New Man at the ATA, A Baseline Survey, COR Changes and Dangerous Goods

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There is a new man at the ATA, a baseline survey, COR changes and dangerous goods on the agenda in Diesel News this week.

New Man at the ATA, A Baseline Survey, COR Changes and Dangerous Goods

The Australian Trucking Association has appointed the former CEO of the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, Ben Maguire, as its new Chief Executive Officer. ATA Chair Noelene Watson said that Mr Maguire was an outcome focused, strong, resourceful and committed association CEO.

“Ben is a skilled advocate, highly regarded collaborator and known fair negotiator. He is committed to contributing to whole of business outcomes for the ATA, and is a leader who will mentor staff and control the ATA’s internal processes,” said Watson. “He is strategic and innovative, and will deliver results.”

Maguire said he looked forward to working with and representing ATA members and this proud industry.

“Leading the ATA team and working with the board is a privilege, and a role that I am honoured to take on,” said Maguire.

Currently a management consultant, Maguire was CEO of the Stockman’s Hall of Fame in Longreach from 2007 to 2014. In this role, he negotiated partnership agreements with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and managed the inaugural Outback Horse and Heritage Expo in 2013.

The NHVR thanked the efforts of the 407 officers across 237 inspection sites to assess more than 7000 heavy vehicles as part of the National Roadworthiness Baseline Survey (NRBS).

The final inspections for the survey were completed on 4 November 2016.

The survey was a point-in-time snapshot of the mechanical condition of Australia’s heavy vehicle fleet. It is aimed to assist to identify current health of the fleet and the creation of a nationally-consistent inspection approach.

Each inspection included a comprehensive assessment of the mechanical condition of the vehicle based on the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual. NHVR Executive Director Safety and Productivity Geoff Casey said the contribution of the heavy vehicle industry, states and territories were vital to making the survey a success.

“The cooperation and support we received during the survey period assisted in developing an understanding of the mechanical condition of the fleet and will set a baseline for measuring the NHVR’s future work on roadworthiness,” said Casey.

The Heavy Vehicle National Law was passed in the final sitting of the year in they Queensland Parliament. The amendments will automatically roll out to other participating jurisdictions by way of each state and territory applying the uniform law.

Some of the key changes include, a new primary duty to ensure safety for all parties in the chain, modifications to executive officer liabilities based on due diligence, replacement of the ‘reasonable steps defence’ with ‘as far as reasonably practicable’. It also includes the principle that parties are included in the chain on the basis of their function rather than their title or contractual description, there’s also clarity that WH&S law takes precedence over CoR law.

Roadworthiness and vehicles standards are included as part of CoR. There are increased information gathering powers, the introduction of self-clearing defect notices, new requirement that the burden of proof rests with the prosecution and penalties for breaching primary duties of up to $3m and/or 5 years imprisonment.

The law empowers the NHVR to accept enforceable undertakings as an alternative to penalties, recognises industry codes of practice as a reliable form of evidence in court and establishes that information contained in an infringement notice is evidence that a heavy vehicle offence happened a time, place and in the circumstances outlined in the notice

There is an introduction of a raft of new offences that will make operators and other parties in the chain responsible for ensuring that drivers carry all required paperwork. It also allows the NHVR to make minor changes to statutory instruments without seeking road manager consent and Ministers to delegate minor approval powers to the NHVR Board.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) is encouraging industry and business owners to prepare for the launch of edition 7.5 of the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail, which will come into effect on 1 March 2017.

Chief Executive of the NTC Paul Retter said the latest updates to the Australian Dangerous Goods Code, which sets out the technical requirements for transporting dangerous goods by road or rail, will continue to keep people safe and protect our environment.

“Among the updates, there will be new rules governing the transport of dangerous goods in limited quantities to reduce the regulatory burden for business owners and provide continued assurance that these goods are transported safely and efficiently,” said Retter.

Justin Fleming, General Manager of TruckSafe said this award was dedicated to all of the TruckSafe operators in Australia for their commitment to the program and for what they do everyday. He said they should feel proud of this recognition.