HVNL Safety and Productivity Program

The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) Safety and Productivity Program is a two-year program of work to draft a simpler law for heavy vehicles in Australia.

The program builds on the work done in the HVNL Review to draft a new law that improves safety and productivity. 

Program update

Transport ministers met in August 2022 and a decision on next steps is expected in September.

Balancing safety and productivity 

The goal of the program is to simplify the law and improve both safety and productivity – without compromising one for the other. 

Engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders helps us understand the practical impacts of the policy we develop. But it also means we often hear opposing views. 

Our role is to help bring together different views to create balanced, workable policy proposals and draft law.
 

Project background

Infrastructure and transport ministers asked the NTC to start the HVNL Safety and Productivity Program in May 2021. 

Building on the HVNL Review 

Our work on the review focused on what needed to change in heavy vehicle law. Through extensive consultation, research and analysis, we identified problems with the HVNL and tried to find possible solutions.

With the ministers' approval, the NTC ended the HVNL Review and launched the Safety and Productivity Program. 

Drafting the new law

We want a law that is less prescriptive and easier to follow. We're looking for opportunities to move the detail of obligations to regulations and guidelines.

The Safety and Productivity Program focuses on how we change heavy vehicle law. 

It includes refining policy positions with the input of industry and government. We’ll draft a law that helps improve safety outcomes and gives industry flexibility and gains in efficiency.

The draft law, regulations and guidelines are expected in 2023.
 

Our approach - consulting with industry and governments

Engagement with both industry and government is central to the Safety and Productivity Program. We're holding formal consultation sessions with:  

  • an industry expert panel 
  • peak industry bodies 
  • government authorities and agencies
  • the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. 

These sessions help us test and refine our policy proposals.
 

Streams of work

The NTC is taking a new approach to the structure of the HVNL, focusing on five key areas for improvement. The aim is to create a simpler law that is more responsive, flexible and adaptable.

Better operator certification

We want to make a more responsive scheme that allows for and adapts to new business practices, technologies and safety risks. We’re creating an improved national scheme that is more modular, comprehensive and flexible. 

Technology and data

We want to make it easier to use new technology and innovation to support safety and productivity. We’re creating an adaptable technology and data framework to foster smarter technology investment. 

Duties and driver health

We want to strengthen the law to enhance safety outcomes. We’re clarifying the primary duty and parties covered by the chain of responsibility.

Fatigue management

We want to change the law and make it more flexible to allow for increased productivity. We’re looking for ways to simplify fatigue management and record-keeping without compromising safety.  

Vehicles and access

We want to streamline the access process to reduce the need for permits and support quicker, easier access decisions. 

What will happen next

A decision by transport ministers expected in September will confirm next steps.

Contact us

Project manager Parry Serafim
Contact email pserafim@ntc.gov.au