NTC releases discussion paper on PBS

Photography by: Brad Gardner

National Transport Commission says it wants to maximise the benefits and cut red tape

NTC releases discussion paper on PBS
Paul Retter wants to halt the uptake deceleration


Australia’s trucking industry will avoid costly, lengthy processes under options being considered for the performance based standards (PBS) system, says the National Transport Commission (NTC). 

The NTC says its recently-released discussion paper asks the transport industry to share their expertise on how to maximise access to PBS productivity benefits, cut red tape and reduce the administrative burden.

The paper is called "Access to PBS mass limits for truck and trailer combinations".

"This is a further opportunity to save time and money," NTC CEO Paul Retter says.

"Under these proposals, we can cut red tape and get safer vehicles on our roads. This means more goods can move more efficiently which is good news for consumers."

The NTC says the PBS scheme aims to encourage the uptake of "more productive" vehicle designs (i.e with heavier payloads) without sacrificing safety requirements.

The discussion paper examines if prescriptive designs for six and seven-axle truck and trailer combinations can deliver greater efficiencies.

This would be by allowing vehicles that are not currently PBS-certified under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) but but do meet the requirements of the current PBS regulations, to travel with same mass limits as PBS approved vehicles.

"Of the four options we are considering, our preliminary research suggests that making PBS-compliant blueprints and specifications more easily accessible is our greatest opportunity to save industry time and money," Retter says.

"The scheme has set safety and infrastructure performance standards, but Australia’s transport industry has told us that the uptake has been slowed by the lengthy, costly process of getting a PBS vehicle blueprint approved, built and certified.

"Since establishing the Heavy Vehicle National Law, there are clearer access rights and applications and certifications have got quicker, but we know we can unlock greater savings. This project aims to realise the scheme’s full potential 

"To do this we need to first draw on the wealth of knowledge and experience that exists to set the prescribed requirements and test the viability of the options. We need to hear from engineers, manufacturers, operators, road agencies and drivers so we can all get the most out of the scheme in the future."

The discussion paper can be downloaded here.  

To provide feedback on the proposed options, the NTC says to visit its website, www.ntc.gov.au. Submissions close on October 28.

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