Regulatory Submissions

NatRoad’s role includes making formal submissions to various government bodies on a wide range of policy issues affecting the road freight industry, with the aim of improving the business environment for our members and the industry in general.

 
Submission Topic: Draft Miscellaneous Taxation Ruling: Miscellaneous tax: time limits for claiming an input tax or fuel tax credit

Submitted to: ATO

Date submitted: 24 Jan 2019

The Draft Ruling sets out the ATO view on the time limits for entitlement to claim:

  • a GST (input tax) credit under Division 93 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth) (GST Act); and
  • a fuel tax credit under Division 47 of the Fuel Tax Act 2006 (Cth) (FTA).

The Draft Ruling seeks to confine the entitlements to tax credits under the GST Act and the FTA strictly to the 4 year period set out respectively in s93-5(1) GST Act and s47-5(1) FTA.  This stance is opposed. A taxpayer’s entitlement to a tax credit ceases to the extent that the tax credit has not been taken into account in an assessment within the relevant four yearly entitlement periods and where the taxpayer has a formal process in place challenging the entitlement to a tax credit then that should be seen as the taxpayer “taking into account” the tax credit. NatRoad recommends that the ATO withdraw the Draft Ruling and re-consider the interpretation of the phrase “taken into account” in order to attribute to it a broader meaning.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic: Expansion of the Taxable Payments Reporting System to road freight

Submitted to: ATO

Date submitted: 29 Jan 2019

The Draft Ruling sets out the way the ATO will apply the extension of the TPRS to the road freight industry.  The submission seeks some technical changes to the Draft Ruling and asks that the reporting date for the courier industry be changes so that is is the same as for road freight.  NatRoad also wants notes that for road freight the reporting is from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 with the first Tax Payments Annual Report due by 28 August 2020.  The Ruling should contain this information.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic: Priorities for the 2019-20 Budget

Submitted to: Treasury

Date submitted: 31 Jan 2019

The submission sets out NatRoad’s policy priorities as follows:

  • Provision be made in the Budget for funding the restructured arrangements for road safety responsibilities that will arise from the current review of road safety governance.
  • Monies be allocated for the establishment of an independent statutory body that would be charged with collecting, analysing and disseminating freight related data at a national level.
  • Funding conditions for the Roads to Recovery program should mandate that at least 50% of all money allocated to a council must be spent on projects devoted to road safety.  This could include maintenance for safety purposes and works to improve safe access for heavy vehicles.
  •  Treasury initiate cost estimates and appropriate modelling for the establishment of an independent price regulator for the heavy vehicle industry.  Alternatively, additional funding should be allocated to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to undertake the role of the independent price regulator in the context of Heavy Vehicle Road Reform.
  • Funding for the upgrade and repair of bridges should require an up-to-date and well formulated asset management plan as a condition of funding.
  • The Government should deem any payment term related to a small business standard form contract that requires payment beyond a minimum of 30 days as unfair and proscribed.
  • The Government’s review into fuel stocks be fast tracked as should returning Australia to holding 90 days’ worth of oil stocks. Any infrastructure development and maintenance should be fully funded to achieve this aim.

The Government acknowledges the heavy vehicle driver shortage and provides financial assistance and incentives for young people to become skilled heavy vehicle drivers.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic: Inquiry into Transport Technology

Submitted to: Transport and Public Works Committee, Queensland Parliament

Date submitted: 31 Jan 2019

The submission was provided in response to a question asked during the provision of oral evidence.  The submission outlines various aspects of the costs of training.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here 

 
Submission Topic: Inquiry into the Vic On-demand Workforce

Submitted to: Department of Economic Development

Date submitted: 6 Feb 2019

This submission sets out some critical elements of reform that NatRoad believes would assist with the regulation of digital platforms as well as strengthening the chain of responsibility obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here 

 
Submission Topic: Developing technology-neutral road rules for driver distraction

Submitted to:  National Transport Commission

Date submitted: 13 Feb 2019

NatRoad has made comments on the Issues Paper entitled Developing technology-neutral road rules for driver distraction1 released by the National Transport Commission (NTC) in December 2018.

The Issues Paper concludes that “driver distraction as a safety issue is not as well understood as other road safety risk factors such as drink driving and speeding.”

There is a need for much better research on the underlying causes of heavy vehicle crashes and the key factors involved with identifying trends and patterns.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic:  National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) – Business Rules and Standards Amendments

Submitted to: National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR)

Date submitted: 1 April 2019

NatRoad has made comments on Notice of Propose Rule Making (NPRM) containing proposed amendments to the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) released by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) in December 2018.

The submission provides a view on the policy rationale for a recommended delay of what is a comprehensive review of the current rules and standards for NHVAS. NatRoad asks the NHVR to delay the implementation of the proposed changes as the impact of the changes on the industry have not been properly assessed.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here 

 
Submission Topic: The Princes Highway Corridor Strategy Issues Paper

Submitted to:  GHD Advisory on behalf of the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities

Date submitted: 12 April 2019

In this submission NatRoad provides comments on the Issues Paper entitled Princes Highway Corridor Strategy1 developed by GHD Advisory (GHD) for the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. 

NatRoad provides detailed comment on issues raised but notes that NatRoad supports greater levels of research and data gathering about a large number of the issues the road transport industry faces. Good policy development depends on evidence-based decision making. A large amount of information is already collected by various government agencies and by industry. But it is fragmented and inconsistent which makes it difficult to provide a complete picture of supply chain performance and to compare the performance over a time series. This difficulty transfers to data and analysis of a particular road corridor, as in the current instance. The integration of corridor strategies and the way that issues identified in a particular corridor should be explored against a holistic approach to the industry’s priorities is vital. 

