Heavy Vehicle Regulation

On 10 February 2014 the Heavy Vehicle National Law, covering all heavy vehicles over 4.5 tonnes, commenced in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, SA and the ACT. The law covers matters relating to vehicle standards, mass dimensions & loadings, fatigue management, the Intelligent Access Program, heavy vehicle accreditation and on-road enforcement. The ACT has partially implemented the legislation and will proclaim remaining elements of the legislation at a later date. WA and NT are not participating in the national reform at this time.

The law is administered by the Brisbane based National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. The Regulator, in conjunction with the National Transport Commission, will continue to progress national heavy vehicle reforms through its forward work program.

Review of Oversize Overmass Arrangements

On 29 June 2018, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Michael McCormack MP announced the commencement of an independent review of current Oversize Overmass (OSOM) access arrangements, to consider the regulatory framework and the system processes for ensuring safe, productive and critical access by OSOM vehicles to Australia's road network.

Consultancy firm WSP Australia will undertake the review, which will examine and make findings focused on:

  1. Current access arrangements for OSOM vehicles and permit approval times, including Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) designated roles, processes and responsibilities;
  2. Current practices and principles used by road managers to understand the key considerations that underpin the assessment of risk and risk-mitigation decisions;
  3. The factors that contribute to approval times from application to issuing access permits, including route and asset assessments, the IT systems and tools used, and third party consultation.
  4. The impact on industry and road managers from existing OSOM access arrangements;
  5. Attributes or components of equivalent best practice arrangements;
  6. Variations in OSOM access arrangements and permit approval processes between states, territories and local governments, and communication processes for changes to operational policies;
  7. Priority matters to be considered by the National Transport Commission Review of the HVNL; and
  8. Strategies to reduce the number of access permits issued or to reduce the time taken to issue permits, and their effectiveness in improving OSOM access arrangements.

Without compromising safety, the review will consider recommendations which are more quickly implementable on:

  1. The greater use of technology and data in improving OSOM access arrangements;
  2. Improved reporting arrangements for industry, road managers, and governments including regular timely reporting and more accessible statistics;
  3. More streamlined and visible permit approval processes;
  4. Better identification and strategies to support the uptake of best practice;
  5. Improving OSOM access outcomes through better industry planning and engagement;
  6. Improving arrangements for sector-specific vehicles, such as agriculture;
  7. Improving permit approval timeframes; and
  8. Harmonised police and/or pilot arrangements between jurisdictions.

The review will be completed by October 2018 and a report will be provided to transport Ministers for consideration soon after.

If you would like to participate in the consultation phase of the review, please send an email with contact details to this address — osomreview@infrastructure.gov.au — by 10 August 2018

History of Heavy Vehicle Regulatory Reform

In July 2009 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed that a single national heavy vehicle regulatory regime be established to cover all vehicles over 4.5 gross tonnes. COAG agreed that the national regime include a single national regulator to administer a single set of national heavy vehicle laws replacing the separate and at times conflicting regulatory requirements on the heavy vehicle industry between States and Territories.

In August 2011 an Intergovernmental Agreement on Heavy Vehicle Regulatory Reform was signed by COAG (except Western Australia) setting out the principles and processes to implement the decision to deliver a national heavy vehicle regulatory system. The signing of this agreement recognises that the Commonwealth and the States and Territories have a mutual interest in improving national regulation and the need to work together to achieve these outcomes.

In November 2011 the Heavy Vehicle National Law Act 2012 was approved by the Ministerial Council on Transport and Infrastructure and was passed by the Queensland Parliament in August 2012.

A second Act, the Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Act 2013, was approved to address a number of issues that were unable to be resolved in the initial set of heavy vehicle national laws. The Amendment Act was passed by the Queensland Parliament in February 2013. The following link refers to the National Law, as at June 2015.

The Heavy Vehicle National Regulations covering operational matters that support the National Law were agreed by the Ministerial Council on Transport and Infrastructure in February 2013.

Further Information

Further information on the work of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator can be found at its website (www.nhvr.gov.au) or you can contact the Regulator on the following details:

Phone: 1300 MYNHVR (1300 696 487)
Standard 1300 call charges apply
7.00am–5.00pm (AEST) Monday to Friday
Fax: 07 3309 8777
Email: info@nhvr.gov.au

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Last Updated: 11 July, 2018