The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has backed a Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry recommendation to pass the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018.

“These amendments are important to the safety of trucking businesses and road users and should be brought in as soon as possible” said ATA Chair, Geoff Crouch.

“Together with amendments passed in 2016, the new laws introduce a primary safety duty, extend the chain of responsibility to cover vehicle maintenance and repairs, and impose explicit due diligence obligations on executives,” he said.

The inquiry recommendations match those outlined in an ATA submission, which recommended HVNL amendments should be brought into force as soon as possible.

“These new laws will require customers and trucking businesses to increase their focus on developing systems to maintain safety,” said Crouch.

Additionally, the Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry has recommended a possible review of the HVNL, which backs calls from the ATA and its members for the planned review of the HVNL in 2019 to be brought forward to commence in 2018.

“This review needs to focus on road access approvals and prescriptive fatigue law hours, including work and rest hour tolerances for electronic work diaries,” said Crouch.

“Some trucking operators are facing delays of 80 to 100 days for route permit approvals. The current legislation does not support a modern economy,” he said.

In comments to the Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) have said the current legislation is not fit for purpose and does not allow the NHVR to deliver the reforms they were set up to do.

“Australia has the fifth largest freight task in the world and is essential to the Australian economy,” said Crouch. “It is vital we have the appropriate legislation in place to reflect this.”

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