The Australian Forest Products Association has welcomed the Heavy Vehicle National Law which began on Monday and is now being implemented to regulate trucks, buses and other heavy vehicles across most of Australia.
Under the new Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), all heavy vehicles over 4.5 tonnes will operate under one rule book covering Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. Western Australia will not commence the HVNL at this time.
“The forest wood and paper product industries are significant users of haulage and heavy vehicles often operating across state borders, and this important area of reform to reduce red-tape has been needed for some time,” said AFPA CEO Ross Hampton in a statement
Mr Hampton said the reform will decrease the cost and complexity of compliance for operators of forest industry vehicles that regularly travel from Mt Gambier (SA) to export facilities at Portland (Vic), and from Victoria to the manufacturing centres in Tumbarumba (NSW) and Albury (NSW).
“The ongoing effective coordination, harmonisation and implementation of the different state regulations and processes by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator relating to national vehicle standards, regulating drivers and safety practices is the key to the success of this reform and will be watched carefully by industry”, he said
According to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, the state and territory police, and authorised officers will continue to enforce heavy vehicle offences under the new national law. Legal and court processes will largely remain as they are.
Some aspects of heavy vehicle regulation will still stay the same, said NVHR. Heavy vehicle registration, inspections, driver licensing and all matters related to the carriage of dangerous goods will still be the responsibility of the relevant state and territory authorities.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss announced the new national law and commended the participating state and territory governments, as well as the National Transport Commission and NVHR for achieving the consistent laws.
“This important agreement across state lines is expected to boost the national economy by more than $12 billion over the next 20 years,” Mr Truss said in a related report.