Civil contractors push national focus for HVNL reform

Former ATA hand Melham keep weather eye on major transport move

Civil contractors push national focus for HVNL reform
Chris Melham


Australia’s infrastructure sector has weighed in on recent media reports regarding the pending review of Australia’s Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and its supporting regulationsin the lead up to the November 9 Transport and Infrastructure Council (TIC) meeting.

Construction employer peak body the Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) has 2,000 member companies responsible for the construction and maintenance of Australia’s roads, bridges, pipelines, drainage, ports and utilities.

The heavy vehicle fleet in the sector is substantial and therefore CCF is taking a strong interest in the HVNL review, it notes.

Read about the last time the CCF spoke on raod safety, here

"The CCF is calling on all mnisters to adhere to the COAG Guide on Best Practice Regulation for reviewing laws that was agreed to by the Council of Australian Government’s in October 2007 to conduct the review of HVNL," CCF CEO Chris Melham, a former Australian Trucking Association CEO, says.

"This will ensure a nationally consistent approach is used to review HVNL in each jurisdiction, several of which have derogations to the model law in Queensland.

COAG has agreed that all governments will ensure that regulatory processes in their jurisdiction are consistent with the eight principles in the Guide, the first being, establishing a case for action before addressing a problem.

"All heavy vehicle stakeholders from both industry and government should be afforded the opportunity to contribute to the review, including the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator itself.

"The NHVR is the custodian of a wealth of market intelligence in the heavy vehicle industry and it should be afforded the opportunity to put forward recommendations and measures to further improve road safety and industry productivity.

"Overwhelmingly, since the collapse in the mineral resources sector, the biggest driver of the pickup in non-mining civil work has been the rise in transport infrastructure investment, specifically, roads and rail construction."

He notes that analysts at BIS Oxford Economics forecast further growth in publicly funded engineering construction over the next two years as the federal government’s current Infrastructure Investment Program [IIP] meshes with the various state and local government initiatives.

 "Amendments to Heavy Vehicle National Law that can improve civil productivity will lead to greater prosperity for all Australians," Melham says.


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