Joyce pledges to address industry’s NTC concern

By: Rob McKay


Proper HVNL reform consultation seen as ‘imperative’

Joyce pledges to address industry’s NTC concern
Barnaby Joyce

 

Federal transport minister and deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce will raise industry concerns with the National Transport Commission (NTC) over its handling of the Heavy Vehicle National Law reform process.

Federal and state industry bodies loosened a broadside at the national freight policy body on Friday, with the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) seeking a complete restart, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) raising the possibility of the industry walking away from the process altogether and the South Australia Road Transport Association (SARTA) stating that the industry was being crimped in the process and that the goals of the reform were being sidelined.

"The deputy prime minister takes the concerns raised by the National Road Transport Association and other heavy vehicle industry stakeholders very seriously," a ministerial spokesperson told ATN.

"The aim of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) Safety and Productivity Program, which infrastructure and transport ministers approved in May this year, is to deliver a simpler, risk-based law that increases safety and productivity.

"The Safety and Productivity Program comprises six key reform areas, spanning technology and data, duties and driver health, fatigue management, vehicles and access, the operator assurance scheme, and legislative approach. 

"Final legislation is expected to be presented to infrastructure and transport ministers in mid-2023, after the program has wrapped up.

"It is imperative industry is consulted along the way to ensure an updated law best meets the needs of the industry and the aims agreed by transport and infrastructure ministers.

"The safety of heavy vehicle workers in all areas of the industry is a top priority, with reforms to also focus on bolstering productivity to strengthen the industry into the future.

"The Safety and Productivity Program needs to be informed by real-world experience.

"Over the next few months, the National Transport Commission will hold industry workshops not just on fatigue management, but also on vehicles and access, duties and driver health, operator assurance and technology and data.

"The Australian government will raise the National Road Transport Association’s and industry’s concerns directly with the National Transport Commission."


Read the Nindustry response to Joyce's move, here


The NTC sought to reassure the industry earlier this week that it was viewed as a crucial participant in the process and the NTC had not finalised a position on aspects of the reform.

However, NTC CEO and commissioner Dr Gillian Miles’ response did not directly address the industry criticism.

 

 

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