Bus industry welcomes bill

The Bus Industry Confederation has welcomed this week’s introduction of the National Heavy Vehicle Law bill

Bus industry welcomes bill
Bus industry welcomes bill

August 1, 2012

The Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) has welcomed the introduction this week of the National Heavy Vehicle Law into Queensland Parliament.

BIC Executive Director Michael Apps says the bill is an important step towards the realisation of a one-stop system for heavy vehicle regulation.

"We congratulate Minister Albanese and his Queensland counterpart Minister Emerson on working together to establish the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) in Brisbane," Apps says.

The NHVR will be operational from January 2013 with other states expected to follow Queensland in passing the National Heavy Vehicle Law through their parliaments.

Apps says the bus industry has worked closely with the NHVR project office in the development of the National Heavy Vehicle Law to ensure that buses were not forgotten.

"While the focus is largely on efficiency gains through the reduction of cross border anomalies in regulation, the majority of bus operations are conducted within a single state," he says.

"The Bus Industry Confederation through the bus industry taskforce have worked to ensure bus industry specific issues have been picked up and understood by the NHVR."

Apps says the NHVR was an opportunity for the unique nature of bus operations to be accounted for in regulation.

"Buses undertake a fundamentally different task – passengers versus freight – and have a fundamentally different style of operations, route, school, tour and charter to other heavy vehicles and we see the NHVR as a pathway to achieving recognition in law of these differences," Apps says.

"Management of fatigue and access to the road network are two key areas BIC will be working on to achieve regulatory reform as the role of the NHVR is defined."

While the NHVR does not cover accreditation, Apps says there needed to be a mechanism to achieve agreed standards for bus safety, bus operations and bus management as a minimum benchmark for all bus operators to achieve accreditation and a mutual recognition between states of these standards.

He says the same principles should apply for bus driver licensing and driver authority requirements.

"NHVR Project Director Richard Hancock and his team should be congratulated for recognising bus specific issues in their consultation process and BIC will continue to work with them in the future", Apps says.

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