PBS review to examine regulatory framework

Review into PBS is about delivering the right framework to get more productive trucks on the road, NTC says

A review into performance-based standards (PBS) is about delivering the right framework to get safer and more productive heavy vehicles on the road, the National Transport Commission (NTC) says.

The NTC has released a discussion paper as part of the PBS review, which identifies issues from industry focus groups and consultation.

"The message is clear: more comprehensive mapping of the road network, certainty of access and a customer-friendly approval process are essential to build industry confidence in the scheme and encourage wider take-up," NTC Chief Executive Nick Dimopoulos says.

"PBS is delivering great outcomes as an assessment tool for innovative heavy vehicles; however, the regulatory framework must also work as an enabler for more generic high productivity vehicles if Australia is to deliver on the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) objective for continuous productivity gains."

Dimopoulos says more high productivity vehicles will mean fewer trucks on the road as the freight task increases, while improving road safety, reducing emissions and lowering freight costs.

PBS became operational in October 2007 after a two-year trial of an interim scheme. The NTC committed to review PBS after one year to ensure its continuous improvement.

Feedback on this paper, along with that provided through stakeholder consultation, will be used to inform the review. The NTC will then will prepare a regulatory impact statement and model legislation for consideration by the Australian Transport Council of transport ministers in late 2009.

"This review is an opportunity to further refine the scheme to ensure it meets the needs of its users and achieves its full productivity and road safety potential," Dimopoulos says.

"NTC is committed to working with government and industry to deliver the right framework that delivers COAG’s objectives for this reform."

Public comment on the discussion paper is sought until February 15 next year.

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