HVIA welcomes window on vehicle standards reform

By: Rob McKay

Fletcher releases exposure draft of Road Vehicle Standards Bills

HVIA welcomes window on vehicle standards reform
Fletcher hails the strong powers the Bills will give the relevant minister


Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) has responded warmly to an insight into the direction of vehicle standards reform.

The move comes as federal urban infrastructure minister Paul Fletcher releases exposure drafts of a package of legislation that he says will modernise and strengthen the laws governing road vehicles when first supplied to the Australian market, along with a draft of the Rules to be made under the legislation.

"The Road Vehicle Standards Bills are designed to maintain and improve vehicle safety while expanding consumer choice and reducing red tape," Fletcher adds.

HVIA has long focused on the need to ensure that the review of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act (MVSA) plugs several holes in the "grey" importation of commercial vehicles and issues surrounding certification, particularly around inefficiencies of the Road Vehicle Certification System (RCVS) process and its IT system.

For HVIA, the development is important as

  • the legislation controls the standards associated with new and used road vehicles supplied to market in Australia.
  • the government began the review of the MVSA in 2014 and this is the first time the details of the planned reform have been seen
  • HVIA has had an input to the consultation process and is keen to ensure the detailed provisions reflect its concerns.

 "We are pleased that the Government has finally released the exposure draft of the Bill (even if it is late) and more importantly the Rules (where all the detail is)," HVIA national manager government relations and policy Greg Forbes tells ATN in a written response.

"We are planning to analyse the contents of the exposure draft to pull out the detailed key issues likely to impact industry. A complete analysis of the Bill will take some time.

"We will be providing a detailed analysis of the legislation to the next round of HVIA Industry Information Forums around Australia in February and March."

Meanwhile, Fletcher sees the reform as a much needed modernisation, given the MSVA has remained essentially unchanged for 30 years.

"The new legislation, to come into effect from 2019, will provide a modern, strong regulatory platform for vehicle standards that will better protect the community, provide more choice for specialist and enthusiast vehicles and be responsive to emerging technologies," he says.

"These reforms will save businesses more than $68 million a year in regulatory compliance costs—a significant saving on annual regulatory costs under the current framework which stand at around $250 million per year."

He adds that the Bills will also give the responsible minister strong powers to mandate the recall of vehicles if serious safety issues arise.

"The powers will apply to all road vehicles supplied in Australia, whether for private or commercial use, providing the Commonwealth Government with the necessary powers to uphold our national safety standards."


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