Specialist teams a key feature of truck regulator

Specialised teams focusing on chain of responsibility, road access and education will be set up within National Heavy Vehicle Regulator

By Brad Gardner | May 23, 2011

Specalised teams focusing on key transport issues will be set up within the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) when it is introduced mid next year.

The project team responsible for establishing the structure of the NHVR wants task-specific units for chain of responsibility, road access and education.

The project team’s director, Richard Hancock says the chain of responsibility unit will operate on a national basis gathering intelligence about what parts of the supply chain might have contributed to road law offences.

"They then would potentially undertake an investigation of the supply chain in a circumstance like that themselves. The team would have those kind of resources," he says.

Once set up, the unit will be capable of linking up with existing road authorities and running a cycle of audits to keep all parties involved in transporting goods on their toes.

"I think there would always be a place for random audits in a process like that as well as…regular audits that are known in advance," Hancock says.

The unit will also be primed to act on tip offs, with Hancock pushing for a system to allow individuals and businesses to dob in those flouting chain of responsibility obligations.

"I think there will be an opportunity for them to make that information known and for the regulator to act," he says.

Hancock says the road access team will work with councils to help resolve ‘last mile’ constraints on trucking operators preventing their vehicles from using local roads.

"The regulator would have experts that would help the local councils make assessments of roads and bridges as well," Hancock says.

The measure will likely take a heavy load off the shoulders of trucking operators. Currently they must get the paperwork together themselves and haggle with state or local governments depending on where they want access.

By the middle of next year, operators will go straight to the regulator and then the infrastructure team will take over.

Officers will assist in assessing a route’s ability to support a heavy vehicle and even work with councils to help them secure funding to upgrade routes if necessary.

Hancock says it is important to have a team dedicated to informing and educating the industry about the regulator’s role and any future changes to national heavy vehicle regulations.

"There needs to be a good education team so that the new arrangements of the regulator are well communicated but then we deal with all of the possible changes that might happen," he says.

The NHVR will be hosted in Queensland and have offices throughout Australia. Queensland Parliament will pass model laws and other jurisdictions will need to approve similar legislation to ensure national uniformity.

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