Prime Mover Magazine

Clarification of heavy vehicle law changes in NSW

Following the introduction of the Heavy Vehicle (Adoption of National Law) Amendment Bill 2013 into the NSW Legislative Assembly, the Australian Trucking Association NSW says it has liaised with Transport for NSW to clarify the effects of some of the many amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law included in the bill, reducing the 'national' nature of the NSW transport regulation regime.

As a result of these discussions, it is now possible to download a table, setting out the Bill’s departures from the Heavy Vehicle National Law and the response from Transport for NSW about what each section means and why it is needed.

One clause has caused particular industry concern:
Schedule 1 [26] and [28] confer a general power for the local regulations to amend each of these new Schedules so as to insert, vary or omit modifications to the National Law and national regulations in their application to New South Wales.

This is seen as a blanket clause allowing the regulators to vary their behaviour in NSW from the agreed national norm in any area they so choose. Creating a regime acting separately and differently from the parameters set-up to introduce the National Heavy Vehicle regulator, in Australia's most important transit state, is seen as having the effect of defeating the purpose of introducing the NHVR in the first place.

“Given the condensed timeframes we have been working towards to get the Bill drafted and introduced there are bound to be little issues that come up, and it would not be efficient or timely to have to go to Parliament every time to make amendments,” said Dimi Regas, Principal Manager of National Intergovernmental Coordination for Transport for NSW, in explaining the bill.“It was never intended as a long term solution, or as a bypass of policy development/debate... I anticipate a time when such a provision may be unnecessary.”

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