Fed Govt pledges $84.5M for NVES

ROVER wins in budget.

Last night the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King announced $84.5 million in federal funding to support the implementation of the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard.

It also includes provision to improve the functionality of the Road Vehicle Standards Act’s (2018) online portal, ROVER for the operation of New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES).

“Today’s budget announcement is an acknowledgement that the ROVER system needs investment to improve its functionality to be able to regulate the NVES,” said CVIAA President Clive Polley.

“It is hoped that some of this substantial funding will go to improving the underlying system.

“The Commercial Vehicle Industry Association of Australia [CVIAA] has been calling for a system overhaul since 2019, so we encourage the government to allocate part of this funding to fix the underlying system.”

CVIAA has been at the forefront of this advocacy since 2018.

Over many years, the association has contributed to numerous stakeholder roundtables and participated in BETA trials of the pre-launched ROVER system.

Despite undergoing various upgrades, the system has remained unfit for purpose, necessitating a complete system rebuild to meet the needs of industry and the obligations of the government according to Polley.

“This announcement comes at a critical time for industry who has been increasingly frustrated by the system’s lack of functionality that substantially increases business costs and time,” he said.

In a recent letter addressed to Minister King, CVIAA, alongside 49 additional industry stakeholders, including the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA), outlined five key areas for immediate reform as they relate to the ROVER system.

Clive Polley.
Clive Polley, Commercial Vehicle Industry Association Australia President. Image: CVIAA.

The letter recommended the Federal Government:

  • Immediately reinstate case managers within the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts to verbally liaise with the industry on open applications. This should help ease the ongoing backlog of applications and could be achieved at minimal expense.
  • Allocate adequate federal funding to rebuild the ROVER system to meet its stated objectives.
  • Establish a ministerial-led steering committee of select industry participants to inform and guide the system’s rebuild.
  • Conduct the legislated RVSA Implementation Review, as a matter of priority, by an independent organisation, and not as an internal departmental review. Anything less than a comprehensive, external review would carry no credibility with industry.
  • Establish an independent Ombudsman, or other dispute resolution mechanism, to address complaints or outstanding issues related to applications.

CVIAA has called for the Federal Government to utilise this funding in part to ensure a more effective and user-friendly ROVER system that will enhance industry’s capabilities and streamline compliance processes.

“It is critical for a functional and efficient portal that supports the commercial vehicle industry’s operations and regulatory compliance. The united voice, led by the CVIAA, is clear – fix ROVER,” said Polley.

“CVIAA welcomes the funding but will need to work with the Federal Government and its related agencies to ensure the ROVER system meets the needs of both industry and government.”

The Australian Federal Budget, the third delivered by the current Government, offered a range of policy decisions around housing and infrastructure investment.

The renewable energy sector will receive $22.7 billion over the next ten years with $6.7 billion being allocated to hydrogen production tax incentive and a $7 billion critical minerals productive tax incentive.

Around $91.0 million over five years will go to helping skill the new energy workforce for the transition to Net Zero, including capital investment for industry registered training organisations and commitments to expand the clean energy trainer and assessor workforce.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers announced a surplus of $9.3 billion for 2023-24, before the balance will fall into deficit. In 2024-25, the forecast deficit is $28.3 billion.

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