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NT happy with wait and see approach on national regs

Northern Territory Road Transport Association says operators are sceptical about national heavy vehicle regulations

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | November 26, 2013

Northern Territory operators will keep a close eye on national regulations when the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) begins in February next year, the Northern Territory Road Transport Association (NTRTA) says.

NTRTA Executive Officer Louise Bilato says operators are sceptical about the regulations but are pleased that no date has been set for when the NT will adopt the reforms.

The NHVR will take full effect in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia on February 10, more than a year after it was due to launch.

No date has been set for the Australian Capital Territory and NT, while Western Australia will not be signing up to national regulations.

“We are sceptical to how we will see direct flow on benefits,” Bilato says.

“For example, we get our permits approved within 24 hours.

“We’ve got personal relationships with the motor vehicle registry staff members so it’s not a big thing to actually get permits here,” she adds.

“Our compliance and enforcement regime in the Territory on many occasions isn’t about big stick where the police are tipping out road transport operators all the time.”

She says operators are hoping it will be at least a year until the Territory follows the eastern states in adopting national regulations.

Many councils in the Territory are yet to talk to the regulator about permits and last-mile issues, she adds.

“We want to play a bit of wait and see because we can’t afford for our operators to be having to change the way they do business and then change it again,” Bilato says.

“If the permit system online becomes really easy for our operators who are moving equipment interstate and the cost of permits is going to be very reasonable, then people will start to embrace things and start to see it in a positive way but if it’s expensive, troublesome, slow and delayed then everybody would want the old regime back.”

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