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Prime Mover Magazine

NatRoad advocates for heavy vehicle sector

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) provided feedback to the Government that the new road vehicle standards package of legislation should be re-examined from the perspective of the heavy vehicle sector.

The Government on 13 December 2017 released the exposure drafts of a substantial package of legislation that will change the laws governing road vehicle standards. The Bills to bring about this change were introduced to the federal Parliament on 7 February 2018.

“NatRoad has provided the Government with a submission which outlines the concerns of the heavy vehicle sector,” said NatRoad CEO, Warren Clark.

“The Bills introduce major change from the current law.  A fundamental reform is the proposed replacement of physical compliance plates to show a vehicle’s suitability for supply in this country. Instead of compliance plates, conforming vehicles will be listed via an online, publicly available database to be known as the Register of Approved Vehicles although heavy trailers will retain compliance plates.

“Because of the fundamental nature of the changes proposed, NatRoad members are not convinced that the package of legislation will reduce red tape.  The opposite view has been expressed by members who have been confronted with the current legislative package.

“The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities held a number of information sessions on the new laws.  But so much of how the Bills and the subordinate legislation will work in an operational sense remains unclear. NatRoad urges the Government to allocate funding for further education of industry,” he said.

The NatRoad submission reportedly outlines the fact that there is a substantial truck manufacturing sector in Australia and the way in which trucks are prepared for first use, including imported trucks, seems to have been ignored by the lawmakers to date.

“At present, there is confusion about whether the normal procedure for getting a truck to market would offend against the legislation, something we know the Department is working to make clearer,” said Clark.  “We look forward to the consultation process sorting out these anomalies and for the legislation to better reflect the operations of the heavy vehicle sector.”

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