Transport ministers agree on longer, heavier trucks

Transport ministers have received an update from the National Transport Commission on the Decision Impact Analysis (RIS) that is being prepared.

It will seek decisions on proposed changes to regulations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

Infrastructure and transport ministers at a meeting in Brisbane last week agreed to recommendations providing access for heavy vehicles that are slightly longer and heavier, subject to adequate safety assurances.

The NTC is considering options for increasing general mass limits by up to five per cent, effectively replacing concessional mass limits; and increasing the length of 19 metre vehicles to 20 metres.

Ministers discussed the need for ongoing consideration of road maintenance and resilience, and joint investments that support productivity, liveability and sustainability.

Ministers also requested the NTC undertake a review of the adequacy of licensing and accreditation arrangements for heavy vehicle drivers, and report back to the next meeting of ITMM.

Among those present were Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King, New South Wales Minister for Transport Jo Haylen, Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Danny Pearson, Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Bart Mellish, South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Tom Koutsantonis, Western Australian Ministers for Mines and Petroleum David Michael.

Ministers noted the progress of the Infrastructure Decarbonisation Working Group and Decarbonisation of Transport Working Group to progress their respective workplans and agreed to add active transport to the work plan for the Decarbonisation of Transport Working Group.

“Ministers provided in-principle support for the use of a nationally consistent set of carbon values in the assessment of business cases for transport infrastructure projects over $100 million, with an aspirational commencement date of 1 January 2025,” according to a communique issued following the meeting.

Ministers also approved the Embodied Carbon Measurement for Infrastructure: Technical Guidance, which is reported to offer a nationally consistent approach to measuring embodied emissions in infrastructure projects.

The increasing number of people killed on Australian roads was also tabled as an issue and concerned ministers explored further key issues to drive change.

Ministers agreed that implementing agreed road safety actions should be prioritised and an update provided at the next Infrastructure and Transport Ministers’ Meeting.

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