NatRoad says HVNL not fit for purpose

NatRoad is demanding changes to the HVNL as well as having Western Australia and the Northern Territory adopt the changed law

NatRoad wants the Northern Territory included in the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

Following it giving evidence on April 4 to a Queensland Parliamentary inquiry that is currently examining changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), NatRoad believes the law as it stands is poor and needs to be reviewed in its entirety now.

The inquiry is taking place in Queensland as it passes changes to the law in Queensland and then the other HVNL states and the ACT.

NatRoad says it has been more than five years since the law came into effect.

"We recommended that it is time that it was assessed for its usefulness in delivering safety and productivity to Australia’s heavy vehicle sector.

"In addition, Western Australia and the Northern Territory need to adopt the changed law so that the rules about heavy vehicles are the same Australia-wide."

NatRoad says, although there are changes that can be made as "band-aid" solutions to the problems that arise in areas (like local government decision making on road access), the prescriptive nature of the law makes it complex and difficult to comply with.

NatRoad also advised that it is illogical to give the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) responsibility for issuing permits when the regulator can’t make decisions about local or state road access.

NatRoad says its members will not get the benefits they want to see in productivity and safety until the regulator is given the proper level of legislative authority to act in the national interest, and for the industry.

The industry association says it has asked the committee to recommend a root and branch, evidence-based review of the HVNL that draws on the views of industry, the business community, all levels of government and all road users.

"We urged that review of the HVNL should be given to an independent Government agency like the Productivity Commission," NatRoad states.

"This recommendation should be given critical priority as the HVNL is currently not fit for purpose and is not allowing the industry to operate in an efficient way.

"Gradual change is not good enough."

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