The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has concluded a review of Improvement Notices issued to Forbes Shire Council and Dubbo Regional Council by Roads and Maritime Services NSW (RMS) under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).
NHVR Executive Director Statutory Compliance Ray Hassall said that the NHVR had provided the councils with guidance about their responsibilities as Loading Managers under Chain of Responsibility legislation.
“Saleyards are an incredibly important part of our regional economies and we want to work with councils to ensure they remain productive,” Mr Hassall said.
“However, we must also ensure we are keeping all road users and transport workers safe.”
The review concluded that, in the circumstances, the requirement to install and operate a fixed weighing system goes beyond the scope of what is reasonably required under the HVNL.
The decision also instructs the councils to conduct routine compliance observations in order to ensure that top deck loading is done safely, including requiring stock agents to pay attention to the issue.
Mr Hassall said while it was important to note that the notices were issued in response to a specific circumstance, it is clear there is an appetite for additional guidance to be provided about how to meet safety standards under the legislation.
“Accordingly, the NHVR, in conjunction with the relevant stakeholders will seek to better understand these issues, through our Livestock Supply Chain Review,” he said.
“This review will identify the relationships, influence and capabilities of all safety and productivity stakeholders at saleyards with a view to ensuring there is certainty around their regulatory compliance obligations.”
Given the HVNL has been significantly amended since the occurrence of the alleged offences, the notices are restricted exclusively to the circumstances of the relevant alleged overloading offences.