About NTC / News / E-Newsletter / August 2015

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NTC News August 2015

In this edition:

NTC at the Queensland Truck Show 
Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting 
The alertness summit

NTC at the Queensland Truck Show

The NTC sponsored a stand the Queensland Truck Show in May to meet with some of our most important stakeholders.

Ramon Staheli, Director of Pricing, said the show was a great opportunity to get in touch with the people that experience the impact of policy and regulatory changes as a result of the work we do in their everyday working lives.

“My team and I attended the Melbourne show last year, but participating as a sponsor was a great chance to get feedback that we might not get in formal consultation – it’s open, honest, and real – it’s what people experience every day,” Ramon said.

“It was not only an opportunity to test our thinking on projects currently, we also got to connect with a wide range of people from the industry to find out what’s important to them.”

Talking specifically about the load restraint survey that we conducted at the show, Ramon said that it has been important to reflect on the views people shared with him about how what we do affects them and how we might do things better in the future.

“When we update the guide, we need to think about how it will work in the modern world where a lot of people have tablets and smart phones. We tend to use information in electronic form more and more, but also need to remember those who still prefer not to. Ultimately our work needs to cater for the needs of both,” Ramon said.

Chief Executive, Paul Retter participated in a discussion panel Q&A session, hosted by the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA) and the National Bulk Tanker Association (NBTA). Peter Hart, Chairman of ARTSA, Justin Keast, Chairman of NBTA and Sal Petroccitto, CEO of NHVR, also sat on the panel that updated heavy vehicle suppliers and operators about the evolving complementary roles of NTC as a national reform agency, the NHVR as the regulator, our current projects and their challenges.

The NTC would like to thank the organisers, sponsors and all who attended this year’s Truck Show for making it a thoroughly valuable and successful event.

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Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting

A major focus of the NTC at the most recent Transport and Infrastructure Council (the Council) meeting, held on 22 May 2015, was approving our strategic direction and work program.

Work Program and Corporate Plan

Our new work program was approved by ministers. The program sets out reform projects aimed at delivering quicker and cheaper road, rail and intermodal transport, particularly for Australia’s freight and logistics industry.

We have started talking to stakeholders about the new projects on our work program to achieve the best productivity and safety improvements.

The NTC’s productivity program will:

  • report on systems, tools and decisions that have already been shown to increase productivity in different states, territories or local government areas
  • develop options to increase load volumes allowed to be carried by high-productivity trucks when the weight can safely be carried
  • investigate the market for Performance Based Standards to see if there is more we can do to improve design innovation, and
  • focus on using new and emerging technology to improve the operation of Australia’s transport networks.

Ministers also approved a new corporate plan and strategic plan that outlines the NTC’s objectives and strategy to deliver national productivity, safety and environmental benefits.

Heavy vehicle charges determination

Last year the Council agreed to implement the new determination in 2016. We are currently updating road expenditure, fuel and other usage information, as well as vehicle numbers to calculate the final heavy vehicle charges that will be applied from 1 July 2016.

We have been asked to provide ministers with a range of possible alternative heavy vehicle charge options, which we will be discussing with industry associations once the new road expenditure, fuel, vehicle and land usage data are available.

Our aim is to ensure industry better understand the options being considered by ministers and their effects on the overall industry and specific operators.

Heavy vehicle roadworthiness program review

The NTC and NHVR updated the Council on options to improve roadworthiness. The Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness Program has identified four key aspects:

  • national standardisation and consistency
  • improved compliance
  • inspection of vehicles
  • strengthening of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme

We will provide ministers with our final recommendations in a decision regulatory impact statement (RIS) later this year. The Council is expected to consider the RIS and make their final decision in November 2015.

Chain of responsibility

Reforms to Australia’s chain of responsibility laws have received in-principle support from Australia’s transport ministers.

Ministers agreed that there was a need for reform and that a primary duties approach offered the best way forward, consistent with other safety laws. The changes will clarify the responsibilities of primary duty on operators, prime contractors and employers to ensure the safety of their operations, as well as establish detailed role-specific duties, as appropriate, for other parties in the chain.

The reform will also examine the current executive officer liability provisions in the law including the type of liability that should apply to executive officers.

The NTC has been asked to provide detailed recommendations to ministers at their meeting in November this year.

The Primary Duties for Chain of Responsibility Parties and Executive Officer Liability - Discussion Paper closed 7 August 2015.

Thank you to everyone who made a submission. The feedback we received will be used to help refine the recommendations we will provide to ministers at the next Council meeting in November.

National Heavy Vehicle Registration Scheme

We investigated a number of policy issues that may affect the design, build and operation of the National Heavy Vehicle Registration Scheme.

The NHVR will now progress the scheme’s functionality and system design, (taking into account the NTC’s findings), providing further advice at the next Council meeting. 

The Heavy Vehicle National Law has been amended to allow the registration scheme to commence on or before  1 July 2018.

Improving the Heavy Vehicle National Law

Ministers approved:

  • changes to the transport of dangerous goods laws to incorporate the United Nations 18 revision
  • separating heavy and light vehicle standards in the Australian Vehicle Standard Rules
  • reflecting changes to the HVNL in the Schedule of Infringement Penalties and Demerit Points and improving its consistency with HVNL terminology
  • revising the scope, purpose and form of instruments relating to vehicle standards model law.

Find out more

The NTC work program sets out what we will be working on over the next four years. You can find out more about what’s happening with any of our reform projects. You can also check out projects in more detail on our website.

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The alertness summit

On 30 June 2015, we co-hosted the Alertness Summit 2015: a new framework driving heavy vehicle safety with the Alertness Cooperate Research Centre (CRC). The summit was based at Old Parliament House, in Canberra, and it brought together scientists and technology providers who specialise in monitoring alertness, with police, road agencies, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), trade associations and heavy vehicle operators. Delegates were briefed on latest technology developments for monitoring alertness and participated in discussions about how we can improve the evidence base through data collection and research activities to support future reforms of fatigue laws in the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

The Alertness Summit 2015 was a unique opportunity to share different perspectives on the challenges of fatigue policy and data collection, and the contribution of delegates made the summit a success. What we learnt will be reflected in our upcoming paper that discusses developing a heavy vehicle national fatigue data framework.

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Keep up to date with these and other NTC projects at www.ntc.gov.au and you can follow us on our new twitter account @NTC_AUS.


Last Updated: 15/11/2018