NSW national regs bill wins unanimous support


Bill to implement national heavy vehicle regulations in NSW passes Legislative Council, amid hope the reforms will end "forum shopping"

NSW national regs bill wins unanimous support
NSW national regs bill clears first hurdle with unanimous support
By Brad Gardner | June 19, 2013

A bill to enact national heavy vehicle regulations in New South Wales has been despatched to the Legislative Assembly for debate, amid hope the reforms will end "forum shopping" among trucking operators.

The State’s Legislative Council yesterday voted unanimously in favour of the Heavy Vehicle (Adoption of National Law) Bill, which has now gone to the Lower House to be voted on.

The Opposition, the Christian Democratic Party and the Greens supported the Bill, with the latter seeing a consistent set of rules as an opportunity to prevent the practice of operators hunting around to find the jurisdiction with the least onerous conditions.

"It is hoped that a national approach will see the end of forum shopping and what has sadly been a race to the bottom in terms of fair registration fees that cover the cost of the damage that heavy vehicles do to our roads," Greens MP David Shoebridge says.

"It is further hoped that it will end the historical race to the bottom in terms of the lack of regulation in some jurisdictions which seek to attract heavy vehicle registrations. They do so not to fairly reflect the number of heavy vehicles that operate within that state or territory but to reap the benefits of the registration fees."

The Christian Democratic Party’s Paul Green says national regulations, to be overseen by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), will improve intelligence sharing to allow for more targeted enforcement activities.

Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay says the Bill will apply the model Heavy Vehicle National Law, which has been enacted in Queensland and Victoria to date.

Gay referred to a new-look advanced fatigue management scheme, applications to improve operator efficiency and regulatory consistency as positives under the new regime, which will take effect on September 1.

"All of this should lead to a reduction in regulatory inconsistencies that currently plague operators and significantly add to the costs of doing business," he says.

"The regulator will work on behalf of operators with cross-border businesses and local government to ensure a single permit with a straightforward set of operating conditions to cover each applicable jurisdiction."

The NHVR is currently operating in Queensland but its responsibilities are limited to looking after Performance Based Standards (PBS) and the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS).

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