Lobbyists get busy ahead of vote on national regs


Trucking lobby gets busy in the lead-up to Friday's government meeting on national heavy vehicle regulations

October 31, 2011

The trucking lobby is getting busy in the lead-up to Friday’s government meeting on national heavy vehicle regulations.

In its weekly newsletter to its members, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says it, NatRoad, the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) and the ATA NSW met NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay last week to press the case for national regulations.

The Victorian Transport Association, the ALRTA and Linfox also met Victoria’s Roads Minister Terry Mulder, while the Queensland Trucking Association and the ATA briefed Queensland Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) will meet on November 4 to vote on the first of the two bills to establish the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and uniform regulations.

The first bill is expected to go through Queensland’s parliament before the end of the year to legislate the regulations. The second bill will amend unresolved issues.

Among the 849 issues the ATA claims need to be amended before national regulations begin, ATA Chairman David Simon says the trucking lobby is trying to persuade governments to amend the reverse onus of proof on transport offences.

"We have particularly urged ministers to change the liability in the bill of corporate officers, sole traders and partners for road transport offences, so they are innocent until proven guilty," he says in the ATA’s newsletter.

"We have also said that road asset managers like local governments should be more accountable for their access decisions."

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese last week personally invited representatives from the ATA, the ALRTA and the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) to attend the SCOTI meeting.

ALRTA Executive Director Philip Halton touted the move as a "pleasing piece of leadership" from Albanese and a sign he is focused on government and industry working together on national regulations.

National regulations are designed to begin on January 1, 2013. The regulator will be based in Queensland with offices throughout Australia.

Queensland will be responsible for passing legislation, with the other states and territories then introducing similar laws to ensure national uniformity. National regulations will cover key areas including compliance and enforcement, registration, fatigue management and access conditions.

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