Transport operators will soon be able to access a website providing clear and complete details about what licences they are entitled to in each jurisdiction.
The website will also cater to authorities that issue licences, by enabling access to information about what licence an operator is entitled to when applying for a licence in another jurisdiction.
Developed by the Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), the website, www. http://www.licencerecognition.gov.au, allows the user to look up a licence entitlement in another state or territory, based on a currently-held licence.
www.licencerecognition.gov.au also has information on who to contact to apply for a licence.
Operators will still need to apply to the relevant authority, hold a current valid licence, and pay a licence fee, but the website will make it easier for applicants to be certain about what licence they will be issued and what it will cover.
When searching the website, some licence-holders will find that ‘no equivalent licence’ is stated. In these cases, workers can still apply for individual assessment as they have always been able to do.
www.licencerecognition.gov.au provide certainty for workers considering moving between jurisdictions.
Information on equivalent licences is publicly available on this website, which is cross-linked with the websites of state and territory registering authorities.
People considering working in another jurisdiction will now be able to find out the licence for which they are eligible, before they make a decision to move.
In the past, applicants could not easily access this information until after they had applied for registration in another state, and the registering authority had assessed their application. Registering authorities also benefit from the new arrangements.
Previously, applications for mutual recognition were determined on a case-by-case basis. Under the improved arrangements equivalent licences are set out clearly.
The tables of equivalent licences on which this website is based have been developed in close consultation with all relevant registration authorities.
The website and the equivalency tables are an easily accessible and definitive guide for regulators when assessing mutual recognition applications.
National employers with mobile workforces will also benefit from the transparency provided by the new arrangements and the greater ease with which registration authorities will be able to assess mutual recognition applications.
The website is the result of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting of 10 February 2006, at which it was agreed that new measures were required to enable people with trade qualifications to move more freely around Australia, without undergoing additional testing and registration processes.
Under existing mutual recognition arrangements, a person registered in one state or territory is entitled to registration in another jurisdiction where the registered occupation is substantially the same.
More information on how mutual recognition works can be found on the COAG website at http://www.coag.gov.au/recognition.htm.
COAG requested the implementation of full and effective mutual recognition of occupational licences for six priority occupations by 30 June 2007:
- carpenters and joiners,
- refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanics,
- motor mechanics
Since February last year, www.licencerecognition.gov.au has covered the above occupations with other vocationally trained occupations, including transport and Logistics to be addressed by 31 December 2008.
A DEEWR spokesperson tells Logistics Magazine that the website will incorporate transport operators by June 2008.