Representatives from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator have met with a large group of trucking operators from Southern NSW and been sent a strong endorsement of the need to continue National law reform. The meeting in Canberra took place in the NatRoad HQ and support for the NHVR was expressed despite the delays currently causing problem for those requiring permits.
30 operators gathered to discuss the issues with Angus Draheim as a representative for the NHVR. The ongoing delays with the issuing of permits since the NHVR took over responsibility for the task on February 10 was the problem over-shadowing the debate.
“The most important decision of tonight’s meeting was the unanimous support given by the delegation to the NHVR and their reaffirmation of the need to cut red tape,” said NatRoad CEO, Chris Melham.
Draheim said he would make no excuses for the delays in processing permit applications, but explained to the meeting the role of councils in the permitting process under the national law and the immediate and ongoing measures which are being put in place to speed up the process.
The meeting was in support of handing back the administrative procedures to state jurisdictions in the interim, with the intention the NHVR would takeover when their centralised system and processes are improved, and local governments are in a position to allow for a quick turnaround of permit applications.
The meeting called on the NHVR to insist signatories to the Intergovernmental Agreement on Heavy Vehicle Regulatory Reform introduce a number of measures immediately including:
- To remove the outer limit of 28 days for road managers to respond to permit applications and a return to the previous turnarounds of several hours, overnight.
- Extending the time for which permits remain valid e.g. in the Northern Territory you can gain a 3 year permit for $41.
- To develop, as a matter of urgency, the pre-approved network for over-sized, over-mass and special permit vehicles to reduce the need to reapply for permit applications on a case by case basis.
“Overall, the meeting last night was a strong endorsement of the NHVR and the HVNL,” said Melham. “I urge all Ministers to stay the course and to ensure that the HVNL reform process achieves the goals originally intended.”