Feb 28, 2011

Public consultation opens on national trucking laws

Public consultation opens on national trucking laws

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

February 28 2011

The nine different regulatory regimes which currently frustrate long distance truck drivers and add to the cost of moving freight around our country could soon be relegated to the history books following the release today of draft national heavy vehicle laws.

Developed by the National Transport Commission (NTC) in close collaboration with state and territory authorities, these proposed new laws are now published for ten weeks of public consultations.

Despite more than two decades of incremental reforms there remain a number of significant differences between regulatory regimes, particularly around compliance standards, driving hours, mass limits and access to the road network.

Since the historic 2009 agreement between Federal, State and Territory governments, the Gillard Labor Government has been moving to put an end to these costly, frustrating and confusing variations once and for all.

Put simply, one set of modern, nation-wide laws will simplify the compliance task for trucking operators, lift national productivity and boost national income by up to $30 billion over the next 20 years.

Scheduled to take effect from 1 January 2013, the proposed new national laws would apply to vehicles over 4.5 tonnes and be administered by a new Brisbane-based National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

The trucking industry is a cornerstone of the Australian economy without which our supermarket shelves would quickly empty and much of our exports would remain in the ground, on the farm or at factory. That’s why we’re determined to lessen the regulatory burden on operators as well as make a record investment in the infrastructure drivers rely on every day.

Australia has long been one nation; it’s time we had one, seamless national economy governed by laws and regulations that support rather than hinder the efforts of truck drivers to make a decent living.

Copies of the draft Heavy Vehicle National Law and draft Heavy Vehicle National Law Regulatory Impact Statement, as well as details about the public consultation forums to be held around the country during March and April, can be found at: www.ntc.gov.au.