Qld to host national regulator


Queensland will become the host jurisdiction for the national heavy vehicle regulator

Qld to host national regulator
Qld to host national regulator

February 25, 2010

Queensland will become the host jurisdiction for the national heavy vehicle regulator.

Once set up, this new regulator will be responsible for putting in place nationwide rules and regulations for all vehicles over 4.5 tonnes, including inspection standards, safe driving hours, mass limits and registration. It is proposed all reforms will be fully implemented by 2013.

Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says the move from state-based to national regulations will improve the safety and productivity of the trucking industry.

"For example, at the moment an interstate truck driver must comply with all the regulations that apply in each of the jurisdictions they drive through.

"Even small differences can create extra costs, red tape and confusion for the trucking industry, particularly for the many ‘mum and dad’ operators," he says.

This announcement follows the December decision of COAG to make the Australian Maritime Safety Authority – based in Canberra – the national regulator of all commercial vessels operating in Australian waters and appoint South Australia the host jurisdiction for the national rail safety regulator.

"This is an important step in a vital micro economic reform to the way Australia regulates our vital transport sector," he adds.

"The governments of Australia are working together to put in place a seamless national economy – an outcome that will lift national productivity and allow transport operators to get products onto supermarkets shelves and our exports to market at the lowest cost."

The decision has been welcomed by key industry groups.

President Rob McIntosh says while NatRoad, as a national organisation, was focussed on the outcome of streamlining regulations for heavy vehicles, it welcomes Queensland as the host jurisdiction.

"Queensland has long been recognised as taking a progressive and constructive approach to the heavy vehicle sector, and we look forward to the positive lead role they will have in the establishment of this important regulatory development," he says.

Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) CEO Peter Garske describes the announcement as the single most important decision taken for all Australian trucking operators since the commencement of road reform by the then National Road Transport Commission in 1989.

"This decision is a significant step in the delivery of national economic reform through policy coordination and the provision of industry incentives, adopted by the Prime Minister and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)," he says.

"Notwithstanding the decision taken by COAG and implemented by the ATC to establish a single national regulator, delay in determining the host state was creating uncertainty in the industry.

"That uncertainty has now been removed and the road freight industry stakeholders can look forward to active engagement in establishment of the heavy vehicle regulator in Queensland."

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