ATA seeks regulator pledge from Albanese

Australian Trucking Association lobbies Federal Transport Minister for lengthy consultation process

By Rob McKay | September 16, 2010

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has lobbied the Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese for a lengthy consultation process in its first formal post-election contact with him.

ATA Chairman David Simon emphasised the importance of giving the new regulator the resources necessary to carry out its function properly.

"The development of the national heavy vehicle regulator and laws will be a particularly important challenge for the Infrastructure and Transport portfolio," Simon wrote.

"The successful establishment of the regulator and laws has the potential to deliver progress on some of the industry’s key objectives, including improving safety and improving the industry’s productivity.

"For the process to be successful, the Australian Government will need to be closely involved in the drafting of the NHVR laws and decisions about the regulator’s powers and resourcing.

"The Government will need to ensure the NHVR laws retain the current regional, remote and state-based mass, access and other initiatives under a no-disadvantage test, and that they support the introduction of comparable arrangements in additional areas.

"The laws will also need to include a uniform solution on fatigue management that takes into account the unique characteristics of operations in Western Australia and the Northern Territory and other remote areas.

"The NHVR will also need to have the resources and authority to impose consistent enforcement standards, including on the state police forces.

"The NHVR must be able to review and provide assurances about the quality, action and appropriateness of enforcement actions.

"The consolidated NHVR laws will be a complex document.

"As a result, we consider the consultation period on the RIS for the NHVR laws will need to run for at least three months, to ensure the industry can provide the Government with high quality input."

A spokesman for Albanese said the issues would be discussed at the Australian Transport Council meeting next week in Melbourne.

"We have acknowledged the need to take into account the needs of the different regions," the spokesman adds.

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