Roads congress to tackle heavy vehicle reform impacts

HVCI to present at Alice Springs event as the organisation continues with national consultations

August 12, 2013

Heavy vehicle reforms and their implications for local councils are to be the focus of this year’s National Roads Congress.

Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment (HVCI) Project Director Meena Naidu will present at the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA)-organised event to be held in Alice Springs on November 12-14.

Naidu will participate in panel sessions in open forums and will address issues surrounding compensated for the provision of roads frequented by heavy vehicles.

It will likely be the second HVCI Reform-related visit to Alice Springs this year, with a focus group meeting due there next month.

The HVCI project team is in the midst of national consultations with recent meetings having occurred last month in Townsville and Adelaide.

The team reports north Queensland operators raising issues including that dirt roads require high maintenance; severe weather conditions affect access and service levels of local roads; and heavy vehicles are not in operation all year round because of seasonal freight transport operations.

Points raised included the need for a more coordinated approach to road planning involving three levels of government and the industry to ensure the roads meet their present and future needs, along with concerns about registration fees impacting cash flow for smaller operators and the need for efficient spending on roads, including those for remote services.

South Australian industry participants at the Adelaide underlined the need for certainty and stability in charges and sought greater appreciation of the industry’s limitations as price-takers in regards to recovering cost when charges fluctuate.

High on their agenda were questions on the technical capability and operating costs of proposed in-vehicle technology used in regional and remote areas, as well as the need for a transitional plan for any reforms.

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