Confidence in national regs waning: QTA

Failure to pass national fatigue management laws has undermined the industry's confidence in moving toward national regulations, QTA claims

By Brad Gardner

Governments’ failure to pass national fatigue management laws has undermined the trucking industry’s confidence in moving toward national regulations, Queensland Trucking Association President Tim Squires claims.

Speaking at the this year’s QTA annual awards dinner, Squires lamented the cross-border inconsistencies in the new fatigue laws, saying the industry has every right to be disappointed by the differences in each jurisdiction’s regimes.

"This failure does not instil confidence in the ambitious objectives of the Federal Government to create one national heavy vehicle regulator," Squires says.

While welcoming any moves to streamlined regulations, Squires reiterated industry concerns by saying a new system must not adopt current standards "of the lowest common denominator".

However, he says associations will be working closely with governments to ensure a new scheme benefits the industry.

During his speech, Squires told attendees the QTA was working closely with the Queensland Government to develop a submission to Infrastructure Australia.

"Improving the road network to allow freight efficient vehicle configurations, an extension of the HML network and investment in heavy vehicle rest areas are as critical as improvements to rail, ports and urban congestion," Squires says.

Infrastructure Australia is currently accepting submissions from individuals, businesses and governments on how best to invest money from the Building Australia Fund.

A spokesman for Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese says there is more than $12 billion in the fund, with plans to increase that to $20 billion.

However, Treasurer Wayne Swan this week indicated infrastructure projects may need to be reconsidered following the mid-year economic review, which revealed a $40 billion loss in forecasted Budget surplus revenues due to the impact of the global financial crisis.

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