NTC releases discussion paper seeking feedback on Chain of Responsibility (CoR) Duties


Those in the road freight industry will be interested to note that currently there is a review of the chain of responsibility duties underway. The review is a chance for the transport industry to voice their opinion of how the laws can be changed to better serve the industry and establish safer road behaviour. 

A representative for the NTC said the entity wanted to improve the Chain of Responsibility regime and make it easier for Australia’s transport industry to understand their obligations. By understanding what is expected of them, it would also be easier to comply with the laws and this would ultimately lead to more effective and safer movement of heavy vehicles. Ignorance is one of the most commonly used excuses for lack of adherence to the law. 

Recently the National Transport Commission (NTC) released a discussion paper which forms part of its review of the chain of responsibility (COR) duties in the Heavy Vehicle National Law. 

According to Truckworld.com.au a taskforce was created in 2013 to review CoR duties. The taskforce was created by the NTC and its findings revealed that CoR laws were working however more can still be done to make the laws even more effective.

 Acting CEO of the NTC Michelle Hendy said that the Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council established the independent taskforce last year because it believed that there were areas where CoR could be improved upon. 

Hendy explained:

“The taskforce completed its broad review of CoR in June and found that CoR is working, but that the NTC should consider opportunities to improve the regime,” Ms Hendy said.

 “This discussion paper is part of the review and is designed to stimulate public debate about what needs improving, and how that improvement might best be achieved.”

Source: http://www.truckworld.com.au 

The article on Truckworld.com.au went on to explain that the discussion paper outlined a number of issues with the current CoR regime which stakeholders identified through previous consultations. The excerpt from Truckworld.com.au below explains:

 The discussion paper outlines a number of issues with the current CoR regime, which stakeholders have identified through previous consultations. These include whether it allows for an integrated and proactive approach to road safety, concerns about the clarity of the law, and whether all appropriate parties are covered.

Source: http://www.truckworld.com.au 

The paper goes on to discuss numerous possible improvements to the regime. One of the possible improvements includes inclusion of a principal duty of care or further specific duties on supply chain parties.

This is your chance to have your say about CoR laws and voice your opinions about what works and what doesn’t. Ms Hendy explained that the NTC is looking to industry, road and enforcement agencies and other interested parties to consider the reform options outlined in the paper. 

The NTC is looking for feedback from these stakeholders about what they believe would be the best way to improve Chain of Responsibility. 

Ms Hendy explains:

“We’re also looking beyond the road transport industry for feedback on this issue. Farmers, retailers, mining and construction companies rely on heavy vehicles and could have an interest in any changes to the chain of responsibility obligations. We invite participation from these areas too.

 “From here more work will be done to find the best way forward, including any changes to the national law.  This approach will then be reported to ministers in May 2015,” Ms Hendy said.

Source: http://www.truckworld.com.au 

Interested parties have until 30 January 2015 to send through submissions on the discussion paper. 

For those in the supply chain that still aren’t aware of their duties under the chain of responsibility, Cor training can help you understand what is expected of you.