Heavy vehicles / Productivity / Heavy Vehicle National Law Review

The objective of this review is to deliver – from a first principles perspective – a modern, outcome-focussed law regulating the use of heavy vehicles.

Heavy Vehicle National Law Review

  • Scoping > 
  • Analysing issues > 
  • Analysing options > 
  • Implementing

Purpose

The purpose of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) Review is to deliver – from a first principles perspective – a modern, outcome-focussed law regulating the use of heavy vehicles that will:

  • improve safety for all road users
  • support increased economic productivity and innovation
  • simplify administration and enforcement of the law
  • support the use of new technologies and methods of operation, and
  • provide flexible, outcome-focussed compliance options.

Next steps

We will release eight issues papers across 2019:

  1. Risk-based heavy vehicle regulation (March) – consultation closed
  2. Effective fatigue management (May) – open for comment until Friday, 16 August 2019
  3. Easy access to suitable routes (June) – open for comment until Friday, 16 August 2019
  4. Safe people and safe practices (June) – open for comment until Friday, 30 August 2019
  5. Safe vehicles (July) – open for comment until Friday, 30 August 2019
  6. Accrediting operators to deliver best practice (July)
  7. Managing compliance (August)
  8. Other policy matters (August).

For more information, see the HVNL Review microsite.

Background

The HVNL was enacted in 2012 and commenced in 2014 and replaced 13 model laws and six state and territory transport related laws.

The objective of the HVNL was to implement a seamless, national, uniform and coordinated system of heavy vehicle regulation in a way that:

  • promotes public safety
  • manages the impact of heavy vehicles on the environment, road infrastructure and public amenity
  • promotes industry productivity and efficiency in the road transport of goods and passengers by heavy vehicles, and
  • encourages and promotes productive, efficient, innovative and safe business practices.

In many respects the HVNL represents a compromise between the views of jurisdictions, industry and other key stakeholders. The law has not achieved its original objective, as it has not been adopted by two jurisdictions.

The HVNL comprises more than 800 sections and is supported by five Regulations. Together these provisions can be inconsistent in approach, difficult to read and interpret, onerous for industry to comply with and difficult for the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to administer. Many parts of the HVNL are complex, prescriptive and reflective of an era when access to digital technology and innovation was not a consideration. The HVNL does not recognise that in many situations (such as regional or remote Australia) or in different industries regulated under the law (such as agriculture, mining, cranes) a “one size fits all” approach to regulation is not appropriate.

The Transport and Infrastructure Council agreed in May 2018 that the NTC should bring forward the planned review of the HVNL and supporting regulations by two years, to commence in January 2019.

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Reports

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Project Manager HVNL Review team
Last Updated: 11/7/2019