Heavy Vehicle National Law delayed to September

Australia’s transport ministers have announced that the move to national heavy vehicle regulations will be postponed until 1 September 2013 – effectively delaying the national installation of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

The original plan was to have the new body up and running across the country by 1 January this year, but the date was pushed back to July to give the states and territories more time to implement the Heavy Vehicle National Law (NHVL) and complete the necessary training.

Once implemented, the new law will replace up to eight different sets of legislation with one national rulebook. So far, however, only Queensland’s Government has passed the law, while Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia are still to finalise the process. WA will not take part on the national scheme.

Despite the delay, NHVR CEO Richard Hancock is looking forward to see “the most significant heavy vehicle road transport reform the nation’s ever seen” become reality.

“One rule book under one regulator will cut costs and red tape for more than 50,000 specialised road freight businesses, as well as bus transport operators, across the country,” he said.

“Operators will see streamlined and practical operations and regulation for heavy vehicle access, accreditation and fatigue management, all matters that impact on the day-to-day business of heavy vehicle operators, large and small.

“We are particularly committed to more flexible, practical fatigue management arrangements and with Minister’s backing last week, we are now moving to introduce a national pilot later this year.”

Based in Brisbane, the NHVR officially commenced work in January and is currently responsible for Performance Based Standards (PBS) and the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS). From September, it will also organise fatigue management, chain of responsibility and heavy vehicle access permits on a national level.

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