Opinion

Next step towards a single, consistent regulator

The NHVR’s priority is to build a single, consistent national regulator for the heavy vehicle industry. What the last two years has shown is that national consistency must be our paramount goal. You can’t have individual rules or requirements for operators that need to travel across the country seamlessly.

To achieve this, we work closely with each level of government, industry, and agencies to ensure we have a safe, efficient and productive heavy vehicle industry serving the needs of Australia.

In the states where we have transitioned, we are delivering an ‘inform, educate, enforce’ approach. 

While we acknowledge this takes time, we also reserve our regulatory powers for those that consistently do the wrong thing, to ensure we maintain the highest safety outcomes. 

We’re using multiple data sources to ensure we identify those high-risk operators. Examples include crash data, data captured from our national camera network, information provided from industry, police and other state agencies. 

We are becoming data rich to ensure we can tailor our activities to the areas where we need to provide the most focus.

We are also continuing to progress our National Services Transition program, working closely with governments and jurisdictions to transition regulatory services to the NHVR.  National reform isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight. 

We have been able to create consistent operations across South Australia, Tasmania, ACT and Victoria where we are now deliver those services.

We have been able to increase the levels of resources, services and functions at no cost to industry. We’ve provided improved regulatory capability, and we’re now starting to see harmonised policies, procedures, and training of our staff. 

We are now just week away from delivering a similar transition for NSW – the largest jurisdictions for heavy vehicle movements in Australia.

As part of the transition in NSW, we will be undertaking the Heavy Vehicle National Law functions as well as delivering the heavy vehicle inspection services function for the NSW Government.

So, what does that mean for industry?

A more consistent approach to compliance and enforcement is the most significant improvement for industry, particularly those drivers who regularly cross state borders.  

The capability to deliver timely national responses to critical compliance issues will also be a significant advantage of the transition of services.

Industry can rely on a single contact point for consistent, reliable information about the heavy vehicle law and issues facing drivers or businesses.

The next few months will see the transition across NSW take place and another step towards our goal of delivering a single, consistent national regulator for the heavy vehicle industry.

  • Sal Petroccitto is CEO at the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator

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