Today marks an historic milestone for the road transport sector in Australia, with the commencement of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australia Capital Territory (ACT).
The new rule book will be overseen by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), which opened for business just over one year ago, initially managing the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) and Performance-Based Standards (PBS) design and vehicle approvals.
NVHR CEO, Richard Hancock said the commencement of the HVNL national rule book has effectively replaced up to six different sets of legislation.
“This is a significant step in our evolution as a one-stop-shop for heavy vehicle road transport business with government” said Mr Hancock.
“With one rule book under one Regulator, we can now offer a much broader range of services previously delivered by state road authorities and the ACT Government.
Mr Hancock said he was also very grateful for the continued support of the heavy vehicle industry, which has been behind this reform since its early days.
“From today, 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,” said Mr Hancock.
The NHVR will continue to manage NHVAS and PBS, but is now responsible for :
- heavy vehicle access permit applications (including access applications for PBS-approved vehicles)
- heavy vehicle standards modifications and exemption permits
- an updated and improved national driver work diary
- a new risk classification system for advanced fatigue management
- one set of national notices
- one set of national fees for NHVR services
- one set of national penalties
Mr Hancock said the NHVR had been working closely with state and territory road transport authorities, local government and police agencies to support them with their preparations for the new national law.
“It has taken a national effort to bring the national rule book together and I sincerely thank our partners for their commitment to achieving this important step towards the vision of a single, national regulatory system for Australia’s heavy vehicle industry,” said Mr Hancock.
Even with the commencement of the new rule book, some aspects of heavy vehicle regulation will still stay the same:
- for heavy vehicle registration and licensing laws, road rules, pilot and escorts, and laws about the carriage of dangerous goods, operators should still deal with the relevant state or ACT Government department
- state and territory police and authorised officers employed by states and the ACT will continue to enforce heavy vehicle offences under the new national law
- legal and court processes will largely remain as they are
- all existing approved vehicle examiner schemes will continue to be managed by each road transport authority.
For more information on how to do business with the NHVR, operators can visit the NHVR website www.nhvr.gov.au or contact 1300 MYNHVR (1300 696 487).
Jurisdictional commencement of the HVNL
- The ACT will not commence the fatigue, IAP, speeding or NHVAS provisions of the HVNL at this time.
- Tasmania will not commence the fatigue provisions of the HVNL at this time.
- The Northern Territory (NT) and Western Australia (WA) will not commence the new national law at this time.