Accurate heavy vehicle route planning is critical to ensuring the safety of drivers, productivity of freight movements and sustainability of road infrastructure across Australia.
One of our priorities at the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has been to work towards a safer and more efficient heavy vehicle industry. We know that there is a significant opportunity to enhance how our government and industry manage and access road assets.
The Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project (SLGAAP), as a federally-funded initiative, is assisting local government road managers to perform assessments of their bridges and culverts.
This project feeds directly into the enhancements being made to our NHVR Portal, where we are introducing a suite of changes to improve access management holistically.
The NHVR is working to help councils and industry across the country make safer decisions. To give you some examples, below are a list of just some of the projects that have been delivered so far with SLGAAP:
• Establishment of a national local government bridge database, to assist councils with storing their data securely and operators in planning their journey better.
• Education to more than 200 council road managers to increase understanding of heavy vehicle interactions with bridges through webinars, online courses and toolkits on a dedicated knowledge hub on the SLGAAP project website.
• Development of a methodology and establishment of a local government priority heavy vehicle route database, consisting of 1986 routes nationally to provide a focus for assessment that delivers best return on investment.
Through SLGAAP, you can make quicker and informed decisions around access based on bridge assessments, with a clearer understanding of local bridge capability to better inform heavy vehicle access.
We are also working tirelessly to transform the NHVR Portal into a heavy vehicle business centre – this means one location for both government and industry to access the information and tools they need, including road networks, assets and accreditation.
This year, the NHVR is transitioning ACT and Victorian network maps onto the portal. This means for the heavy vehicle industry, drivers and operators will be able to access a single and authoritative location for all ACT and Victorian network maps.
By the end of 2023, the NHVR will have also completed the transition of South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales network maps to the portal.
These changes will bring about huge wins for drivers and operators. The improvements to the portal will allow our drivers and operators to access one platform with all the information needed to plan routes for entire fleet, with a single enforceable network map.
You may be wondering when can government and industry expect to see these changes?
Work is already underway. As each state and territory is onboarded this year, drivers and operators will have access to more comprehensive and consistent routing and network data.
- Sal Petroccitto is CEO, National Heavy Vehicle Regulator