The under siege National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has received support from important stake holders who continue to insist on the need for a single regulator for the road transport industry. Today in Parliament Warren Truss, Federal Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, said he and his fellow transport ministers from the states involved remain committed to the NHVR project.
The NHVR has been under fire since February 10 when the national permitting system started to operate. After the new system was flooded with permit applications, the work of issuing permits was farmed out to the respective state authorities to reduce the backlog. The issuing of permits is now said to be improving for trucking operators.
“Now is not the time to lose faith in this reform and we therefore welcome Minister Truss’s acknowledgement in parliament today that the heavy vehicle reforms are important and his confirmation that he will not walk away from them,” said Michael Kilgariff, ALC Managing Director.
“The Federal Government through Minister Truss has an important role to play by taking the lead to ensure the full economic benefits of this reform are delivered and that industry benefits from a streamlined regulatory environment.
“Given the issues that have occurred, ALC believes strong leadership is needed at the federal level to ensure industry receives the benefits of a single national system, rather than having an additional layer of red tape imposed on what already exists.”
The ALC sees one of the difficult issues facing the NHVR to be funding and asked in its 2014-2015 Budget Submission for the Federal Government to provide financial assistance to the new regulator in the form of capital in order to facilitate the purchase of computer systems needed for the NHVR to collect funds.
According to the ALC the one-off investment would mean the NHVR could be freed from uncertainty of income streams and allow it to effectively administer a single rule book for the Australian road freight industry.
An earlier statement by NatRoad also included suggestions to improve the situation of the NHVR. The association called for the establishment of a high level industry/government consultative committee to steer the reform program in a positive direction and the immediate release, to industry, of the service level agreements between NHVR and state jurisdictions which define the nature of the relationship between them.
“NatRoad calls on industry and jurisdictions to get behind the NHVR, as required by the Intergovernmental Agreement, and work together to ensure its success”, said Chris Melham, NatRoad CEO. “It can work, as evidenced by the support announced this week from jurisdictions to work with the NHVR to resolve the delays in processing permit applications.”