Local councils around the country have been given clearer guidelines to help them when assessing access applications from trucking operators. The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has released two guidance documents for use by road authorities.
According to the NHVR, more than 400 local councils and six state and territory governments will now have access to the guidelines, designed to provide the information to enable them to better assess and apply conditions to permits for heavy vehicles.
NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto is quoted as saying the release of these two guidance documents will deliver consistency and standardise the conditions which can be applied to a heavy vehicle permit.
“The Road Manager’s Best Practice Guideline for Applying Conditions provides invaluable direction to road managers on the types of conditions to be applied in a permit,” said Sal Petroccitto, NHVR CEO. “Whereas, the Standard Conditions – Legislative Requirements outlines the key operational requirements for class 1 heavy vehicles carrying, or designed to carry, a large indivisible article and special purpose vehicles.
“The Standard Conditions – Legislative Requirements will assist operators to better understand their legal requirements and provide increased confidence in the process. With these tools in use, we expect to see a drop in the number of unnecessary and invalid conditions applied and a reduction in permit processing time, benefitting local councils, state government and industry.”
The new documents come along as part of a concerted campaign by the NHVR to get the relationship between the regulator and the under resourced local road authorities moving towards improved understanding of last mile issues. Part of this process has been the work NHVR Stakeholder Specialist, Engagement and Partnership, Tim Hansen, and his team. This week, for example, he has been in discussions with stakeholders in and around Parkes in NSW.
The new guidelines aim to assist through providing a step by step guide to assessing application and applying conditions, consideration when applying conditions, example sets of standard road and travel conditions, and examples of conditions covered by the law. They also call out invalid conditions and the reasons why they are not required on a permit.
The reaction from the local councils, who often have to make decisions on access with little technical knowledge locally available, has been positive, welcoming the new guidelines.
“We congratulate the NHVR for delivering on these documents and making them available to councils Australia-wide,” said Mayor Troy Pickard, President of the Australian Local Government Association.