The Victorian Government has amended its counting time rules to bring them into line with Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. The four states now have a uniform approach to counting work and rest time for fatigue purposes, after a campaign by the ATA and its members.
The CEO of the Victorian Transport Association, Philip Lovel AM, welcomes the amendment. “We have had a number of drivers from VTA member companies caught out by the differing rules on counting work time which have existed between NSW and Queensland on the one hand, and SA and Victoria on the other since the new fatigue laws were introduced in 2008. We are glad that this amendment will help to remove this confusion for drivers,” he said.
In June, Australia’s transport ministers agreed to adopt the Queensland and New South Wales approach to counting time. Under this approach, time must be counted forward:
- from the end of a relevant major rest break if one or more major rest breaks are relevant to the time period; or
- in any other case, from the end of a relevant period of rest time.
The Victorian amendments took effect on Tuesday 8 November, two days ahead of the South Australian amendments, which were officially made on 27 October but did not come into force until yesterday. The industry's tightly co-ordinated campaign began in April 2010, when the ATA Safety Committee called on the NTC to develop consistent time counting rules.