The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has extended a primary producer work diary exemption currently in place for Queensland and New South Wales to drivers in South Australia, NHVR Chief Executive Sal Petroccitto announced today.
"Industry has asked us for consistent work diary practices and less paperwork and we're delivering," said Mr Petroccitto.
"From today, heavy vehicle drivers in South Australia who carry out primary production journeys will no longer have to carry and record information in a National Driver Work Diary if travelling or working under 160km from their base.
"This exemption reduces the paperwork burden in the cab and allows drivers to better focus on the task at hand," Mr Petroccitto said.
South Australia's Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Stephen Mullighan, has welcomed the decision to increase the work diary exemption area from 100km to 160km radius to all South Australian primary producers and their transport providers.
"We've worked closely with the NHVR to ensure this initiative balances safety considerations with the need to reduce red tape and paperwork for South Australia's rural sector," Minister Mullighan said.
"This move has been strongly supported by the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of South Australia, and will be a significant benefit for South Australian primary producers," he said.
Mr Petroccitto highlighted the role of a national Regulator in being able to roll out successful state-based initiatives in other jurisdictions.
"One of the advantages of having a single, national heavy vehicle regulator is the ability to take state-based initiatives with proven gains and resolve cross-border issues to deliver them nationally," Mr Petroccitto said.
"While the ACT is yet to commence the fatigue provisions of the national law, drivers operating under this work diary exemption will be compliant with current ACT laws.
"The exemption will also apply in Tasmania from 30 March 2015, when the fatigue provisions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law will come into effect.
"With this national approach in mind, the NHVR and VicRoads will continue to work together to consider the implications of a 160km primary producer exemption in Victoria," said Mr Petroccitto.
The exemption does not change the hours a driver can work or must rest.
Record keepers for drivers carrying out primary production work must still keep records of work and rest time, as well as a copy of payment records relating to the driver, including time sheet records if the driver is paid according to time at work. These records must be kept at the record location for a period of three years.
All other heavy vehicle drivers are still required to keep and record a work diary for work outside the standard 100km radius, as set out in the Heavy Vehicle National Law.
For more information, call 1300 MYNHVR (1300 696 487) or visit www.nhvr.gov.au/workdiary for advice on recording work and rest times, the National Driver Work Diary and other possible exemptions.