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Work diary exemption for truck drivers extended to Victoria

State catches up with neighbours in cutting red tape on short-haul trips


Truck drivers in Victoria will soon be exempted from filling out a work diary when transporting livestock over short distances, similar to what is in place for drivers in other jurisdictions.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has brokered a deal with Victoria to extend a work diary exemption currently in place in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

It will take effect on October 5. The exemption excuses truck drivers from filling out a diary if they are transporting livestock to or from farms within a 160km radius of their base.

The NHVR says the exemption reduces paperwork and allows drivers to concentrate on the task at hand.

“This exemption will bring Victoria in line with practices in the ACT, NSW, Queensland, SA and Tasmania and allow drivers to focus on delivering primary produce more efficiently for the benefit of the entire community,” NHVR executive director of productivity and safety Geoff Casey says.

Drivers still need to comply with work and rest hour requirements under fatigue management laws.

“This exemption simply reduces the burden of physically carrying a written work diary while undertaking this specific task,” Casey says.

The Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria (LRTAV) has welcomed the exemption and says it will benefit local operators and those travelling short distances over the borders with NSW and SA.

“The work diary exemption reduces the unnecessary red tape burden on low-risk rural carriers and allows them to focus on the job at hand,” LRTAV president John Beer says.

“Victoria is not an island. There is no reason why our rules should be different from adjoining states and I am very pleased that a common sense outcome has prevailed.”

Victoria initially resisted adopting the exemption due to concerns it would undermine fatigue management laws.

The peak body representing livestock transporters, the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA), says it has been working with the NHVR and jurisdictions to secure the exemption.

“The NHVR has shown great leadership to broker a harmonised outcome without having to resort to a lowest common denominator approach,” ALRTA president Grant Robins says.

“This outcome bodes well for the capacity of the NHVR to deliver nationally consistent reforms on other issues in future.”

Victoria’s decision means the exemption is now in place in all jurisdictions that recognise the NHVR.


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