NatRoad puts onus on ministers over national regulations

NatRoad President Geoff Crouch puts the onus on transport ministers to ensure trucking isn’t lumped with "second rate" national regulations

November 3, 2011

NatRoad’s fresh-faced president has put the onus on transport ministers to ensure the trucking industry isn’t lumped with "second rate" national regulations.

Geoff Crouch, who took over earlier this year from Rob McIntosh, issued a plea to decision makers ahead of the Standing Committee on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) meeting tomorrow.

SCOTI is due to vote on the Bill to establish national heavy vehicle regulations, which will underpin the creation of the Queensland-based National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

Crouch wants the meeting to endorse the Bill on the condition that subsequent amendment legislation is brought forward prior to the regulations being passed as law.

The second Bill is designed to address industry’s outstanding concerns, which range from access conditions, compliance and enforcement and the ability of the regulator to defer its powers to the states and territories.

Crouch says ministers need to hand more power to the NHVR project office and ensure the work on the amendments is appropriately resourced.

"The only way to resolve the outstanding issues in the short time remaining is for the project office to take full control and for all stakeholders to be represented at the same table, on the same basis, at the same time," he says.

"We can ill-afford to impose second rate laws or risk going backwards under a national system. Now is the time for governments to demonstrate their commitment to getting these laws right prior to commencement."

The first Bill is due to enter Queensland’s parliament before the end of the year, with national regulations beginning on January 1, 2013. The amendment Bill is scheduled to be introduced in mid 2012.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese recently invited representatives from the Australian Trucking Association, the Australian Logistics Council and the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association to attend the SCOTI meeting.

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