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ATA slams slow HVNL review

Australian Trucking Association’s alternate Road Transport Act could spell the end of work diaries


Work diaries could be abolished if the Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) draft Road Transport Act policy becomes law.

The ATA is pushing to break the stalemate in the National Transport Commission’s review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) by drafting the Road Transport Act. The act would replace the current HVNL.

In a statement on its website, the ATA says the lack of progress with the HVNL review is disappointing.

“The word ‘circus’ conjures up images of colourful clowns, trapeze artists and popcorn,” the ATA says.

“However, to the trucking industry, the word ‘circus’ is what they’re using to describe the National Transport Commission’s review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

“The review has dragged on since 2018 and there’s no end in sight. So many of us have made submission after submission and yet there’s been no movement at all.

“To say it’s disappointing is an absolute understatement.

“The ATA could easily just sit on the sidelines and complain about the situation. However, we’ve decided to take action and introduce a circuit breaker.

“We have drafted an alternative policy for comment and negotiation. This proposed policy is called the Road Transport Act, which would replace the Heavy Vehicle National Law.”

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The ATA says the draft policy has a number of important proposals, including key measures to tackle fatigue management. Under the draft policy, every business operating trucks would need to address driver fatigue in its safety management system (SMS).

The regulations would set out maximum work hours for non-certified businesses. Certified businesses could exceed that level with appropriate risk controls.

Businesses would be required to keep records of driver work hours. They would not need to use official work diaries. Minor fatigue/work diary offences would be eliminated.

Long term fitness for duty would be handled through the licensing system. All heavy vehicle drivers would be required to have regular medicals against fit for purpose medical standards.

ATA chief of staff, Bill McKinley recently briefed the ATA Council this week about the draft policy.

The ATA has also briefed the National Transport Commission (NTC) and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

Additionally, the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) met with recently appointed independent consultant on the HVNL Review, Ken Kanofski.

The ALRTA National Council will consider progress of the review and policy options on April 8.

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