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ATA’s Response to Transport Ministers Meeting

ATA's Response to Transport Ministers Meeting

The ATA’s response to transport ministers meeting details where the association stands on possible changes coming to the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

Transport ministers had agreed to reform the HVNL to increase the trucking industry’s productivity and simplify the fatigue rules.

As part of the industry’s lobbying for the reforms, ATA Chair Mark Parry met earlier in June with federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Catherine King. The ATA’s member associations put the case to state ministers.

“The reforms were put together by former NSW Roads and Maritime Services CEO Ken Kanofski. He consulted widely with governments and industry representatives, and reached a compromise that had broad support,” Mark says.

“The ATA and our members had put forward our own, more ambitious, proposal. We agreed to the Kanofski reforms to save the reform process and get results.

“The agreed reforms would increase the productivity of the trucking industry, which has stagnated since the 1990s. Productivity is the key to increasing wages without inflation, as well as continuing the path towards lower emissions intensity.

“The reforms would increase the productivity of trucks with heavy cargoes by up to five per cent. Trucks could be a metre longer and 30 centimetres higher, so operators would not need as many special permits.

“The truck driver fatigue rules are a maze of random requirements that drivers must meet perfectly. The reforms would simplify their work diaries, make enforcement fairer and reduce penalties to reasonable levels.

“Ministers agreed to all these reforms. They said so in writing.

“But now we understand that their departments can’t agree on the details. Some states are even denying that their ministers reached an agreement at all, despite their joint public statement to the contrary.

“The industry was prepared to compromise to get a result; we expect ministers and their departments to do the same.

“In addition, ministers must agree on a structured process for continuing the law reform process in manageable chunks, as well as a process for agreeing to minor or technical changes.

“The industry’s productivity, safety, sustainability and ability to attract staff depends on ministers getting this right.”


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