Opinion

Why Does It Take So Long

Why Does it Take So Long

Anybody who has been observing the various government activities around legislation concerning the trucking industry in the last 20 to 30 years can answer the question, why does it take so long to get any genuine, change and reform for the trucking industry?

The casual observer will have noticed one consistent issue which seems to have wasted countless years. The list of long running sagas around reforming legislation is very long, when it comes to the trucking industry.

We only need to look to things like the Performance Based Standards scheme around which discussions began in the early 90s, and there were structures in place, just after the year 2000, which were capable of developing a PBS scheme which would bring innovative vehicles onto the roads of Australia. 

However, it has only been in recent years that general acceptance of PBS vehicles in many different tasks, shapes and sizes has become widespread across most jurisdictions.

What was the problem? The problem was that the process had to go through the mill of individual state and local government jurisdictions and stakeholders all of whom were having their say and refusing to cooperate with what should be nationally recognised standards.

The same process seems to be happening with the NHVR mapping project which has seen state jurisdictions create competing models of a national access map for the trucking industry, all of which has had the affect of delaying the process. 

If it had been cooperative process between states with a common agenda, we would probably already have a national access map for use by trucking operators across the country. Instead, we have had state jurisdictions with incompatible systems competing with each other.

The cherry on top of this wonderful cake of obfuscation and delay is the Heavy Vehicle National Law reform, which has promised a lot and delivered absolutely zero. We are now at the point where those involved in the trucking industry and those involved in regulating the trucking industry are simply finding ways of getting around the existing HVNL because they have given up on any genuine law reform happening any time soon.

The problems were created many years ago when individual states independently legislated an industry, which has now become truly national and in need of a single set of rules to govern and regulate it.

As an industry we do know that the current federal system is not going to go away any time soon and competition and jurisdictional difficulties between the states are going to continue into the future.

We as a trucking industry have to play the waiting game, so we wait and wait and wait……

 

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