VTA making in-roads on heavy vehicle license reform

By: Samantha Freestone


A national heavy license qualification is getting closer to reality, but “it is a very long process”, VTA Deputy CEO Neil Chambers says

VTA making in-roads on heavy vehicle license reform
VTA making in-roads on heavy vehicle license reform
A national heavy license qualification is getting closer to reality, but "it is a very long process", Victorian Transport Association (VTA) Deputy CEO Neil Chambers says.

The Federal Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese made a decision in November 2008 to look at creating a license system that could be aligned with the education system.

Since that time, the Heavy License Working Group has been developing a proposal to put forth to transport ministers at both a state and federal level by mid-year.

If successful, the new model could include not only a written and practical assessment, but more in-depth education into multi-combination skills, and possibly an apprenticeship or trainee-type model attached to the qualification.

"The skill shortage manifests itself in [regards to] combination and multi-combination [skills]," Chambers says.

"So we want to get people through the system more quickly, but still, in a safer and more [comprehensive] way.

"That is what we are trying to achieve and then you can start to build a qualification as a professional driver; you can build up a series of units. You could also get an 18 year-old that would be placed in a type of apprenticeship.
"Encouraging young people into the industry is difficult."

Enabling a younger demographic into the industry is one of the key objectives of the initiatives, including creating a more timely process from the beginning to completion of the certification, Chamber says.

"[Ideally] what you would have is a Certification III or IV, and embedded into that qualification would be a heavy vehicle license," Chambers says.

A discussion of the process will be held on the Gold Coast in April.

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