The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has extended its primary producer work diary exemption to include South Australia. The exemption which already applied to Queensland and New South Wales excludes truck drivers from keeping a work diary in certain instances.
Now trucking operators in South Australia will have the same exemption extended to them that applies to operators in NSW and Queensland.
Victoria may be the next to receive the exemption, as the NHVR works to introduce the work diary exemption in that state as well.
According to the NHVR, SA is the latest jurisdiction to adopt a work diary exemption for truck drivers and Victoria will hopefully be next but aren’t quite ready to do so as yet.
What this means is that drivers in South Australia in the primary production sector who work under 160km from their base will not need to fill out a work diary, cutting down on paperwork and allowing drivers to pay more attention to their work.
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto stated about the exemption:
“Industry has asked us for consistent work diary practices and less paperwork and we’re delivering,” NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says.
“From today, heavy vehicle drivers in South Australia who carry out primary production journeys will no longer have to carry and record information in a national driver work diary if travelling or working under 160km from their base.”
Petroccitto explained that the exemption is in place in the Australian Capital Territory even though it has not yet began operating under the fatigue management provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). He goes on to explain:
“The exemption will also apply in Tasmania from March 30, 2015, when the fatigue provisions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law will come into effect,” Petroccitto says.
Although the exemption is being welcomed for its benefits of time saving for drivers, it does present a concern in that it has made cross border trucking regulations inconsistent.
With the decision still up in the air about whether Victoria will adopt the measure or not, discussions are underway between the NHVR and Vic roads authority.
Mr Petroccitto explained that the two organisations will continue to work in conjunction to consider the implications of a 160km primary producer exemption in Victoria.
Members of the industry should keep in mind that the exemption does not change the hours a driver can work or must rest and record keepers still have to keep records for drivers carrying out primary production work in terms of work and rest time. They also have to keep payment records for the driver and a time sheet record for a period of 3 years.
Drivers are reminded that they are still required to keep and record a work diary for work outside the standard 100km radius, as set out in the HVNL.
South Australian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Stephen Mullighan welcomed the news. The NHVR quoted Mr Mullighan on their website as he explained:
“We’ve worked closely with the NHVR to ensure this initiative balances safety considerations with the need to reduce red tape and paperwork for South Australia’s rural sector,” Minister Mullighan said.
“This move has been strongly supported by the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of South Australia, and will be a significant benefit for South Australian primary producers,” he said.
Learn more about heavy vehicle and chain of responsibility legislation here.