ATA pinpoints productivity and safety in PC reform submission

Association says previous reforms have hindered industry efficiency

ATA pinpoints productivity and safety in PC reform submission
Bill McKinley


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has completed its response to the Productivity Commission’s (PC’s) National Transport Regulatory Reform issues paper, calling for boosted safety and productivity for the transport industry.

In particular, it takes aim at national truck laws and regulatory reforms, saying they have failed to boost trucking industry sector-wide productivity and there must be reform.

The laws were predicted to deliver up to $12.4 billion in economic benefits, but since their introduction in 2014 productivity has gone backward, ATA chief of staff Bill McKinley says.

"This is made clear in the independent report from Deloitte Access Economics that the ATA released in May this year," McKinley adds.

"Fundamental reform is required for road access decisions under the national truck laws, to recognise that local roads are part of a wider network and that decisions to refuse access have significant impact on the economy."

The ATA also calls for the introduction of enforceable standards for access decision-makers, external reviews of decisions, reduced processing times and the expansion of as-of-right access.

"Governments should also adopt supply side road funding reforms that set clear and measurable service level standards when building roads," McKinley says.

Read the submissions of NatRoad and SAFC, here

Improved safety measures are also called upon, calling for governments to better understand why crashes occur and act to increase the use of advanced safety technologies.

"The ATA believes an important step in improving industry safety is to see the introduction of independent, no-blame safety investigations for heavy vehicle crashes," McKinley says.

"All new rigid trucks should be included in the Australian Government’s decision to mandate stability control, and autonomous emergency braking should be mandated for all new trucks.

McKinley adds that governments should also incentivise the purchase and use of new, safer heavy vehicles by removing stamp duty.

"These measures will play a key role improving the safety of hardworking truck drivers and productivity across the industry," he says.

McKinley also highlights the need to protect the productivity of Western Australian and Northern Territory trucking businesses, which operate under their own state laws and not the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

"There is much to be learned from the successful truck laws in Western Australia and the Northern Territory," he said.

"There is no case for extending the HVNL to these states."

The full submission can be read here.

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