IPART sees saving by going early on access

NSW advised to help local councils with heavy vehicle issues

IPART sees saving by going early on access
IPART suggest an option of RMS helping councils on access


New South Wales can save nearly $60 million a year in red tape costs by creating an interim unit to provide this assistance to local government in tackling road access issues, a draft report has found.

But though the State’s Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) draft findings dated last October note that this is but 20 per cent of the savings possible once the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) gets into gear, according to the Centre for
International Economics, $59.2 million in savings were available much earlier if such a unit was set up.

"In light of the potentially significant red tape savings and net benefits that could accrue to NSW through providing support to local councils in heavy vehicle access decision-making, we recommend that the NSW Government funds an interim unit to provide this assistance to local government.

"This unit could provide road inspectors to assist councils experiencing difficulties in making timely assessments.

"It could also offer a consultation service to councils, through either a helpdesk arrangement or other mechanism to give advice to councils on how best to assess amenity issues, using RMS’s existing community consultation processes as an interim measure, and the NHVR guidelines in future.

"It could also support the work of the NHVR in the development of high quality, useful guidelines in this area. This will ensure a level of consistency in amenity considerations state-wide, and support the efforts of the NHVR to standardise access decision-making nationwide."

IPART suggests Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) could set up the unit with and NHVR Service Level Agreement included to keep councils in the loop or the State could fund it through the NHVR.

The tribunal is also looking at licensing but held off heavy vehicle licences due the advent of the NHVR.

"The potential savings we’ve identified are significant and so are the implications for the way both state and local government operate," IPART Chairman Dr Peter Boxall says of these and other savings measuresit is examining.

It is seeking stakeholder feedback on the recommendations in the Local Government Compliance and Enforcement Review and Reforming Licensing in NSW draft reports.

They can be found here.

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