The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has welcomed Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss’s confirmation in parliament today that he and other transport ministers remain committed to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) despite problems affecting the Regulator’s start-up.
“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 issues which have caused delays in processing access permits for heavy vehicles have been unfortunate and need to be addressed by the Regulator as a matter of urgency.
“The efficiency of the supply chain needs to be the primary consideration in this matter and it is therefore appropriate that the states have regained access permit approval responsibilities on a temporary basis,” he said.
Mr Kilgariff said ALC is strongly supportive of the NHVR, as outlined in its policy on National Transport Legislation, and it would like to see the new body fully operational as soon as possible.
“This has, and continues to be, a long road to reform, but the journey is worth it given the significant economic benefits that this reform can generate,” he said.
“ALC has consistently maintained that the commencement of the NHVR and the national law does not mean that the ‘job is done’ to establish a national regulatory framework for the heavy vehicle industry.
“In fact, it is the beginning of the journey and ongoing work will be required to ensure we have a national system in place that delivers productivity, efficiency and safety improvements.
“This underscores why ALC why asked in its 2014-2015 Budget Submission for the Federal Government to provide financial assistance to the new regulator in the form of capital so as to facilitate the purchase of computer systems needed for the NHVR to collect funds.“This one-off investment will mean that the NHVR can then be freed from uncertainty of income streams and will allow it to effectively administer a single rule book for the Australian road freight industry,” he said.
Tuesday 25 February 2014