ATA 2015: Industry may hold key to getting WA and NT to accept national regulations

By: Brad Gardner

Regulator hopes fatigue management templates may be the catalyst for achieving truly national regime.


Trucking operators in Western Australia and the Northern Territory may hold the key to getting the respective jurisdictions to end their opposition to national trucking laws.

While the WA and the NT governments continue to resist the adoption of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is hopeful industry can change their thinking.

The NHVR’s development of new fatigue management templates has piqued the interest of WA trucking operators, most notably the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association which is supportive of the initiative.

"So as we start to evolve and start to understand the needs of industry, I think that the Northern Territory operators and the Western Australian operators might start to see the value of a single entity and that might prompt some discussion around coming on board," NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto tells ATN.

"I think what I’m seeing is industry will start to see the benefits of a national regulator and it will probably be industry that will start to look at questioning why they are not part of the framework."

Petroccitto says WA and the NT remain officially wedded to their existing heavy vehicle regulatory framework.

"At this stage their position is that they are not part of the regulator and that’s the current position," Petroccitto says.

However, he is adamant WA and NT must join the national system to ensure the trucking industry can realise the full benefits of the HVNL.

"We will get WA into the tent at some point in the future. We cannot have a national regulator without the Northern Territory and WA there. It’s just a matter of time," Petroccitto says.

"That regulatory consistency will be critical if we are going to deliver the future productivities."

The WA Government and the state’s trucking industry have previously raised a number of concerns about adopting the HVNL, particularly due to the impact it may have on WA’s fatigue management and heavy vehicle productivity schemes.

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