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Industry win in HVNL changes: ATA

Industry applauds as Queensland passes a bill needed to formalise Heavy Vehicle National Law changes


Queensland has passed the first of two bills that will start the process of changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law in all the administrations where it applies.

The Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill introduces changes to the chain of responsibility and heavy vehicle registration processes, Queensland transport minister Mark Bailey said yesterday.

“An extensive consultation program was conducted with industry stakeholders so that all of those involved in the transport of goods by heavy vehicles are aware of their ongoing responsibilities,” Bailey says.

“The changes, which come in from 1 July this year, will allow the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to establish a national operator fleet dataset to support the regulator in performing its functions and delivering future productivity and safety benefits.

“I am confident that the support and guidance that the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is providing to industry will assist them in preparing for these changes.” 

The changes were considered by a Queensland parliamentary committee  earlier this year.

Australian Trucking Association (ATA) chair Geoff Crouch said his organisation and its member associations had advocated for the development and extension of the truck safety laws since 2012, and labelled the news “an important win for the industry”.

“These new laws mean customers and trucking businesses have to focus on developing and maintaining appropriate safety systems,” he said.

Together with amendments passed in 2016, the new laws introduce:

  • a strong general safety duty, including on trucking industry customers
  • the extension of the chain of responsibility concept to cover vehicle maintenance and repairs
  • due diligence obligations on company directors and executives to ensure chain parties comply with their primary safety duty
  • maximum penalty increases for the most serious cases to bring them in line with other national safety laws and
  • the removal of red tape and unnecessary legislative requirements.

One other bill still needs to be passed before the new laws come into effect on October 1 2018. The new laws will apply in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT under a co-operative scheme arrangement.


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