Bus industry for heavy vehicle rego scheme

The Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) has made its support for a National Heavy Vehicle Registration Scheme (NHVRS) clear, as Federal Government ministers consider the proposal.

Bus industry for heavy vehicle rego scheme
is supportive of a National Heavy Vehicle Registration Scheme and getting rid of rego charges on government school and route service buses

A national registration scheme could deliver tangible benefits to bus and coach operators who operate vehicles in a number of states and territories or operate from several depots across a wide area.

BIC executive director Michael Apps wrote to the minister for infrastructure and transport Darren Chester on behalf of his members to reiterate bus industry support for a national heavy vehicle registration scheme.

"We have been a proactive supporter of the NHVR and work closely with them, and all jurisdictions, to deliver a national and consistent approach to heavy vehicle regulation and law," he says.

"This is, on occasion, made more complicated for the bus and coach industry due to the contractual arrangements with State and Territory governments and bus operators. "

Contractual arrangements can be different in each jurisdiction and require unique jurisdictional requirements to meet state accreditation requirements, state laws and National Heavy Vehicle laws, but Apps says the industry works through these issues as they arise with the NHVR.

"Without a national registration scheme, the NHVR will not be seen as a truly centralising agency in the regulation of heavy vehicles in Australia. The NHVR is an important red tape reduction measure that will streamline registration processes and reduce the regulatory burden on the heavy vehicle industry."

"A one stop shop that allows bus and coach operators who operate vehicles in multiple states to streamline registration dates and payments to suit their administrative back office and financial and banking requirements would be highly beneficial."

Apps says that a single national data set for heavy vehicle registrations would be beneficial for the collection of important information about the passenger task being undertaken, by which types of vehicles.

The removal of registration fees, for buses and coaches being used for route and school services that are delivered under state government contracts, is also being pursued by the industry.

"In the context of the bus and coach industry, registration charges for public transport and school services that are delivered through state government contract should be removed," Apps says.

"Similar to what occurs in many states in the US — this charge is effectively paid by the state government as it is a recognised operating cost in contracts. "

"Alternatively the opportunity exists to exempt all buses or reduce registration fees as part of a future heavy vehicle road pricing arrangement that recognises the external benefits of bus travel. These are all issues that can be further explored in working toward the introduction of a NHVRS."

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