National regs will change attitudes toward NSW: Gay

Roads minister believes introduction of national regulations will change the trucking industry's negative opinion of NSW

National regs will change attitudes toward NSW: Gay
NHVR will change attitudes toward NSW: Gay

By Brad Gardner | May 24, 2012

The introduction of national heavy vehicle regulations next year will change the trucking industry’s negative opinion of NSW, according to the state’s roads minister.

Duncan Gay, who has set himself up as an ardent supporter of the regulatory reforms, says NSW is working with all jurisdictions on the development of the regulations and to prepare for the introduction of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

To be based in Queensland, the NHVR will be responsible for enforcing a common set of laws, taking a national approach to safety and acting as a one-stop-shop for registration and permit applications.

"It is important for NSW to do its bit for the sake of the prosperity of the nation. No longer will this state be ridiculed as ‘Fortress NSW’ – a state that in the past acted as a roadblock to safe and sensible national reforms," Gay says.

"When one considers that 75 percent of interstate trucks use NSW roads for some part of their journey, these reforms are central to the long-term economic and infrastructure needs of this state."

A draft of the national heavy vehicle law has been approved and is due to pass through Queensland’s parliament this year. Other jurisdictions will then introduce similar legislation to ensure national uniformity.

The passage of the bill was delayed due to Queensland’s state election in March, but Gay says he expects it to pass "in the coming months…without doubt" given the overwhelming majority the ruling Liberal-National Party (LNP) has.

Gay says work is now underway on finalising the second piece of legislation – a package of amendments to address outstanding concerns.

"The NSW Government is now working with other jurisdictions, industry and the heavy vehicle regulator project office to resolve remaining policy issues, such as a nationally consistent approach to fatigue management," Gay says.

"That bill [the package of amendments] will also need to pass through the Queensland Parliament, and that is expected to happen later in 2012. Once passed in Queensland, the [NSW] Government will introduce the laws into the NSW Parliament."

NSW, particularly the now renamed Roads and Traffic Authority, has worn the brunt of industry anger over the years due to complaints of heavy-handed regulation and over-zealous enforcement officers.

What do you think? Will national regulations make life easier for operators on NSW roads? Leave your thoughts below or contact ATN.

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