Mulder wants sunset clause under national regs

Victorian Transport Minister Terry Mulder argues for sunset clause to help states and territories move to national heavy vehicle regulations

Mulder wants sunset clause under national regs
Mulder wants sunset clause under national regs
By Ruza Zivkusic | April 6, 2011

Victorian Transport Minister Terry Mulder wants a sunset clause inserted into national regulations to help states and territories transition to the new arrangements.

Mulder says the clause is necessary to ensure all governments work together on regulatory harmonisation once a national system begins in 2013.

If accepted, the clause would mean states and territories would have a set timeframe to scrap their existing laws and adopt national regulations.

Mulder says he has directed his office to cooperate with other states and territories, but adds that there needs to be "some give and take" to achieve national uniformity.

"What the industry is looking for is harmonisation across Australia in relation to heavy vehicles and rail and it’s going to require a great deal of rethinking by a lot of the states who would have been dealing and developing their own regulation over a number of years," Mulder says.

Mulder, who two years ago got his truck licence in a bid to understand the industry better, says more needs to be done to raise the public’s awareness of sharing the road with truck drivers.

"What I have learnt is that in the eyes of the public when they’re following a heavy vehicle and it’s swaying around the road, the public believe it is a result of the driver when in actual fact it’s the result of the road surface," he says.

"The condition of the road surface and wear and tear on vehicles is a major concern here in Victoria and we have put $160 million over the next four years in the local councils for their local roads, particularly in country areas who struggle to maintain their roads."

Mulder is due to meet with the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) this month.

The group plans to use the meeting to voice its opposition to lane bans for trucks
on Melbourne’s freeways, but Mulder has not yet made a decision on whether he will end the policy introduced by the previous government.

"I’m not going to make a rushed decision until I get more information in front of me," he says.

"I’ve had meetings with a number of transport companies and there are mixed views. In fact, I’ve spoken with transport companies who say it’s a good idea and I’ve spoken with transport companies who say they don’t approve with it."

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