Action must be taken on transport reform, ATA says

Transport ministers need to use today's ATC meeting to endorse a new framework for trucking, ATA says

November 6, 2009

The nation’s transport ministers are being urged to use today’s Australian Transport Council meeting to endorse a new regulatory framework for the trucking industry.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says the industry wants the ATC to agree to a national heavy vehicle regulator and regulations to overhaul cross-border differences.

The ATC is meeting today, and ATA Chairman Trevor Martyn says a single system will improve the industry’s productivity by scrapping the eight different sets of regulations and nine registration systems.

He says changes may also improve safety by implementing consistent fatigue management and chain of responsibility laws, better targeted enforcement practices and the introduction of new safer vehicle combinations.

However, he adds that the laws must be easy to understand and easier to comply with.

"The whole process has to deliver better outcomes for the trucking industry and for safety. There must be a no disadvantage test, so no trucking operator is adversely affected by the implementation of uniform laws," Martyn says.

The ATA also wants national laws to include a provision allowing local, regional and state-based variations to improve productivity and for operators and associations to have a say in the process.

"There must also be arrangements in place to ensure that Australia’s road agencies and police forces enforce the uniform laws as intended, as well as extensive consultation with the ATA and its member associations," Martyn says.

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