Roozendaal and RTA all talk, no action: St Clair

ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair says NSW is not the ideal state to drive national reform agenda

By Brad Gardner

Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chief Executive Stuart St Clair has questioned the decision to charge NSW with developing national regulations, claiming it may jeopardise key reforms.

St Clair says the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), which is taking a lead role in developing a national registration and licensing framework, is ignoring industry efforts to engage on the issue to ensure the best outcome for heavy vehicle operators.

Furthermore, he says the regulatory body's track record means it is not the ideal candidate to deal with a key reform designed to reduce red tape.

According to St Clair, the RTA is more focussed on rhetoric rather than action and has let the industry down on Higher Mass Limits (HML), weight restrictions, registration and route access.

"Over the years we have heard a lot of rhetoric of all of these improvements and what they are going to do. It is time NSW and the RTA started delivering something rather than putting out media releases via its great media unit," he says.

St Clair has been particularly scathing of Minister for Roads Eric Roozendaal, saying he continually refuses to meet industry representatives, while his government "has not demonstrated anything over the last five or six years in trying to assist the heavy vehicle industry".

The ATA has taken its concerns to Minister for Transport Anthony Albanese, saying the scheme may end up an inefficient mess in the hands of the RTA.

"The only that worries us with the national registration and the national licensing scheme is that the work is being done by NSW," St Clair says.

Although the ATA supports a federal takeover of transport, St Clair says jurisdictions must not rush to implement a national scheme if it fails to offer a credible alternative to current regulations.

"It must not be set at the lowest common denominator which appears to be in all things to do with the heavy vehicle industry in NSW," he says.

ATN contacted the RTA’s Philip Halton who is formulating the framework. However, he was unavailable for comment.

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