Fears grow that ministers will reject much-needed HVNL reform

After six years of costly consultations and reviews, infrastructure and transport ministers are set to reject any “meaningful” Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) reform when they meet again on Friday, fears a well-placed insider.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the industry source familiar with the backroom discussions between bureaucrats and their respective territory, state and federal ministers tells Big Rigs that even the Ken Kanofski reform package – seen as an acceptable compromise by many in the industry – will be thrown out.

“This will mean that after six years and about $50 million in costs, or more, what we’re not going to get is a much simplified, much shorter risk-based, safety-focused heavy vehicle law,” the source said.

“What we’re going to get is the same act with a few additional commas and full-stops – bugger all for six years of really hard work.

“It will mean that the decision of the ministers back in May 2018 to reform the act, make sure it is effective, and all the other things they said, including the discussions in 2019 when they affirmed the new act should have the objectives of safety and productivity, none of that is going to be delivered.

“So, they will fail to deliver on ministers’ own promises and we’ll be stuck with the same garbage act for another 10 years.”

Our insider is hoping that by speaking out, it would help to act as an 11th hour “sky-rocket” and convince ministers to make the right decision on Friday.

“It’s bureaucrats who have got in the way, it’s not ministers,” said the senior industry representative.

“It’s just an appalling state of affairs. We’re hearing that nothing is going to get up on Friday.

“It’s going to hold the country up because it’s going to hold the industry back and it won’t deliver a better safety outcome than we would have had with the proposed reform.”

The insider understands that it was the police who may have scuppered the push for a simpler fatigue management law.

“When you start talking about moving to a risk-based approach where there is more flexibility in judgement and other measures are in place to actually manage fatigue, instead of managing counting hours, police don’t like that because it’s not as easy to enforce.”

In terms of the proposed productivity access reforms, our insider understands that it’s the eastern seaboard jurisdictions who “have just made it so damn hard” to implement the changes the ministers had decided.

“The net effect will be that we’ll still have the same ineffective, cumbersome law that is going to hold us back and stop us from being as productive as we need to be.

“Basically, collectively, the buggers are wanting to stick with the status quo because they’re comfortable.”

1 Comment

  1. your msg on reformed HNVL article was just a space filler for the page. whole lots of nothing about nothing, please to keep me as a reader add substance. 2ndly I’m onwer operator and im disgusted that our transport industries is now driven by zero safety and 100 percent corporate greed..
    mark baker

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