Rann pushes through IAP and CoR Bill

South Australian Government pushes through Bill to introduce IAP and chain of responsibility for speed

Rann pushes through IAP and CoR Bill
Rann pushes through IAP and CoR Bill
By Brad Gardner | September 24, 2009

South Australian trucking operators will now be bound by the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) and new chain of responsibility laws.

The Rann Government has passed the Road Traffic (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill, which legislates IAP, and chain of responsibility for speeding.

Similar to other states, all parties involved in transporting goods in South Australia may now be held accountable if a truck driver is caught breaching road laws.

But while Queensland and New South Wales linked higher mass limits to IAP enrolment and Victoria applied it to super B-doubles, cranes and concrete pump trucks, the Rann Government has not prescribed what the scheme will be linked to in South Australia.

The Opposition wanted access restrictions legislated as an assurance IAP would not be applied to existing access routes or made compulsory, but the Government refused to agree to the proposal.

"Minister [Gail] Gago should put on record the reasons that the government will not enshrine in the legislation the commitment it has made that this [IAP] is voluntary," opposition spokesman on roads and infrastructure David Ridgway says.

While giving a verbal guarentee IAP will be voluntary and not required for existing access conditions, Gago claims that setting provisions will reduce government and operator flexibility.

Furthermore, she says the Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure is responsible for setting heavy vehicle access conditions.

The Government faced stiff opposition to IAP from the Liberal and Family First parties, the South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) and individual operators.

Although it supported chain of responsibility for speeding, the Liberals and Family First tried to remove IAP from the Bill earlier this year, claiming the tool was unreliable and costly.

SARTA also lobbied against it, while K&S Managing Director Legh Winser wrote to Minister for Transport Patrick Conlon questioning the value of the GPS tracking device.

"In relation to IAP, our experience to date in other states has been that the costs associated with fitting and maintaining IAP compliant monitoring devices on vehicles have not justified any efficiency gains available from new routes and access regimes," Winser wrote.

However, the Government says IAP is in the best interests of industry and government.

"If the legislation is not passed then no freight operator from interstate or within South Australia will have the option of using IAP in South Australia," Gago says.

"The government will also be denied a tool to manage road safety and to protect state and council road infrastructure."

Victorian Transport Association (VTA) Deputy Chief Executive Neil Chambers says there has been a lot of "scare mongering" over IAP because the Rann Government never gave an indication it would mandate GPS monitoring or apply it to existing access conditions.

The representative group supports IAP as a means of improving route access for trucking operators and Chambers says the industry's focus should not be on IAP because it is just an enabling tool.

"The main debate should always focus on access...IAP is not the significant factor," he says.

The VTA made similar comments earlier this year before IAP became mandatory, saying there was a negative reaction to the scheme because of uncertainty over route access.

But according to Family First's Dennis Hood, VTA members "are openly rebelling against the VTA's position" on IAP.

Chambers, however, says the association is not suffering a backlash from its members and Hood has proof to support his allegations.

Not even anti-IAP letters tabled in parliament from Whiteline Transport, Allied Pickfords, Allisons Transport, Total Logistics or Gericke Bulk Handling could sway the Government.

"Just in costs alone, implementing IAP is beyond comprehension at this time," Matthew Gericke of Gericke Bulk Handling wrote.

Companies such as Baxter Transport have spent $20,000 to install IAP technology in five trucks, but still struggle to gain HML access on local roads.

Gericke says the cost incurred from installing IAP would be hard to pass onto customers because many are reluctant to pay increased freight rates.

He writes that there is another option besides charging the industry to install monitoring technology.

"Maybe the government should look at upgrading the roads in South Australia to higher mass standards, then IAP would not be required at all."

"Obviously the government wants to cut corners by not having to get out and enforce the road laws, just sit in their air conditioned office [and] enforce the laws from there," he says.

Gago, however, says groups such as the Australian Logistics Council, the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) and NatRoad and individual operators such as the Noske Group see benefits in using IAP.

"Many freight companies and industry bodies support the legislation to enable the introduction of the IAP program in South Australia, but the government acknowledges that there is some opposition to IAP," she says.

"That is why it will be a voluntary scheme and it will not be required for existing access."

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