The Australian Trucking Association has welcomed the passing of the first of 2 bills by the Queensland government, beginning the process of amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.
The Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill will include amendments to the chain of responsibility and heavy vehicle registration process.
An extensive consultation program with all industry stakeholders was conducted as well as review by a Queensland parliamentary committee earlier in the year.
The changes took effect on 1 July this year, allowing the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to establish a national operator fleet data base to support the regulator in performing its functions and improving productivity and safety.
ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said his association had advocated for such an extension of truck safety laws since 2012. He labelled the changes as a ‘win for the industry’.
He said customers and trucking firms would now have to prioritise the development and maintenance of the appropriate safety systems.
Before the new laws come into effect on 1 October, 2018, there is one other bill that needs to be passed.
The changes together with amendments passed in 2016 will mean,
- red tape and legislative requirements deemed unnecessary will be removed
- a strong general safety duty on all in the chain of responsibility including trucking industry customers.
- chain of responsibility will also cover vehicle repairs and maintenance.
- company directors and executives will have due diligence obligations aimed to ensure every party in the chain complies with their primary safety duty.
- the maximum penalty for serious cases is increased, bringing them more in line with other national safety laws