Heavy Vehicle National Law and Regulations

Background

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) administers one set of laws (the HVNL) for heavy vehicles over 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass. The HVNL consists of the Heavy Vehicle National Law* and four sets of regulations.

The HVNL commenced on 10 February 2014 in the Australian Capital Territory**, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. Each of them passed a law that either adopts or duplicates the HVNL (with some modifications) as a law of that State or Territory.

Although the HVNL has not commenced in Western Australia or the Northern Territory at this time, the HVNL applies equally to vehicles from those jurisdictions when they cross into one of the states or territories where the HVNL applies. In some cases, drivers may also need to comply with certain aspects of the HVNL before they cross the border (eg. work diary requirements).

*The HVNL is the schedule to the Heavy Vehicle National Law Act 2012 (Qld).

**Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the HVNL (Speeding, Driver Fatigue, Intelligent Access Program and Accreditation) do not apply in the ACT.

Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL)

The Heavy Vehicle National Law indicative reprint (PDF) shows what the HVNL looks like now that the amendments have commenced. This reprint is indicative only and an authorised version of the amended HVNL will be published shortly.

HVNL Regulations

Major legislative changes commenced 1 October 2018

This document introduces judicial officers and legal practitioners to the components of the HVNL, its jurisdictional operation, key concepts, and available penalty orders.

Amendments that commenced on 1 October 2018 reformulate the CoR obligations on a party as an overarching and positive duty of care, consistent with the duty of care approach adopted in other safety laws, such as the Model Work Health and Safety Act.

Application laws of the states and territories

Each state and territory covered by the HVNL has passed legislation that modifies some aspects of the HVNL for that state or territory.

Jurisdiction Act Regulations
ACT Heavy Vehicle National Law (ACT) Act 2013 Heavy Vehicle National Law (ACT) (Transitional Provisions) Regulation 2014
NSW Heavy Vehicle (Adoption of National Law) Act 2013 Heavy Vehicle (Adoption of National Law) Regulation 2013
Queensland Heavy Vehicle National Law Act 2012 (Qld) Heavy Vehicle National Law Regulation 2014
South Australia Heavy Vehicle National Law (South Australia) Act 2013 Heavy Vehicle National Law (South Australia) (Expiation Fees) Regulations 2013
Heavy Vehicle National Law (South Australia) (Fees) Regulation 2013
Tasmania Heavy Vehicle National Law (Tasmania) Act 2013 Heavy Vehicle National Law (Tasmania) Regulations 2014
Victoria Heavy Vehicle National Law Application Act 2013 Heavy Vehicle National Law Application (Infringements) Regulations 2013

FAQs

Does the HVNL apply to heavy vehicle transport activities on private roads?

In some cases, yes.

However, the NHVR’s role as a national coordinator for access management doesn't extend to negotiating access to private roads that aren’t accessible to the public, such as those on mining sites. Under the HVNL, private road managers remain responsible for managing access to their own properties.

Under the HVNL, are there requirements for drivers regarding compliance with third party insurance legislation?

No. Such requirements will only apply when the NHVR begins administering a national heavy vehicle registration system.

You should check with your state or territory road transport authority for requirements that apply.

Who do I talk to about a ticket I received?

State and territory road and transport authorities and police services are still responsible for managing infringement/expiation notices under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). Contact details for the relevant authority should be printed on the back of the infringement notice itself.

Will the NHVR be publishing a list of states and territory HVNL derogations?

Any derogation to HVNL is the responsibility of each state and territory and therefore should be published either on the relevant state/territory’s website or their parliamentary counsel’s website. These derogations are being continually reviewed and advice on their harmonisation will be provided progressively.