Comments wanted on Heavy Vehicle National Law

Submissions have opened for a review of easy access to suitable routes under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

The National Transport Commission on 13 June released an issues paper which summarises current access arrangements under the national law, and in WA and the NT, analyses those arrangements outside the law, and seeks preliminary views on how that access can be improved.

Current problems with the existing national law include the cost of inefficient access, a prescriptive and inflexible decision-making framework, and limited risk controls, the commission said.

“Access is straightforward for many heavy vehicles, however operators of higher-productivity vehicles often need to apply for a permit, or operate under notice, which can result in delays and other costs,” Commission Chief Executive, Dr Gillian Miles, said.

These costs affect all Australian businesses and households.

“We also need to manage our road infrastructure effectively. We need to find the best way to make sure we allow heavy vehicles access wherever it is safe and sensible and, in doing so, make access decisions quickly, consistently and transparently.”

The deadline for comments in 16 August 2019, after which the commission will develop a regulatory impact statement for comment, before giving ministers recommendations in November 2020.

In late June the Commission plans to release issues papers about safe vehicles, and safe practices.