This week on Diesel News we are, among other things, Looking For Young Drivers, Route Planning and Sensible Road Charging.
The Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria (LRTAV) has announced that applications are open for the LRTAV 2017 Young Driver Award. Entries are open for drivers aged 20 to 35 years (as at 31 December 2017).
It is being awarded to recognise and reward young drivers who demonstrate a best-practise approach to driving and safety, promote livestock and bulk transport as a viable career choice for young people and showcase best-practice driving in our industry and break down stereotypes of ‘bad’ truckies.
The winner of the Young Driver Award will receive prizes valued at $4,000. The runner up will receive prizes worth $1,000. The winner and runner up will be announced at this year’s LRTAV Conference on 11 August. Applications must be received by close of business on 21 July.
NHVR Customer Portal
Changes to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Portal’s Customer module will make it easier for access customers to plan and build their routes as part of the permit process.
“The time savings extend beyond just the Portal,” said David Carlisle, AccessCONNECT Director. “There are more pre-approved routes and councils have better systems through our close liaison with local government associations and groups, and our direct engagement with mayors and council staff.”
The new features being released include integration of drag and drop, draw tools and Google Street View, making it easier to plan and map your route; improvements in how to apply for permit schemes; routing improvements, allowing you to avoid tolls, unpaved roads and factor in turn restrictions; removal of the need for Journey Planner (JP) IDs in the application; and
the ability to move to a full-screen map in route planner.
“Keep applying for your permits the same way you are doing now,” said Carlisle. “By now you should have received an email from us that contains some more information.”
Paul Fletcher, Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure, has been seeking industry views about how heavy-vehicle charging decisions are made. The consultation follows the release of a government discussion paper on options for independent price regulation of heavy-vehicle charges.
The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) says it is strongly supportive of independent price regulation. It says the main problem with the current charging system is that ministers do not need to accept the recommendations put forward by the National Transport Commission (NTC). This has resulted in close to $1 billion of overcharging.
It contends the entity that is most appropriate for making the charging determinations will largely depend on what type of system is adopted. If we stick with a pay-as-you-go cost-recovery system, it may be appropriate for the NTC to continue its current role – but it would make binding determinations rather than recommendations.
If ministers opt for full economic reform, with a forward-looking cost base and a complex charge allocation system (e.g. mass, distance, location), then it may be more appropriate for a body such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to make the determinations. The ACCC already has a similar role for other network assets such as gas, electricity and water.
Other important topics of discussion were transitional arrangements, merits review and ensuring national consistency in charges.