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Queensland paves the way for trucking to use electronic work diaries

Queensland passes legislation that will allow truck operators and drivers to use electronic work diaries.


Moves to introduce electronic work diaries (EWD) throughout most of Australia have cleared the first stage, with Queensland’s parliament passing legislation to permit the use of the devices.

The Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill passed with cross-party support to give the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) the power to approve the use of electronic diaries.

A similar bill will now be introduced in jurisdictions that recognise the NHVR – New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory – to ensure EWDs can operate there.

The legislation gives the trucking industry the choice to use EWDs or stick with paper-based logbooks to monitor compliance with fatigue management law.

“This is a significant step forward in the use of technology as a means of improving the regulation and, in turn, the safety of the heavy vehicle industry,” Queensland transport and infrastructure minister Jackie Trad says.

“I must stress that the adoption of electronic work diaries is voluntary. It provides operators in the industry with a choice to either adopt this emerging technology or continue, as they currently do, with the paper-based system.”

Trad says EWDs give the trucking industry flexibility to choose the option best suited to their needs.


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Policy makers have slotted in a tolerance for drivers using the highly accurate EWDs to ensure trivial fatigue management breaches do not attract fines.

“The Bill makes an allowance for small breaches of work requirements totaling not more than eight minutes in a 24-hour period not to incur a penalty,” Trad says.

“This will ensure that drivers using electronic work diaries are treated fairly with respect to minor breaches that would not otherwise be apparent in a written work diary because of the way time is rounded.”

EWDs count work and rest time in one minute intervals. Those using paper diaries need to count in 15-minute intervals and round up for work time but round down for rest time.

It means if a driver using a paper diary is required to take a 15-minute break but only rests for 14 minutes, that break does not count.

The Bill also introduces new penalties mainly related to EWD breaches and makes minor technical adjustments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has welcomed the Bill’s passage and says the use of EWDS to record work and rest time will help trucking operators ensure their drivers are complying with fatigue management law.

“I thank the Queensland Government and Parliament for processing this important reform so it can form part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law,” ALC managing director Michael Kilgariff says.


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