NHVAS changes to improve roadworthiness standards: Truss

Federal infrastructure minister says new arrangements put Australia on the path to risk-based assessment standards.

NHVAS changes to improve roadworthiness standards: Truss
Transport ministers have approved changes to Australia's heavy vehicle inspection regime.


Changes to the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) will pave the way for a shift to risk-based roadworthiness inspections, the Federal Government says.

Australia’s transport ministers last week agreed to proposals from the National Transport Commission (NTC) and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to reform the NHVAS.

Federal infrastructure minister Warren Truss says changes to the scheme include improved auditing arrangements.

"These new arrangements are important to adopting a nationally consistent risk-based approach to heavy vehicle roadworthiness," Truss says.

"Auditors will have until July 2016 to transition to the new arrangements. The changes also mean truckies will no longer be able to choose their auditor."

Truss says ministers agreed to fast-track work on the development of a heavy vehicle compliance and surveillance strategy that aims to focus national efforts on achieving long-term safety improvements.

"The changes are important for a national framework that targets heavy vehicles for roadworthiness inspections, as well as managing and clearing heavy vehicle defects," he says.

The NTC and the NHVR also presented their regulatory impact statement (RIS) on heavy vehicle roadworthiness, which ministers agreed should be publicly released in early 2015 for comment.

"The RIS will canvass options for improving the roadworthiness of heavy vehicles," Truss says.

"Public consultation is a good opportunity for interested parties to have their say on options for a national heavy vehicle roadworthiness program."

A risk-based approach to heavy vehicle roadworthiness involves authorities targeting trucking operators considered to have a poor compliance history.

Currently, compulsory periodic inspections are in place in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Annual inspections in South Australia are restricted to B-doubles, road trains and vehicles not enrolled in an approved accreditation scheme.

Western Australia and Tasmania do not require periodic inspections, while inspections in Victoria take place when vehicle ownership changes hands.

Toll recently wrote to the NTC requesting an end to periodic inspections.  

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