Regulations a significant problem

A new report from the Australian Government’s Productivity Commission has called on state and territory governments to do more to eliminate inconsistencies in their road transport regulations.

The report reviews the regulatory burden on Australia’s primary industries.

It confirms that road transport regulations are a significant problem for farmers who use heavy vehicles and trucking companies that carry agricultural freight.

According to the report, the issues of particular concern are:

• the differences in volumetric loading rules between jurisdictions.

• the regulatory processes for road vehicles and loads that fall outside mass and dimension limits.

• overly prescriptive mass and dimension regulations.

• the costs imposed on businesses by the chain of responsibility and fatigue management rules in relation to heavy vehicles.

The report noted there were arrangements in place to address the inconsistencies in road transport regulation, but warned that the lack of implementation and inconsistent implementation by the states and territories remained a significant problem.

ATA CEO Stuart St Clair says the report should be a wake up call for the state and territory governments.

“The ATA strongly supported the National Farmers Federation’s submission to this report, which identified a host of inconsistencies and regulatory problems,” St Clair says.

“The state and territory governments have got to wake up to themselves and start delivering reforms that are actually useful, so we can improve our productivity and reduce costs for farmers, businesses and consumers.

“In 2008, the Productivity Commission will be doing a regulatory burden review that examines road transport more generally, as well as the other parts of the distributive sector and manufacturing.

The ATA will be making a detailed submission to this review,” St Clair says.

The report, Annual Review of Regulatory Burdens on Business – Primary Sector, can be downloaded from

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