Ministers are being urged to adopt the National Operating Standard into the Heavy Vehicle National Law by the Australian Logistics Council (ALC).
The ALC this week confirmed it had written to Australian governments urging them to include the National Operating Standard into the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) when amendments to the Law are considered by the next Infrastructure and Transport Ministers’ Meeting (ITMM).
It has argued, as part of its request, that Australia’s Heavy Vehicle National Law should encourage and embrace the use of technology for safety and access purposes; and ensure operators have suitable safety management systems in place and the capital necessary to ensure the safe operation of heavy vehicles.
According to the ALC, this can be achieved through the incorporation of a national operating standard proposing the creation of a list of operators, making safety management systems mandatory, ensuring an operator has the capital to maintain a heavy collector and requiring the collection of data by electronic means.
The ITMM replaces the previous Transport and Infrastructure Council (TIC) following the abolition of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)
The Review of COAG Councils and Ministerial Forums (the Conran Report) recommended that items on a meeting agenda should be implemented or resolved within 12 months.
The Chief Executive Officer of ALC Kirk Coningham OAM said the creation of a National Operating Standard offers the opportunity to enhance the safety and productivity outcomes of heavy vehicle operators – key objectives of the HVNL.
“These reasonable and affordable measures will help set a benchmark for safety in the industry – ensuring improved safety outcomes and a level playing field for all,” said Coningham.
In light of the recommendations of the Conran Report, ALC trusts that any reforms to the HVNL by the ITMM will be implemented within 12 months.
Reform of the HVNL has been considered too slow in the past according to Coningham.
“Road user safety and the efficient operation of freight requires dynamic amendments to the National Law to meet the needs of heavy vehicle operators in the 21st Century” he said.