ATA backs NTC’s productivity focus

Peak trucking body welcomes the policy developer’s five year work program, and has a few extra ideas

ATA backs NTC’s productivity focus
ATA CEO Christopher Melham says the NTC is on the right track with its productivity focus


The Australian Trucking Association has welcomed the National Transport Commission’s planned work program for 2015-2019, which includes a commitment to improving productivity across the industry.

Australian Trucking Association chief Christopher Melham says that focus will help the trucking industry address the growing national freight task both safely and efficiently.

"The national freight task is expected to grow by 80 per cent between 2011 and 2031, with the trucking industry handling a large part of this extra freight," Melham says.

"[The] Australian Infrastructure Audit Report warned that governments must focus on policy reforms to improve higher productivity vehicle use, and the performance of highway infrastructure.

"It’s fantastic to see the NTC taking this advice seriously."

The NTC’s work program over the next five years includes development of options to increase load volumes permitted for higher productivity vehicles, and investigating possible improvements to the performance based standards system.

Melham says he hopes to add a few items to that agenda.

"NTC still needs to increase its focus on measures that will deliver productivity improvements in the short term," he says.

In particular, he is urging the NTC to develop projects to:

  • Increase the steer axle mass limit
  • Carefully investigate the use of ultrawide tyres
  • Support recognition of third-party accreditation programs
  • Reconsider the "outdated" formula for assessing the maximum weights allowed on bridges
  • Examine a potential increase in vehicle lengths – so that the industry can begin handling 45-foot containers.

"With these additional projects added to the approach outlined in the NTC work program, the transport sector would be well positioned to support Australia’s growing freight transport needs," Melham says.

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