WA position "disappointing"


Australian Logistics Council CEO Michael Kilgariff says Western Australia’s rejection of national fatigue regulation and higher mass limits “disappointing"

WA position "disappointing"
WA position “disappointing”

By Anna Game-Lopata | May 20, 2011

Australian Logistics Council (ALC) CEO Michael Kilgariff has expressed disappointment over Western Australia’s rejection of national fatigue regulation and higher mass limits.

Speaking ahead of today’s Australian Transport Council meeting in Alice Springs, Kilgariff says it’s not unexpected that Western Australia has chosen to go it alone.


As reported by SCR yesterday, the WA state government has baulked at adopting the fatigue management schemes used in the eastern states, preferring instead to be "a non-participating jurisdiction".

The government says Western Australian trucking operators will continue working under current high productivity schemes instead of accepting an expansion of higher mass limits (HML).

"WA already has more productive vehicles than those running under HML, so there will be no gains for WA from expanding HML," it says.

Western Australia has also refused to accept the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) in favour of keeping its state-based model in place.

It says the system underpins its fatigue management guidelines, which are more flexible than those implemented in eastern states.

Due to its decision to reject the NHVAS, the government says drivers crossing into Western Australia will still need to be enrolled in multiple accreditation schemes.

However Michael Kilgariff says ALC remains adamant there should be one national law in force in all states and territories across Australia so significant economic benefits can be delivered by eliminating cross-border inconsistencies.


"We hope WA will review its non-participation in the parts of the HVNL it has opted out of once the new risk countermeasure or 'offsets‘ methodology being developed for the Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) system is finalised and released," Kilgariff says.

"This system is aimed at reducing fatigue risk to that commensurate with operating under 'standard hours'."

Kilgariff this week wrote to Federal Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese to re-iterate the importance of obtaining signatures
from all transport ministers for thr Intergovernmental Agreement for the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

He
says today’s meeting will be a critical step towards a single national regulator to administer one set of heavy vehicle laws across the country.

ALC is very concerned that the national regulator will not be deemed a success if a new layer of regulation is created, rather than real national laws with a national approach to compliance and enforcement.

"The draft 2011 Regulatory Impact Statement which was circulated with the draft Heavy Vehicle National Law estimated total gains of $12.4 billion could be available if a national scheme is implemented," Kilgariff's letter says.

"However, for the intended economic benefits to be fully realised, the national laws should be administered by a single National Heavy Vehicle Regulator which has broad powers and full responsibility for the operation of the national laws."

"It is essential therefore that the Heavy Vehicle National Law be an applied law where all states and territories apply the Law that will be passed in Queensland.

"That is the only way a national law can work efficiently and effectively," Kilgariff writes.

He
also pushes for proper funding for the initiative.

"The proposed National Heavy Vehicle Regulator must receive an appropriate level of funding to ensure it is able to carry out the wide range of duties associated with its administration of the Heavy Vehicle National Law," he writes.

"Providing the national regulator with insufficient funding will put at risk this historic national reform and negate the significant economic efficiencies it is intended to achieve."

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