Daley to 'iron out the wrinkles' in fatigue laws

NSW has committed to acting on the trucking industry's concerns over fatigue management regulations, launching a review into the scheme

By Brad Gardner

NSW has committed to acting on the trucking industry’s concerns over fatigue management regulations, launching a review into the scheme.

Minister for Roads Michael Daley says key issues such as work diary requirements, rest hours and accreditation processes will be reviewed following an industry-government roundtable meeting last month.

Daley will also look at developing a fatigue management user guide as well as specific guide for primary producers outlining their obligations under the new laws.

The Government will now work with sections of the trucking industry and the NSW Farmers Association to resolve concerns over the laws, which were introduced on September 29.

"We’ve asked the NSW Road Freight Advisory Council to work with the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) to iron out these wrinkles in the new laws," Daley tells ATN.

"The majority of concerns have been canvassed in the first roundtable discussion and work is progressing on resolving these issues."

Daley met with members from the Road Freight Advisory Council on November 13, followed by another meeting with the trucking industry and the Opposition on November 26.

Following the second meeting, Daley was given a deadline to implement reforms by March 2009.

Opposition spokesman on roads Duncan Gay will move a disallowance motion against fatigue management regulations unless Daley’s takes action to resolve the industry’s concerns.

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

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

Daley has spent the past three months consulting industry groups and individual operators over fatigue management in an attempt to strike a balance between safety and productivity.

"All have said they support the move to make our roads safer, but just want the laws to be fair and reasonable," he says.

"All parties agreed that we needed to jointly promote the benefits of this new legislation, so everyone understands the importance of the chain of responsibility concept and the dangers of fatigue."

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