Lobbying kicks off for a ‘regulator with teeth’

Last Thursday, 23 September, the industry took the first step in the lobbying campaign that will push for the best possible laws that will be part of setting up the national regulator next year.

A delegation made up of the ATA, the Australian Logistics Council, and our own Association had a very healthy – and surprisingly long – meeting in Parliament with the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese.

Our ATA colleagues have done a report in their national news and I’ve gratefully reprinted some of their words to start our News today. Here’s David Simon, Chairman of the ATA:

“It was a very positive discussion. The industry and the minister share the same vision of national laws and a national regulator that delivers safety and productivity improvements, but the industry has serious concerns about the way we have been consulted over the details of the legislation and several of the provisions that were in the last public draft of the laws.”

“We want a single national marketplace, but we can’t accept operators having to go backward – in any part of the country – in order to get there.”  (Note: underlining added by ALRTA, and we’re pleased to see the ATA being so alert to WA and other regional issues).

“We expressed a strong view there needs to be more direct industry involvement as the laws are finalised. We were very encouraged by the minister’s awareness of our concerns and desire to address them. We also expressed our strong support for the way the NHVR Project Office has worked positively with the industry.”

The national truck law package has been split into two Bills, with the first one now being considered by Ministers. The second Bill will be completed next year, with a statement of guiding principles to be agreed by early November.

The delegation argued the following issues need to be addressed, in either Bill:

  • the law must do more to promote access to the road network;
  • the NHVR must have powers of direction and oversight regarding state agencies and police;
  • the chain of responsibility and code of practice provisions must be fair and strong;
  • the public reporting obligations of the NHVR must be stronger;
  • the laws must limit individual Parliaments ability to undermine the scheme;; and
  • the NHVR must be adequately resourced. Funds and resources should be transferred from government agencies, with cost savings passed back to industry.

Following that meeting with the Federal Minister, delegations are being planned to meet state Ministers and press the case for national laws that deliver these results.

Our thanks to the ATA, the ALC and also our colleagues in NatRoad for the excellent teamwork and generous sharing of time, resources and skills that’s being brought to this campaign.

(Note: each week, ALRTA emails the entire ATA news direct to all of our members who’ve ‘opted-in’. An informed industry is a stronger industry: you can sign up by dropping a note to Anna on office@alrta.org.au. Regrettably, we cannot send the ATA’s news by fax.)

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