National heavy vehicle regulations overdue

The national regulation of heavy vehicles is the most overdue transport reform since Bob Hawke established the National Road Transport Commission in 1991, the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese, told February’s Australian Transport Council meeting (ATC08).

“I and my state and territory colleagues laid the groundwork to build a truly national transport policy,” Albanese says.

“When transport ministers sat down again this month we built on this early work by agreeing to take a historic first step towards a truly national transport system.”

“The next step will be for ministers to consider proposals on a number of key issues when we next meet in July. These include:

  • a single national system for the regulation of heavy vehicles, including registration and licensing,
  • the establishment of a National Road Safety Council.

“The ludicrous situation where heavy vehicles that move freight across our state borders are faced with different rules, registration charges, fatigue regulations and enforcement regimes must be brought to an end.”

“The new transport policy will deliver fresh momentum to productivity reforms such as the wider adoption of Performance Based Standards, Higher Mass Limits and expanding the B-Triple network,” Albanese says.

“We can save time and money if we can deliver improved productivity and expand these higher productivity freight routes right to the ports and networks.”

But Mr Albanese warns that higher productivity is linked to heavy vehicle charges.

“Put simply, without the right level of cost recovery from industry there will not be appropriate investment in road networks by governments, particularly to undertake the necessary upgrades to enable heavier and larger trucks on the roads,” he says.

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