Countdown to Chain of Responsibility changes

With one month to go until the new Chain of Responsibility changes kick in, Waste Management Review speaks to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator about what it means for the waste sector.

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NHVR details incoming HVNL changes

A national mass increase for two-axle buses and twin steer tri-axle semi-trailer combinations will be among a number of changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and regulations starting 1 July, according to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said the changes would provide nationally consistent mass limits for the two classes of heavy vehicles.

“Mass limits for twin steer tri-axle heavy vehicle combinations will also increase from 42.5 tonnes to 46.5 tonnes, providing more flexibility for operators.”

Among other changes, heavy vehicle operators using tag trailers will be required to operate under 1:1 towing mass ratio, similar to pig trailers and dog trailers.

“Two-axle buses equipped with dual tyres on the rear axle can operate up to 18 tonnes, conditional on the bus being equipped with some additional safety features,” said Petroccitto.

“This means buses in South Australia, ACT and Tasmania can operate at the increased mass limit, similar to buses that are currently operated in Queensland, NSW and Victoria,” he said.

The NHVR has also reported that all penalties will increase by CPI and access charges will increase from $72 to $73, also in line with CPI. An access fee will also be applied to all Higher Mass Limit permit applications from 1 July.

The NHVR has provided a summary of some minor changes to the Vehicle Standards, including warning sign requirements for long vehicles and road trains, rear marking plate requirements, condensate drain valve requirements and number plate markings for hydrogen and electric powered vehicles.

The first round of changes to national heavy vehicle registration agreed to by state and Federal governments will also begin, including: a new national heavy vehicle plate and nationally consistent plate fee in participating states and territories (jurisdictions); more jurisdictions removing heavy vehicle registration labels; and the option for fleet operators across all jurisdictions to set common registration expiry dates.

Further changes to the registration system, including free read-only access to fleet registration details on a digital platform will be available later this year.

CoR changes coming soon

Reforms to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws will be implemented from 1 October, with timing for the changes confirmed by Queensland Transport and Main Road Minister, Mark Bailey.

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said the start date for the reforms follows lengthy consultation and information for heavy vehicle businesses over the past 18 months.

“The NHVR has been engaging with many of the 165,000 businesses which make up the heavy vehicle supply chain, and conducted more than 100 workshops,” said Petroccitto.

“October 1 provides the additional time that some sectors were asking for to prepare for the changes, particularly the agricultural sector.

“This change to CoR laws is a significant leap forward in recognising everyone in the heavy vehicle supply chain has a role to play in ensuring safety.

“The reforms complement national workplace safety laws, and place a positive duty-of-care on supply chain parties.

“Duty holders who assess their risks and manage them will be complying with both the HVNL and workplace safety law,” he said.

The NHVR has information available including CoR Gap Assessment tools, role-specific fact sheets, Safety Management System templates and tools, and videos and podcasts