Media Release: NHVR 

Date: Friday 11 April, 2014

NHVR’s role beyond permits

As I am sure you are aware, there have been issues and challenges for the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) since the new law commenced on 10 February 2014. We had unacceptable delays with certain heavy haulage permits, we have since moved quickly to speed up permits for these vehicles. See Temporary arrangements for more information.

 Despite the difficulties, I would like to stress that commitment to the NHVR remains strong.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Hon Warren Truss MP, has reaffirmed his support and stressed the government is not going to walk away.

Many industry associations have also expressed their ongoing support.

We too remain committed to fulfil our obligations and functions as Australia’s heavy vehicle regulator. The NHVR continues to play a vital role beyond issuing permits and we are working hard to achieve good results in the following areas.

  • Access pre-approvals – We are working extensively with road managers to expand the range of routes registered for pre-approval. So far we have registered 205 pre-approvals from 89 road managers. This makes it faster and easier for operators to access pre-approved routes, particularly roads within the ‘last mile’.
  • Notices– We have been working hard to harmonise pre-existing individual gazette notices, permits, guidelines and policy instruments to bring the best elements and features of these into new national notices and permits. Thirty-one notices have been created under the new law with another 14 currently under development. See Notices and permit-based schemes for more information.
  • Vehicle standards– We help owners and operators with unique needs to meet their business requirements by granting: vehicle standards exemptions (permit); approvals to modify heavy vehicles; and in-principle support for special purpose vehicles. The NHVR is now the single point-of-contact, meaning one application and assessment point for applicants. Since 10 February 2014, we have granted 380 exemptions and 10 in-principle supports.
  • Performance-Based Standards scheme (PBS scheme)– We help owners and operators achieve higher productivity and safety through the PBS scheme, which approves innovative and optimised vehicle designs and grants automatic road access to associated networks. The NHVR is now the single point-of-contact for applicants, meaning a faster and simplified approval process. Since 1 January 2014, we have processed 57 design applications and 140 vehicle approvals.
  • Compliance and enforcement– Our mission is to deliver drivers and operators more consistent enforcement outcomes at the roadside. Earlier this year, the NHVR issued instructions to authorised officers and the Police not to request mass or maintenance accreditation documents from drivers at the roadside nor issue sanctions for failure to carry the documents. These instructions have been followed and have allowed time for amendments to be prepared to the current law to reduce this paperwork burden.
  • Fatigue management– We have introduced an updated and improved national driver work diary which frees drivers from unnecessary paperwork and is easier to fill out. We have also introduced a new risk classification system for advanced fatigue management and have already approved the first operator under it. The new system offers operators greater flexibility in work schedules, decreased administrative and financial burdens when applying, faster approval periods, and transparency in decision-making.
  • National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) – The NHVR helps operators achieve accreditation in Mass Management, Maintenance Management, Basic Fatigue Management and Advanced Fatigue Management. The scheme recognises those operators who have robust safety and other management systems in place. Operators are increasingly using the scheme to show compliance with the law. So far this financial year, we have completed 16,629 NHVAS cases (as at 31 March 2014).

Operators warned of purchasing ‘advertising space’ 
The NHVR is aware of material that has been published inviting heavy vehicle operators to purchase advertising space in a publication apparently connected with the NHVR. The publication’s wording and imagery may lead some to believe that the publication has an official connection to the NHVR.

I must stress that the NHVR is not connected in any way to any publications that seek paid advertising. I encourage anyone who is considering paid advertising to do your research first and contact us.

Red tape reduced for accredited heavy vehicles

The Transport and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (the Bill) was introduced into Queensland Parliament last week to reduce the paperwork burden affecting drivers and operators of accredited heavy vehicles.

Once passed into law, drivers will no longer need to carry documents that prove their employer’s enrolment in the Mass or Maintenance Management accreditation schemes, or that the driver is operating under those schemes. Nor will employers be liable for drivers’ failure to carry and produce these documents on demand or return the documents to their employer if they change jobs.

In the meantime, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has advised authorised officers not to:

  • request nor to require the production by drivers of these mass or maintenance accreditation documents at the roadside; and
  • issue any sanctions for failure to carry or produce the documents.

The rules for Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) and Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) accreditation schemes remain the same. Drivers must still carry and produce on demand all the relevant documents which show that they have been trained and inducted in these two safety-related management schemes.

For more information, visit call 1800 696 487.