scott Emerson and National Heavy Vehicle Regulator Chairman Bruce Baird also attended.

"We certainly accept that. We do believe, given the transnational implications of the business, that that’s exceedingly important.

"I do sound a note of caution, though . . . that ‘one size fits all’ does not necessarily rule the day. Because . . . often, when you go to a single harmonised law, I’ll give you the example of workpace health and safety, it’s not often the ‘best of breed’, it’s often the lowest common denominator.

"So one thing that is very important to the national heavy vehicle law is its actual implementation.

"It actually has to ultimately be a framework that provides the minimum amount of red tape and regulation, so that people in business can get on with doing their job and providing that freight and logistics task to the people of this nation and the people of this state."

In a speech in which he underlined the parlous position of the State’s finances, Newman addressed the reality of its roads.

"I’m painfully conscious, as an engineer, of the degraded nature of our road network, and particularly how it makes freight operations in Queensland a sickening challenge," he says.

"And we have to plan for the long term, and that’s why Scott is actually working on a new freight strategy that is going through the Department [of Transport and Main Roads] right now."

Newman invited industry input but acknowledged that the biggest challenge was how to fund the reform, admitting that his government was yet to find the answer to that.

About the show, Newman was glowing, saying he was particularly excited "because it fosters spirit of innovation and ongoing R&D in the industry".

Bob Martin, Chairman of show organiser the Commercial Vehicle Industry Association of Queensland (CVIAQ), noted the economic impact of the event.

According to CVIAQ research conducted after the previous show, it garnered $57.1 million in output, $27.2 million in gross added activity and $14.8 million in salaries and wages, for work equating with 248 full-time equivalent employees, Martin says.

With the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre’s extra space and a Grey Street entrance, that is expected to be exceeded.

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