NHVR in first enforceable undertaking agreement

Laing O'Rourke to commit $250,000 towards Chain of Responsibility education

NHVR in first enforceable undertaking agreement
The NHVR can opt for an EU in lieu of prosecution


The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from engineering firm Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction (LORAC), the first agreement of its kind for the industry regulator.

The EU stems from an allegation by Transport for New South Wales (TFNSW, formally Roads and Maritime Services, or RMS) that on October 16, 2018 and May 24, 2019 registered heavy vehicles belonging to the firm breached Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) mass requirements.

It details the contraventions as:

  • on October 16 2018 at 11.04am, a registered heavy vehicle operated by LORAC was weighed at Mount White on the Pacific Highway and it is alleged that the weight detected on axle group 1 of that vehicle was 7.88 tonne, 21.2 per cent in excess of the 6.5 tonne weight allowed.
  • on May 24 2019 at 6.42am, a registered heavy vehicle operated by LORAC was weighed at Kankool on the New England Highway vehicle was 26.92 tonnes, 34.6 per cent in excess of the 20-tonne weight allowed.

The EU will see $249,500 contributed to chain of responsibility (COR) education and comprises the following:

  • a commitment that the behaviour that led to the alleged contravention has ceased and will not reoccur
  • a commitment to the on-going effective management of public risks associated with transport activities
  • the delivery of a Chain of Responsibility online training course
  • the delivery of face-to-face Chain of Responsibility training workshops
  • engaging a third-party to conduct a transport safety management system audit.

In the event of an alleged contravention of the HVNL, the NHVR, as an alternative to prosecution, may accept an enforceable undertaking by the party alleged to have committed the contravention.

NHVR is prosecuting a Melbourne firm for COR breaches

In a statement, NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says the EU is an appropriate alternative to prosecution in the circumstances, as, while the alleged offences were of the highest risk category, there was no manifestation of this risk to public safety, road infrastructure or the environment.

"The value of the EU is significantly in excess of any penalty a court would impose and are likely to achieve significant safety improvements to the local heavy vehicle industry, the wider supply chain and the broader community," Petroccitto says.

"Proper education and training around overmass vehicles lessens the impact on infrastructure and make our roads safer for everyone.

"While these offences are always concerning we have been able to achieve a positive outcome here that will benefit all parties."

LORAC general manager of rail operations Conor Hanlon says the firm is pleased with the outcome agreed between the parties.

"We understand the serious nature of these alleged offences and appreciate that the NHVR worked with us in a collaborative way to reach a positive solution.

"The enforceable undertaking will ultimately offer more benefits than an imposed penalty and we look forward to delivering each element of the agreement to the highest standard possible."


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