IAP scrapped in South Australia

IAP has been scrapped in South Australia over claims the monitoring tool will bankrupt trucking companies

IAP scrapped in South Australia
IAP scrapped in South Australia
By Brad Gardner

The Intelligent Access Program (IAP) has been scrapped in South Australia over claims the monitoring tool will bankrupt trucking companies.

The Legislative Council has amended the Road Traffic (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill by deleting the section referring to IAP.

Family First’s Robert Brokenshire says companies cannot afford the investment during an economic downturn, adding that the Government needs to support the industry rather than attempting to increase compliance costs.

Based on figures provided by an IAP service provider, it will cost $2,800 to install the necessary equipment in one truck, with an annual monitoring fee of $1600 per vehicle.

"If government and senior bureaucrats go down this path of continually placing more and more demands on the transport industry…they [operators] will either go broke…or they will have to increase the cost of freight," he says.

"Times are tough at the moment. Let us give the transport industry and the families involved a fair go."

But Labor’s Gail Gago has dismissed claims that operators cannot afford IAP as "fear mongering" and "simply misleading". She says IAP will only be imposed if it is cost neutral or delivers added benefits.

She has also warned trucking companies may be stripped of road access unless the program is mandated. Under IAP, drivers must be monitored via GPS when travelling on higher mass limits routes to ensure they do not stray onto restricted roads.

However, Opposition spokesman on roads and infrastructure David Ridgway says GPS tracking should be restricted to offenders caught repeatedly breaching road laws.

In opposing IAP, he also raised concerns over the effectiveness of the tool and whether drivers will be fined for circumstances outside of their control, such as when a vehicle goes into a tunnel and the GPS link is lost.

"The legislation provides that vehicles under this scheme will be penalised if the vehicle loses satellite coverage so, potentially, through no fault of the driver of the vehicle, he could be penalised," he says.

Ridgway also claimed some drivers may attempt to fool IAP by blanketing the device to cut the satellite feed, allowing the truck to travel undetected on non-HML routes.

But Gago says the road authorities will investigate all non-compliance issues before determining if a breach has been committed, with those caught tampering with the technology facing fines of up to $20,000.

The Opposition, however, is concerned the scheme will impose an unnecessary administrative burden on drivers and companies.

Echoing questions raised by NSW-based Inverell Freighters, Ridgway asked how IAP would work for companies using a combination of HML and standard routes.

Gago says the problem can be resolved by notifying the IAP service provider by way of an in-vehicle unit or communicating with the transport company’s office, which will then pass on the information to the provider.

This, according to Ridgway, simply increases the compliance costs of trucking operators.

"It seems that it is a particularly large administrative burden on our trucking industry at a time we have…an economic crisis the like of which we have never seen before," he says.

But Gago says the trucking sector will suffer increased administrative burdens unless IAP is introduced.

She says interstate companies with IAP will need to instruct drivers to switch off the technology and buy a permit to gain HML access when they enter South Australia.

"It is important for South Australia to have the capacity to participate in this national scheme so that we can match the access conditions that the jurisdictions with IAP can offer their operators," Gago says.

NSW and Queensland require IAP enrolment for HML, while Victoria chose to limit IAP to concrete pump trucks, cranes and B-doubles that have the capacity to haul two 40-foot containers.

Despite failing to gather enough support to introduce IAP, the Government did manage to pass the Heavy Vehicle Speed Compliance Program, which was also part of the Road Traffic (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill.

The program introduces chain of responsibility for speeding in South Australia to hold the supply chain accountable for breaking road laws.

This includes employers, prime contractors, operators, schedulers, consignors, consignees and loading managers.

Each party must take reasonable steps to ensure drivers are not forced to speed, such as complying with an approved code of practice.

The Minister for Mineral Resources Development, Urban Development and Planning and Small Business, Paul Holloway, says it will be illegal for companies to enter into contracts that require unreasonable delivery schedules.

Chain of Responsibility for speeding was developed by the National Transport Commission (NTC) in 2007 and agreed to by the nation’s transport ministers.

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