In a couple of initiatives announced this week, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has shown its intention to make progress on improving last mile and local access for trucks. In one initiative, the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and NHVR signed a memorandum of understanding, which is expected to streamline heavy vehicle access to 150,000 km of council controlled roads throughout the state.
“A total of 2.1 billion tonnes of freight is moved by road annually throughout Australia with 22 per cent originating in Queensland, the second highest amount behind NSW,” said Sal Petroccitto, NHVR CEO. “Road is the predominant mode for the transportation of freight in Queensland, with freight tonnages predicted to continue to increase over the coming decades.
“I’m pleased to be working with the LGAQ to improve the permit system at the local level and make sure the heavy vehicle industry is meeting their expectations.”
The Heavy Vehicle National Law requires local governments, as road managers, to consent to the operation of heavy vehicles on their roads before access permits can be issued.
“Under the MOA, the NHVR and the LGAQ will help more than 70 local governments throughout Queensland to fulfil their obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.,” said Greg Hallam, LGAC CEO. “This will include the formation of a Partnership Steering Committee to oversee the Agreement’s implementation and an LGAQ Heavy Vehicle Access Liaison Officer to provide direct support to local governments.
“Both organisations have joint interest in working together to deliver heavy vehicle regulatory services. Collaboration between the Regulator, LGAQ and local governments is critical to improving the safety and productivity of Queensland’s road freight network.
“The MOA will encourage local governments to allow timely and safe heavy vehicle access to the vital ‘first and last mile’ linkages to strategic freight routes across Queensland.”
In a second initiative this week, the NHVR has announced it will use a visit to regional NSW councils and industry representatives to discuss ways to improve freight movement with better local access and permits through the state.
“We will drive the need for better access on local roads for more modern, safer heavy vehicles which would see the same amount of freight moved in fewer trips,” said John Gilbert, NHVR’s Industry and Stakeholder Manager. “The move to these smarter, safer and cleaner vehicles is more important than ever as the freight task continues to grow across the country.
“NHVR officers have meetings planned with councils in Leeton, Goulburn-Mulwaree, Upper Lachlan, Oberon and Bathurst. The series of 11 meetings will also include addressing the Riverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils Mayors and General Managers and their Engineers’ Group.”
The NHVR will also meet with industry representatives from the quarry transport sector and the Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association to discuss getting more productivity into their current and expected freight task.
“Since 2014 the NHVR has made it a priority to cut red tape and increase access for modern, safer vehicles and councils play an important role in delivering those routes where possible,” said Gilbert.