NHVR to take on responsibility for Tasmanian heavy haulage permits

Photography by: Brad Gardner


National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will next month take over processing of all oversize/overmass permits.

NHVR to take on responsibility for Tasmanian heavy haulage permits
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says the regulator has the capacity to track and report on all permit applications.

 

Trucking operators in Tasmania will soon need to lodge heavy haulage permit applications with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

Starting May 4, the NHVR will begin managing applications for all oversize/overmass, agricultural and special vehicle permits from start to finish.

The move marks a return to processes that were in place when the regulator began full operations early last year and signals the improvements the agency has made to fix the problems that plagued it.

"This is a return to standard operations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law following consultation with the Tasmanian Department of State Growth," NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says.

"We have significantly boosted our capacity to track and report on all classes of permit applications at every stage of the process. We plan to offer that real-time visibility to all participants in the process, including heavy haulage operators."

Trucking operators currently apply to the NHVR for oversize/overmass permits, but applications are then sent to the Department of State Growth to look after.

Once the department approves an application, the NHVR then issues the appropriate permit to the trucking operator.

Department of State Growth general manager Penny Nicholls says the existing arrangement was a temporary measure to help the NHVR and that shifting full responsibility to the regulator allows the department to focus on other priorities.

Petroccitto says the NHVR is grateful for the support it received from the Department of State Growth, which included sending staff to the regulator’s office.

He says the NHVR is aiming to allow trucking operators to track the progress of their permit applications via the NHVR’s website.

A trial of the online tracking tool is currently underway.

Tasmania’s trucking industry has welcomed the news that permit responsibilities will be shifted back to the NHVR.

"This is a sensible approach to managing heavy haulage vehicles in Tasmania and the Tasmanian Transport Association (TTA) welcomes all measures that simplify the permit process and allow operators to concentrate on what they do best – transporting goods across Tasmania," TTA executive director Robin Phillips says.

"Excellent progress has been made so far, but we still have a bit of work to do to ensure a smooth permit process for the transport operators."

Phillips says the association looks forward to working with the NHVR and the Tasmanian Government to further improve the heavy vehicle permit process.

Petrocitto says the NHVR is focused strongly on gaining route pre-approvals to reduce the need for operators to lodge permit applications.

"The more we can agree on what vehicles can go where, the more upfront certainty we can offer operators and the less paperwork we all have to manage," he says.

The NHVR is also pushing for changes to the 28-day deadline available to road managers to process permit applications. 

The NHVR had much of its permit processing responsibilities stripped from it last year after its systems were incapable of dealing with applications from operators.

Delays in permit approvals led to trucks being grounded, freight going undelivered and businesses suffering significant financial losses.

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