This week has seen the release of the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report into National Transport Regulatory Reform, looking into the effectiveness of reform and where it should prioritise in the future.
The trucking industry, along with others, is invited to examine this draft report and comment on it by written submission to the Productivity Commission, preferably in electronic format, by January 15 2020 and/or by attending a public hearing.
The final report will be prepared after further submissions have been received and public hearings have been held and will be forwarded to the Australian Government by April 3 2020.
The report examines the federal and state reforms, which established national laws and regulators for heavy vehicles, rail, and domestic commercial vessels. It runs through the effects of the reforms enacted so far and looks at the next steps for the reform process.
The report has had mixed reviews, with each stakeholder highlighting an aspect of the reforms which suits its own agenda.
According to the Government News website, “The Productivity Commission has slammed the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) saying it encourages box ticking rather than risk management and calling for an overhaul of the legislation.”
For the Australian Trucking Association, it chose to highlight its safety campaign, “The Draft Productivity Commission report on national transport regulatory reform has recommended that the Australian Government should engage the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to undertake a defined, targeted trial of incident investigation for heavy vehicles,” said Geoff Crouch, ATA Chair.
“The ATA has long argued that the ATSB should undertake independent, no-blame safety investigations of crashes involving trucks and autonomous vehicles. The draft Productivity Commission recommendation highlights the effectiveness of the ATA’s rigorous, evidence-based approach to representing our members in Canberra and the strength of our case.”
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) also welcomed the release of the report, with Duncan Gay, NHVR Chair, saying the draft report highlighted the benefits that had already been achieved, while charting a path for improvement.
“We welcome the draft report and will continue to work with the Productivity Commission as they finalise their inquiry over the coming months,” said Duncan. “The draft report reinforces the key safety and productivity benefits that have already been enabled through the work of industry and the NHVR.
“Like the NHVR, the Productivity Commission, identifies that these benefits will be strengthened through improvements to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and increased cooperation between state and local governments.”