The National Transport Commission (NTC) has commenced a comprehensive review into the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), with a view to improving national road safety and productivity.
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, welcomed the review commencing, and said the Transport and Infrastructure Council of Federal, State and Territory Ministers recently approved the review’s terms of reference, submitted by the NTC.
“The NTC’s terms of reference reflect the widely held view that the HVNL, in its current form, falls short of being truly national and is overly prescriptive and complicated,” Mr McCormack said.
The NTC appointed a panel of experts in November 2018 to guide the review, chaired by Peter Harris, recent Chairman of the Productivity Commission. The panel also includes President of the South Australian Road Transport Association, Sharon Middleton, and Infrastructure Australia Board Member, Andrew Ethell.
“It is now widely accepted that while the first iteration of the HVNL in 2012 was an improvement on the previous multi-jurisdictional situation, it now needs to be comprehensively overhauled.
“Extensive consultations will be held with stakeholders as part of the review, including trucking industry representatives and related industries, policy and law enforcement agencies, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, all three tiers of government and members of the Australian community.
“To support and help guide the review, an expert panel chaired by the recently retired Chairman of the Productivity Commission, Peter Harris, and including representatives from the trucking industry and Infrastructure Australia, has also been appointed.”
Mr McCormack said the NTC would consider industry feedback and focus its investigation on key priority areas, including safe and efficient access, enhanced fatigue management, accreditation for safer operations and telematics, technology and data.
He said to ensure the views of heavy vehicle operators across the country are taken into account when drafting the replacement legislation, the NTC will undertake consultation with rural and regional stakeholders, as well as those in urban areas.
“The review will complement other Government priorities such as the development of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy and the recently announced National Road Safety Governance review.
“Members of the Transport and Infrastructure Council of Ministers are looking forward to receiving the NTC’s first set of recommendations near the end of this year,” he said.
Mr McCormack said the government has made road safety improvements a key priority in its infrastructure investment plan.
“This $75 billion plan delivers major investments in congestion-busting infrastructure for our cities and in ensuring the safety and efficiency of key links to and within regional Australia are improved for all road users, to a standard that supports the demands of our growing national economy.”
Interested parties can find the terms of reference and further details about the review here.