Albo extends hand to trucking on national regulations

Transport minister invites ATA, the ALRTA and Toll to attend government meeting that will decide future of national trucking regulations

Albo extends hand to trucking on national regulations
Albo extends hand to trucking on national regulations

By Brad Gardner | October 24, 2011

Trucking and logistics lobby groups will attend next month’s government meeting which will decide the future of national regulations.

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has personally invited representatives from the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) and the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) to the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure’s (SCOTI) November 4 meeting.

SCOTI will vote on the first of the two bills to establish the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and uniform regulations.

The first bill is expected to go through Queensland’s parliament before the end of the year to legislate the regulations. The second bill is slated for next year to amend any outstanding concerns.

"It is a pleasing piece of leadership from this minister," ALRTA Executive Director Philip Halton says of Albanese.

"It is a sign this minister is really focused on having government and industry work together…that he wants to deliver something for industry."

Halton will join ATA Chairman David Simon and ALC Deputy Chairman Andrew Ethell, who is also Toll's corporate spokesman, at the table.

In the ATA’s weekly newsletter sent to its members, Simon says the invite is a rare opportunity for the group to argue its support for national regulations and to raise concerns about provisions it wants changed.

"The ATA wants a single national marketplace, but we can’t accept operators having to go backward – in any part of the country – in order to get there," Simon says.

The ALC earlier this year sought assurances from government on national regulations. It opposes a scheme allowing the NHVR to delegate to the states and territories to deliver services on its behalf.

The ALC wants a single regulator administering the laws, claiming a delegation system could lead to authorities developing their own interpretations and enforcement priorities.

The trucking industry also wants a low-cost tribunal within the NHVR to review and, if necessary, rescind police fines.

Furthermore, groups such as NatRoad want the regulator to be responsible for road access applications. Governments have expressed a view that they must retain the power to determine heavy vehicle access.

Clarification: It was originally reported Andrew Ethell would be representing Toll at the SCOTI meeting. Ethell will be there in his capacity as the deputy chairman of the ALC

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