Flexible fatigue rules for the Bush?

There’s still eight months to go until the National Regulator is established, but in roughly half that time the nation’s Transport Ministers are going to be asked to sign off on a plan that will allow the National Regulator to deliver more flexible fatigue rules for rural operators.

It’s something we’ve been working on for over two years.

It’s been kept alive despite the collapse of the NTC’s 2010 ‘Review of Basic Fatigue Management’.

It’s been endorsed by the 2011 ‘Independent Expert Panel’ as one of the critical issues that have to be addressed by the National Regulator.

It’s been accepted as a priority by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator Project Office and the Project Board.

And it’s had a lot of input from our members. On top of meetings held by our State Associations, National Council has had several workshops with the staff working on this and, critically, with Professors Ann Williamson and Drew Dawson.

And, in just a few months, it’ll be on its way to Ministers. That’s the moment of truth: will the Southern and Eastern States agree to more flexible rules for rural operators, and will they agree to nationally consistent rules?

Next Monday, the NSW LBCA will be leading our first national delegation to the NSW Government on this issue. NSW’s agreement will be one of the keys to getting more sensible rules approved, and we want the Government to take plenty of time to understand what’s being proposed.

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