We want to test new AFM scheme, NT says

Northern Territory transporters should be included in planned trial of new AFM scheme, transport association says

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | February 15, 2013

Northern Territory trucking operators should be included in the planned trial of a new advanced fatigue management (AFM) scheme, the Northern Territory Road Transport Association (NTRTA) says.

NTRTA CEO Louise Bilato says she will write to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), which is due to conduct the trial in Queensland early this year, expressing the need for trials in remote areas.

The NHVR has been working with operators in Queensland, particularly with livestock transporters, on the development of a template-based system to replace the existing AFM scheme.

"We hope that they will allow us to trial that here. It is essential. There should not be any further going down the track without that," Bilato says.

"We want a system that will reduce red tape and make life easier for all road transport industry participants. We have got no confidence at the moment that what is being developed will actually work here because it hasn’t been trialled."

Bilato believes transport and bus tour operators will struggle under any other arrangement put forward.

"We really need to ensure that what’s been promised by the NHVR is what we will get – that is a system that will benefit all Australians and not make it more difficult for parts of Australia," she says.

Under the planned changes, operators will have access to templates to draw upon when putting together their proposed AFM scheme. The move is designed to reduce the significant cost and administrative burden of the existing system.

The NHVR is planning to trial the new fatigue module in a number of jurisdictions before it is introduced, but Queensland is the only state so far that has been named.

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