Truck regulator must have complete control: Linfox

Linfox throws support behind national truck regulations, but says they must do more than merely add to existing systems

Truck regulator must have complete control: Linfox
Truck regulator must have complete control: Linfox
By Brad Gardner | May 6, 2011

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) must supersede existing state and territory systems and take complete control of truck policy and regulation, Linfox has demanded.

The transport and logistics operator has written to the National Transport Commission (NTC) outlining what it expects once seamless transport laws are introduced in January 2013.

In the letter, Linfox’s Asia Pacific compliance manager Shane Falkiner says the scheme will be a "negative step" if it fails to replace existing regulations.

"We would like to reemphasise that to deliver the anticipated benefits, the NHVR needs to replace, not add to existing state and territory regulators with jurisdiction over heavy vehicles," Falkiner writes.

"We therefore envisage that the NHVR should completely take over matters of heavy vehicle policy and regulation setting from existing state based road authorities.

"In addition, we would expect the NHVR to be the only government agency with authority to interpret new national heavy vehicle law, and to provide guidelines for agencies charged with various aspects of compliance."

Under a model developed by the states and territories, the NHVR will be based in Queensland with offices throughout Australia. It will be responsible for regulating all heavy vehicles.

During a lengthy consultation period on the proposed system, sections of the trucking industry pushed for the regulator to directly control police agencies.

At last week’s final consultation forum in Brisbane, NHVR Project Director Richard Hancock told attendees it would not happen.

He is instead looking at an education-based approach to ensure laws are enforced uniformly across borders.

"We recognise that key elements of heavy vehicle regulation enforcement will remain with agencies such as state police forces and work cover authorities," Falkiner says.

"We expect that these agencies should refer to the new NHVR in a manner similar to their current relationships with the existing state road authorities."

The NTC says industry feedback on proposed national laws will be used to inform targeted consultation sessions on remaining issues.

A final regulatory impact statement will be submitted to Australia’s transport ministers to vote on in August this year.

A draft regulatory impact statement on the laws released in February recommends changes to a number of existing regulations, including fatigue management, the ‘three strikes’ policy, sanctions and B-double suppression sprays.

Hancock, who is charged with developing the roles and responsibilities of the regulator, wants it to have a strong chain of responsibility focus and for mutual recognition policies to be introduced.

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