Logbook reprieve for NSW operators

By: Graham Gardiner


The NSW Government has caved into industry pressure by announcing it will grant a logbook exemption for heavy vehicle drivers

The NSW Government has caved into industry pressure by announcing it will grant a logbook exemption for heavy vehicle drivers in line with the Victorian model.

Newly-appointed Minister for Roads Michael Daley will not enforce local work diary laws, saying drivers will only need to keep records if they operate beyond 100km of their depot.

The move comes as the as spokesperson for Daley says the Government may look at extending the transition phase if the industry needs more time in moving to stringent fatigue management regulations.

The trucking industry has lobbied hard to have an exemption in place, raising concerns of an administrative nightmare if drivers had to fill out a work diary each time they got behind the wheel of a truck.

Daley will also grant logbook exemptions to emergency services, which will not need to fill out a work diary at all.

Primary producers will be granted a 160km exemption, while bus operators will operate under the same measure as the trucking industry.

However, Daley has signalled the exemption may end after a year.

"These exemptions will be in place for 12 months to allow Minister Daley plenty of time to talk to people in the industry about making sure the laws aren’t unduly onerous," a spokesperson for Daley says.

The exemptions form part of the transition period announced by the previous roads minister Eric Roozendaal.

Under the transition phase, drivers can operate up to 14 hours a day for six months, at which point the working hours will be scaled back to 12 hours.

The Government intends on passing the fatigue management measures as a regulation.

According to a spokesperson, Daley approved the regulations today in time for them to commence September 29.

"The minister must table the new regulation in parliament, and parliament can disallow the regulation," the spokesperson says.

Industry groups have welcomed Daley’s decision to pass a 100km exemption, saying it will remove a lot of the red tape associated with moving to fatigue management.

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