Transport ministers must act on NHVR’s permit problems: ATA


Peak lobby group says teleconference between NHVR and transport ministers must deal with the regulator’s permit problems and budget

Transport ministers must act on NHVR’s permit problems: ATA
St Clair: NHVR needs to be asked hard questions.

 

The country’s peak trucking lobby is expecting transport ministers to grill the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) over its inability to process permit applications when a teleconference is held next week.

Transport ministers are due to meet with NHVR representatives on February 25 to approve the NHVR’s budget for next financial year, but the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) wants the issue of permits raised as well.

The NHVR has struggled to process heavy vehicle permits since it took over the responsibility on February 10, forcing state jurisdictions to intervene to clear a backlog of applications.

"Operators submitted 2,050 permit applications to the NHVR in the period leading up to Tuesday 18 February. The NHVR only managed to issue 258 permits. We know that at least some of those permits were issued with the wrong details, leading to further delays," ATA CEO Stuart St Clair says.

"Australia’s transport ministers will hold a teleconference next Tuesday to approve the NHVR’s budget. They need to ask the hard questions and tell the NHVR to focus on fixing these permit issues.

"Part of the case for the NHVR was that it would centralise and streamline the process of getting these permits. The full launch of the NHVR was put off and put off because it said it wanted to make sure its systems were ready. But now, after all that, the NHVR is failing to meet the commercial deadlines faced by the industry."

St Clair also wants ministers to review the NHVR’s $147.5 million budget, which the trucking industry will pay for through application fees and fuel and registration charges.

"The NHVR budget includes millions of dollars of costs and projects that are just a distraction from its core task, such as developing policies about telematics and electronic work diaries," he says.

"These are tasks that should be done by other organisations. The NHVR is a regulator, not a policy body. It needs to focus on doing its core functions right, such as issuing permits so Australia’s heavy haulage operators can do their difficult, exacting and vital work."

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