Australia, Bus Industry News

CVIAA welcomes NVES funding as BIC laments system issues

Following issues raised by BIC and the CVIAA, $84.5 million of federal budget funding will now help improve the controversial ROVER system

The Commercial Vehicle Industry Association of Australia (CVIAA) has welcomed the federal budget announcement of $84.5 million going towards improving the functionality of the online portal for the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES), ROVER.

The funding comes after the Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) earlier this month raised issues around the system and its ability to support the upcoming NVES.

Following numerous reports of ROVER issues, BIC took to LinkedIn to call for improvements to ROVER.

Currently, ROVER is the administration system for the Road Vehicle Standards Act (RVSA) 2018.

“There have been ongoing issues with ROVER and the RVSA since they commenced,” BIC says.

“We are spending an increasing amount of time assisting our members to resolve issues that are in many cases holding up approvals.”

While BIC says some of these issues are impacting the entire transport industry, certain issues have been more bus-specific.

“As an Aussie, it is embarrassing when some of our multinational members tell us that the system is the hardest to deal with in the world,” BIC says.

“We will continue to advocate to the federal government for improvements to Rover and the RVSA, and to collaborate with the department and other industry peaks to get these issues resolved.”

These calls have been partially answered, with CVIAA president Clive Polley saying the funding announcement is an acknowledgement that the ROVER system needs investment to improve its functionality to be able to regulate the NVES.

“It’s hoped that some of this substantial funding will go towards improving the underlying system,” Polley says.

“The CVIAA has been calling for a system overhaul since 2019, so we encourage the government to allocate part of this funding to fix the underlying system.”

Polley says the CVIAA has been at the forefront of ROVER improvement advocacy since 2018, with the association contributing to numerous stakeholder roundtables and participating in BETA trials prior to the ROVER’s launch.

“The system, which has undergone numerous ‘upgrades,’ has remained unfit for purpose for some time and requires a complete system rebuild to meet the needs of industry and obligations of government,” Polley says.

“This announcement comes at a critical time for an industry who has been increasingly frustrated by the system’s lack of functionality that substantially increases business costs and time.”

In a recent letter to King, the CVIAA, alongside 49 other industry stakeholders, outlined five key areas for immediate reform required for the ROVER system.

The letter recommended that the federal government reinstate case managers to liaise with industry on open applications, allocate adequate federal funding to rebuild the system, establish a steering committee to guide the rebuild, conduct a legislated RVSA Implementation Review courtesy of an independent organisation and establish an independent Ombudsman to address outstanding complaints or issues with the system.

“It is critical for a functional and efficient portal that supports the commercial vehicle industry’s operations and regulatory compliance. The united voice, led by the CVIAA, is clear – fix ROVER,” Polley says.

“CVIAA welcomes the funding but will need to work with the federal government and its related agencies to ensure the ROVER system meets the needs of both industry and government.”

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