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NHVR warns of more inspections after Queensland takeover

The countdown is on for the NHVR’s takeover in Queensland – and truckies have been warned to expect more inspections and potentially more cameras on the state’s roads.

Heavy vehicle regulatory services, including compliance and enforcement duties, will transition from the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) to the NHVR on April 20.

Queensland is the last of the jurisdictions covered by Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) to make the switch, and a spokesperson for the NHVR told Big Rigs that truck drivers should be prepared for a “renewed on-road presence” across the state, including in remote areas.

The NHVR said it has hired additional staff as part of the takeover, as well as employing transferring staff from TMR.

“We have successfully recruited extra on-road officers, as well as two operations managers and a director for our new northern region,” a spokesperson said.

“Additionally, there are other positions that we have added to our northern region structure that haven’t transferred from TMR, including investigators and prosecutors.”

The regulator said the heavy vehicle industry can expect to see the NHVR’s Safety and Compliance Officers (SCOs) working roadside and at vehicle inspection sites across Queensland, including in the far north and western areas of the state.

“These officers will have authority to stop heavy vehicles and check the vehicle, operator, and driver are complying with the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and other state-based laws.

“This includes checking compliance with heavy vehicle driver licensing, registration, and road rules.”

The NHVR will also be authorised to issue infringements and prosecute serious offences in Queensland, in addition to issuing defect notices where heavy vehicles do not comply with safety standards.

The regulators will provide Programmed Vehicle Inspections (PVI) on behalf of TMR, including at regional and remote PVI locations.

“Industry can continue booking a PVI through existing TMR channels, but fleet bookings must be organised through the NHVR Contact Centre,” the spokesperson added.

The ownership, maintenance and upgrade of fixed camera sites will remain the responsibility of the state, with the NHVR receiving the data.

However, the NHVR revealed that over the coming year, they will investigate expanding their mobile Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera program into Queensland.

“We will communicate with industry if and when this occurs,” they said.

The regulators described their takeover as a “pivotal moment in Australia’s transport landscape”, centralising regulatory functions under one authority and providing the road transport industry with a single point of interaction for “consistent, reliable information” about the HVNL.

“Industry will benefit from a consistent approach to compliance and enforcement,” they said.

“The transition will streamline the delivery of heavy vehicle regulation for industry and will improve regulatory outcomes and safety.”

The NHVR has established a northern region with 14 regional homebase locations spread across Queensland and two satellite offices, with their operations head office located in Townsville.

TMR spokesperson Joanna Robinson said that they have been working closely with the NHVR to ensure a seamless transition for staff as well as truck drivers.

“We are currently advising our team that heavy vehicle regulatory services and those staff who have chosen to transfer, will officially transition to the NHVR on April 20,” she said.

“TMR will continue to be directly responsible for delivering regulatory and compliance programs for several important services, including road manager functions.”

The NHVR was established in 2013 as a statutory body to administer the HVNL, which applies across all of Australia’s states and territories except Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

WA and the NT have snubbed the NHVR since its foundation, and earlier this year they told Big Rigs that they have no plans to embrace it any time soon.

A Main Roads WA spokesperson said: “Significant changes to the HVNL would need to occur that would provide the same level of productivity and flexibility in WA legislation that is currently experienced by the WA road transport industry.”

Louise Bilato, executive officer of the NT Road Transport Association, agreed: “What we’ve got works, so what’s the incentive for the NT to join the HVNL? What is the benefit for us? There is none.”


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