The total freight task estimated to almost double by 2020. About 75% of all freight is carried by road - with over 90% in urban areas.
It is no surprise that heavy vehicles are attracting increasing attention in local communities and causing mixed reactions. On one hand trucks are recognised as an essential element of our economic system; yet they can cause problems of safety, noise and pollution.
The National Transport Commission (NTC) is the agency responsible for Australia-wide road and rail regulatory reform. ALGA liaises closely with NTC on heavy vehicle issues affecting local government at a national level.
1. Performance Based Standards (PBS) for Heavy Vehicles
PBS allows heavy vehicles to be built and operated to meet specified safety, infrastructure protection and environmental performance criteria, rather mass and dimension specifications.
ALGA enacted a Memorandum of understanding with NTC in 2003 to encourage the implementation of PBS throughout the full road system. ALGA and some state associations have participated in NTC committees and (PBS) trials as part of the Vehicle access project, but full PBS implementation is a complex, staged process. NTC has produced a good fact sheet on the implications of PBS for local government.
2. COAG Road Reform Plan (CRRP)
CRRP has been commissioned by COAG to examine the feasibility of establishing a Mass/Distance/Location charging regime for heavy vehicles.
ALGA has participated in the work of CRRP and is a member of the Board overseeing the work. CRRP is due to report to COAG in early 2012.
3. National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR)
ALGA particpated in the establishment of the NHVR with regard to those elements that will empower local government.