Govts 'fully committed' to national regulations: Emerson

Government committee will report back on national regulations within two weeks as transport minister declares all jurisdictions committed to reform

Govts 'fully committed' to national regulations: Emerson
Govts 'fully committed' to national regulations: Emerson
By Brad Gardner | August 1, 2012

The Queensland Government committee responsible for scrutinising the bill to create national heavy vehicle regulations will report its findings within the next two weeks.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson (pictured) yesterday re-introduced the Heavy Vehicle National Law Bill to establish the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and its role.

He nominated the Transport, Housing and Local Government Committee to examine it, and Manager of Government Business Ray Stevens says the committee will table its report by August 13. Queensland Parliament next sits on August 21.

Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) CEO Peter Garske says the group has met with Emerson on several occasions to press the importance of enacting national regulations. He says the reforms will increase productivity, efficiency and safety in the trucking sector.

"QTA Ltd will advocate that this committee can and should deal with the legislation expeditiously," Garske says.

He says the Bill’s re-introduction demonstrates the government values the freight task and understands the needs of the trucking industry. Emerson expressed similar sentiments when introducing the Bill.

"The introduction of this Bill confirms to industry that the Commonwealth, state and territory governments are fully committed to regulator reform," he says.

"Currently, heavy vehicle operators and drivers must comply with multiple regulations in each jurisdiction that they enter. For example, an interstate operator taking freight from our far north to the southern states is compelled to contact and receive access approvals from a number of state regulatory authorities.

"Each of those jurisdictions may apply their own specific access requirements. A single regulator will ensure that the current level of regulatory inconsistency, costs and red tape is dramatically reduced."

Emerson says the regulator will take charge of registration, mass and loading, fatigue management, vehicle standards, and compliance and enforcement.

"A single, uniform national heavy vehicle law will create the same outcome in the same circumstances regardless of the jurisdiction," he says.

Queensland alone is expected to gain $1.47 billion in benefits over a 22-year period under national regulations.

A second bill of policy and technical amendments still needs to be introduced. Emerson has not given an exact date, but says it will come "later this year".

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