Heavy vehicle drivers transporting primary produce in Victoria have been delivered a sensible outcome that cuts paperwork while balancing the safety considerations of drivers and other road users.
Under an exemption to come into force from 5 October, heavy vehicle drivers transporting primary produce to or from 'the farm gate' will no longer have to keep a National Driver Work Diary if travelling or working less than 160km from their base.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and the Victorian Government have worked together to harmonise regulations relating to driver work diaries for primary producers, boosting freight productivity for the state.
NHVR Executive Director, Productivity and Safety, Geoff Casey said industry had been calling for the extension of the National Primary Production Work Diary Exemption to Victoria to provide consistency and reduce red tape.
"This exemption will bring Victoria in line with practices in the ACT, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania and allow drivers to focus on delivering primary produce more efficiently for the benefit of the entire community.
"The transport of primary produce is a crucial part in our growing freight task, particularly during seasonal harvest."
Mr Casey said the exemption does not excuse drivers from complying with stringent requirements relating to fatigue.
"This exemption simply reduces the burden of physically carrying a written work diary while undertaking this specific task."
Highlighting the invaluable role of a national regulator in taking successful state-based initiatives and ensuring they are implemented across the country, Mr Casey said the move has been strongly supported by the heavy vehicle industry.
"This will not only greatly benefit Victorian farmers and their transport providers but many communities just across the border in NSW and South Australia."
A copy of the exemption notice can be found at www.nhvr.gov.au/national-notices.
Fraser Thomas | 0419 092 510