Daley given deadline on fatigue reforms

Rees Government given deadline to overhaul controversial aspects of fatigue management laws, following industry-government meeting yesterday

Daley given deadline on fatigue reforms
Daley given deadline on fatigue reforms
By Brad Gardner | November 27, 2008

The NSW Government has been given a deadline to overhaul controversial aspects of the fatigue management laws, following an industry-government roundtable meeting yesterday.

Minister for Roads Michael Daley met his opposition counterpart Duncan Gay, opposition spokesman on road safety Andrew Fraser and industry groups in an effort to solve concerns over fatigue management.

Gay was happy with the outcome of the first meeting, but says he is now "looking for action" on rest areas, cross-border inconsistencies and demerit points.

He has given the Government until March 2009 to amend the regulations or he will pass a Motion of Disallowance, which will abolish fatigue management.

However, Gay is confident Daley will listen to stakeholder concerns and act on them. If not, he will "lower the boom on the disallowance motion".

"We are hopeful of some breakthroughs because the industry needs it," Gay says.

The Opposition wants the Government to prioritise fatigue management harmonisation to bring NSW in line with other states.

Industry representatives also reiterated their call for uniform regulations, as well as greater consultation with the industry and better training for police and Road and Traffic Authority (RTA) staff.

Groups also wanted an assurance there would be no prosecution for Basic Fatigue Management breaches for individuals and companies if they are complying with Transitional Fatigue Management during the transition phase to the new regulations.

They also supported a nationally recognised chain of responsibility training module for the industry and enforcement staff.

"Some of the major issues we discussed were the chronic lack of truck stops and rest areas in NSW, the confusion and ambiguity surrounding the regulations and the demerit points associated with work diaries," Fraser says.

Gay says he will continue to work with the Government to ensure the regulations remain effective but do not overly burden the industry.

The roundtable discussion also included NatRoad, the Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA), the RTA and Lindsay Brothers.

Prior to the meeting, NatRoad submitted a briefing paper detailing the industry’s concerns.

It criticised the lack of uniformity and a shortage of rest areas, as well as work diary exemptions, which favour primary producers over drivers.

Under NSW regulations, drivers are given a 100km operating radius from their base while primary producers have been granted 160km.

ATN has contacted Daley’s office for comment.

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