IT issues delay national rego and licensing scheme

ATC forced to defer the implementation date of a national rego and licensing scheme over IT infrastructure.

By Brad Gardner

The Australian Transport Council (ATC) was forced to defer the implementation date of a national registration and licensing scheme due to concerns over inadequate IT infrastructure.

Western Australia Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Alannah MacTiernan tells ATN the nation’s transport ministers agreed to stall the 2009 start date because of uncertainty over whether an effective administrative system would be ready in time.

MacTiernan says it will take between 12 to 18 months for the states and territories to have an adequate system in place, leading the ATC to push back the start date to 2010.

Despite the delay, MacTiernan says it is better than introducing a uniform system when some or all parties are unprepared.

"This is very complex and it will affect a lot of people so you have to get it right," she says.

"We moved it out to 2010 in recognition that of the IT challenges of getting this up and running and not mucking up everyone’s life. It is better to go a bit more slowly than have a licensing meltdown."

While admitting it will be a challenge to have the necessary infrastructure in place by 2010, MacTiernan denies the ATC’s decision is a delaying mechanism. She says ministers are confident they can deliver on their promise to reduce the regulatory burden on the trucking industry.

"Everyone is supporting moving down this path but if you have never had any experience in administering a licensing system and knowing the complex IT that goes behind it and how long it takes to get right I think we have got to be realistic about the timeframes we require to actually physically do this," MacTiernan says.

"We can do it, it is just a question of how long it will take."

MacTiernan is also confident transport ministers will not pick apart the scheme similar to what has happened to fatigue management laws, which will be introduced on September 29. According to the minister, "there is a completely different spirit there" and the ATC is committed to introducing a holistic registration and licensing system as soon as practicable.

The ATC agreed to set up a single heavy vehicle regulatory by July 2009 with the aim to have in place a uniform scheme by 2010.

NSW Minister for Roads Eric Roozendaal says the ATC wants to ensure the regulator focuses on efficiency, road freight safety and delivering a comprehensive compliance service.

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