Give national regulator powers over CoR and Police: ALTA

Livestock transporters push to give NHAV teeth as best chance for national uniformity of regulation and enforcement

By Rob McKay | March 8, 2011

The Australian Livestock Transporters Association (ALTA) wants the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) powers to include Chain of Responsibility (CoR) and state police enforcement.

In a bold call, ALTA National President David Smith is seeking NHVR control over CoR investigations and prosecutions.

"We’re looking for a national CoR investigator which has the expertise, accountability, and willpower to examine the practices of any customer, any corporation, any consignor and any consignee," Smith says.

"The Regulator has to have the skills to mount sophisticated CoR investigations into off-road parties.

"It has to be independent, and it has to be legally obliged to scrutinise major corporations if that proves necessary, no matter how powerful or influential that corporation may be.

"Our message is very simple: chasing trucks up and down the road is too often just chasing the symptom, not the cause.

"If the Regulator is really going to change things, it has to have the direct power to go after the causes.

"The new Regulator has to make the Chain of Responsibility really deliver on how it has always been promised to work."

ALTA want the NHVR to be the single source of guidance for operators or a freight customers so they comply with their obligation to ‘take all reasonable steps’.

The association also want to make state police forces accountable to it for roadside enforcement to ensure uniformity.

Without that, it believes, the industry will remain prey to the present fractured state-based scene.

Smith acknowledges that authorities had indicated them idea was not viewed favourably but says that this initial response was weakening.

"We’ve told government outright that they have to find an appropriate but effective way for the Regulator to bring the Police under its wing," Smith says.

"We want a guarantee that the Police will be enforcing the laws using the same standards, methods and procedures that the transport inspectors will be using once the Regulator is set up."

Meanwhile, the associations desires regulatory movement on:

· a flexible fatigue management scheme for livestock and rural transport

· legal recognition to drivers and operators who are accredited

· a single national roadworthy system

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