Australia’s transport ministers have set 10 February 2014 as the start date for the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to administer one heavy vehicle rule book, representing a historic milestone for the road transport sector in Australia.
Ministers agreed that the new Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) will commence in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. In total, this will effectively replace up to five different sets of legislation with one national rule book.
NHVR CEO Richard Hancock welcomed the decision and thanked the ministers for their continued support of this historic reform, which has established a single national authority to oversee heavy vehicle access to the Australian road system.
“We are also very grateful for the continued commitment of the heavy vehicle industry, which has been behind this reform since its early days,” said Mr Hancock.
“The NHVR recently took a very difficult decision to set aside the planned September commencement date, because we knew our IT systems needed more work. We have now done that work and can confidently say we will be ready on 10 February.
“We have also been working closely with our regulatory partners, state and territory road transport authorities, local government and police agencies to support them with their preparations for the new national law,” said Mr Hancock.
Once the HVNL commences, operators will see streamlined and practical operations and regulation for heavy vehicle access, fatigue management and vehicle inspection standards, as well as more consistent on-road compliance and enforcement outcomes; all matters that impact on the day-to-day business of heavy vehicle operators, large and small.
Ministers also agreed to initiate work on three measures arising from the recent tragic heavy vehicle incident at Mona Vale, New South Wales, agreeing to:
- a review of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme, to be led by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator;
- bring forward to 2013-14 the National Transport Commission’s scheduled review of heavy vehicle inspection regimes; and
- expedite consideration of the introduction of mandatory requirements for Electronic Stability Control on all new heavy vehicle trailers carrying dangerous goods.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the National Transport Commission will coordinate the reviews of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme and vehicle inspection regimes through a joint project management committee.
Based in Brisbane, the NHVR currently manages National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) services and Performance-Based Standards (PBS) design and vehicle approvals.
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