Important progress made towards national consistency, but more work to be done to realise full reform benefits

Published: 06 Dec 2017


Chief Executive of the NTC Paul Retter said the fifth edition of the National Transport Reform Implementation Monitoring Report shows that the adoption of national transport reform continues to trend in the right direction.

'The report provides an independent assessment on how well the Transport Infrastructure Council’s nationally agreed transport reforms are being implemented in practice.'

The latest edition of the report covers progress on implementing reforms during the 2016-17 fiscal year. Highlights include:

  • Most jurisdictions (excluding WA and NT) are now operating under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), with the last remaining milestone of the original regulatory reform due on 1 July 2018 when the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator plans to have a register of heavy vehicles available for use.
  • The fifth HVNL amendment package was approved by the Queensland parliament in December 2016 ahead of an anticipated implementation in mid-2018. 
  • All states and territories have now passed enabling legislation for the application of the Rail Safety National Law (RSNL).
  • The first and second RSNL amendment packages have been implemented in seven jurisdictions. 
  • Heavy Vehicles Standards Rules are now included in the HVNL, and the Australian Light Vehicle Standards Rules, approved by Council in May 2016, will apply to light vehicles in the future.

The report again includes an assessment of derogations from uniform, national laws, with the aim of highlighting opportunities for further harmonisation. 

'Over the past year we’ve seen some progress in key areas of reform, and we’re encouraged by the level of engagement we have with state and territory governments on the critical issue of national consistency,' Mr Retter said.

'It’s important that we continue to explore ways to optimise the effectiveness of our existing laws and regulations – with road and rail safety at the forefront – while also making it easier for industry to operate across borders.'

Mr Retter also acknowledged the contributions made by state and territory governments, the Commonwealth Government, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, the National Rail Safety Regulator and Transport Certification Australia in the development of the report.