The COAG Finally reaches an Agreement on National Transport Regulations
The industry has spent the last 20 years lobbying for national truck laws to improve the industry’s safety, productivity and reduce compliance burden.
So on Friday the 19th of August 2011 when COAG signed an intergovernmental agreement which gave the green light to a single set of regulations, this was a huge step forward for the trucking industry. This will be administered by a new Brisbane based National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.
Even though there has been an enormous amount of work to get the bill this far there is still major work ahead for the industry representatives who will work closely with government to make sure the reforms deliver productivity, efficiency and safety for the trucking operators before the reform is fully operational in January 2013.
This will see an end to 110 years of duplication and confusion caused by conflicting regulations and red tape that national truck drivers have been forced to comply with in the course of their daily business. Heavy vehicle operators will no longer have nine separate regulatory regimes to deal with which currently frustrate long distance truck drivers and add to the cost of moving freight around the country.
The industry has had to deal with over two decades of incremental reforms with a number of significant differences between regulatory regimes particularly around compliance standards, driving hours, mass limits and access to the road network. We are now looking forward to one set of modern, nation-wide laws that will simplify the compliance task for trucking operators and lift national productivity as well as boost national income by up to $30 billion over the next 20 years.
It’s about time we don’t have to face different rules each time we cross the border. The trucking industry is a cornerstone of the Australian economy without which our supermarket shelves would quickly empty and much of our exports would remain in the ground, on the farm or at the factory. That is why it is so important to lessen the regulatory burden on operators as well as invest in the infrastructure drivers rely on every day. This announcement has demonstrated all Government leaders are prepared to put the nation’s interest first, finally.
Scheduled to take effect from 1 January 2013, the proposed new national laws apply to all vehicles over 4.5 tonne and it’s finally time we have laws and regulations that support rather than hinder the efforts of truck drivers and owner operators to make a decent living.