Five days in and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is administering the new national law as directed by Australia’s transport ministers.
NHVR CEO, Mr Richard Hancock, said the commencement of the national law on Monday, 10 February, saw new roles and responsibilities come into play for the NHVR, state road authorities and local government.
“One of the key features of the national law is that local governments have taken on a new statutory role where they are now formally part of the permit approval process.
“Under the national law, the NHVR must satisfy itself that a local government has given consent for a heavy vehicle to travel on the local government road, before the permit can be issued.
“This law is intended to ensure safety for all road users and also protection of local governments' road infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.
“This has been a pressure point as some industry sectors are concerned about the timeframes for securing local government consent to permit applications.
“We’ve responded as quickly as possible with transitional arrangements that allow operators to make good use of relationships and previous approvals already in place with local government.
“Our standard process is still available, but any operator who wants to approach a council directly to secure consent can do so and can forward that consent to us with their application,” said Mr Hancock.
Mr Hancock said that the NHVR has a good track record of listening to industry when concerns are flagged.
“I want to thank industry for their continued support this week and in the weeks and the months leading up to commencement of the national law.
“I also want to acknowledge the work of our regulatory partners, state road transport authorities and local governments, who also have responsibilities under the national law,” said Mr Hancock.
The Heavy Vehicle National Law commenced on Monday, 10 February, in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.