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic:  Interim Report on the Liquid Fuel Security Review

Submitted to: Department of the Environment and Energy

Date submitted: 2 May 2019

NatRoad expressed concern about liquid fuel security in our Pre-Budget submission dated 1 February 2019 made to Treasury. The concern was the potentially highly deleterious effects of any failure in the supply of liquid fuel, or its rationing, on the road transport industry. NatRoad recommended that the Government’s review into fuel stocks be fast tracked as should returning Australia to holding 90 days’ worth of oil stocks, noting that the Government has committed to returning to compliance by 2026.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic:  Risk-based approach to regulating heavy vehicles

Submitted to: National Transport Commission

Date submitted: 24 May 2019

NatRoad explores how the HVNL does not currently resolve the tension between certainty by way of prescriptive requirements and the adaptability of performance based requirements. We explore how the HVNL seems to have a bet each way, forcing all operators and regulated parties to run a safety management system in a prescriptive regulatory environment.  This must change with a greater focus on enforcement that is suitable to a modern, efficient industry. 

NatRoad argues that prescriptive solutions should be available through regulations or regulator developed Codes of Practice where an enterprise does not wish to introduce a far-reaching performance based solution but seeks specific guidance on how to comply with the law.   This change with related changes to enforcement must be introduced. 

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic:  Issues Paper: National Transport Regulatory Reform

Submitted to: Productivity Commission

Date submitted: 27 June 2019

This submission responds to a number of the issues raised in the Issues Paper, focusing solely on the heavy vehicle sector including

  • Heavy Vehicle Road Reform
  • Risk Based as against Prescriptive Regulation
  • Impact of national reforms on safety outcomes
  • Other Contributions to Safety Outcomes
  • Changes to the Current System to Improve Safety
  • HVNL Interaction with WHS system

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here 

 
Submission Topic:  Issues Paper: Effective Fatigue Management 

Submitted to: National Transport Commission 

Date submitted: 22 July 2019

NatRoad provided the National Transport Commission with a comprehensive submission proposing reinvention of national fatigue management laws. 

The NatRoad submission shows how the current fatigue management system is dysfunctional, as shown by the case studies supplied by NatRoad and published in the NTC Issues Paper as well as through an additional detailed case study set out in the submission. 

Reform based on the WA system underpinning a performance based system should be introduced. This will assist to provide needed flexibility in administration, with the abolition of the current diary system, and flexibility in the way that the law is applied.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here 

 
Submission Topic:  Issues Paper: Easy Access to Suitable Routes

Submitted to: National Transport Commission 

Date submitted: 12 Aug 2019

NatRoad has provided the National Transport Commission with a comprehensive submission proposing a different approach to access for heavy vehicles.

The submission recommends putting a place an extensive pre-approved road network for heavy vehicles to make the task of planning heavy vehicle routes simpler and more consistent.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic:  Developing technology-neutral road rules for driver distraction – Consultation Regulation Impact Statement

Submitted to: National Transport Commission 

Date submitted: 14 Aug 2019

NatRoad has provided the National Transport Commission with a  submission on the consultation regulation impact statement (CRIS) entitled Developing technology-neutral road rules for driver distraction released in late June 2019. This submission follows on from our earlier feedback to the NTC on its Issues Paper relating to the same subject.

NatRoad does not support the options proposed in the CRIS.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic: Tow Truck Industry Regulation 2019 and the related Regulatory Impact Statement

Submitted to: Department of Customer Service, New South Wales

Date submitted: 29 Aug 2019

NatRoad has made a  submission on the Tow Truck Industry Regulation 2019 (Reg) and the related Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS).NatRoad believes the legislation is overly prescriptive and poorly targeted and that more fundamental changes to the principal statute, the Tow Truck Industry Act, 1998 (the Act) need to be made or the Reg expanded to include an exemption that has utility, as explained in this submission.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic: Issues Paper: Vehicle standards and safety

Submitted to: National Transport Commission

Date submitted: 30 Aug 2019

NatRoad has lodged a submission on the Issues Paper entitled Vehicle Standards and safety released by the National Transport Commission (NTC) in July 2019. The Issues Paper is part of a series that informs the current review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). 

In the submission, we have emphasised that vehicle standards must reflect current market conditions, up-to-date safety measures and be accessible and transparent.  These principles should be translated into how technical standards for heavy vehicles are developed. That way they will be more supportive of driver and operator needs

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic: Issues Paper: Safe people and practices

Submitted to: National Transport Commission

Date submitted: 30 Aug 2019

NatRoad provided the National Transport Commission with a comprehensive submission about safe people and practices in the heavy vehicle industry. NatRoad submits that the consideration of safe practices within the road transport industry must encompass the issue of unfair or oppressive contract conditions

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic: Regulation Impact Statement – Reducing Heavy Vehicle Rear Impact Crashes Autonomous Emergency Braking

Submitted to: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development

Date submitted: 4 October 2019

NatRoad provided submission on the Regulation Impact Statement (RIS)1 that contains proposals to reduce the number and severity of heavy vehicle rear impact crashes.

The RIS contains six options concerned with increasing the fitment of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems in the Australian heavy vehicle fleet. The research set out in the RIS shows that AEB systems could reduce the severity of around 15% of heavy vehicle crashes, mainly those involving a heavy vehicle impacting the rear of another vehicle.

NatRoad's submission does not support the RIS’s options. We instead propose an option which would require all Euro VI vehicles to contain AEB technology without the option of deleting that technology. This is in effect a variant of Option 1 save that it would require the passage of a regulation that precluded the sale of a model Euro VI truck without AEB.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic: NHVR Grain Harvest Management Schemes Review

Submitted to: National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR)

Date submitted: 16 October 2019

The submission sets out initial NatRoad policy about a potential national Grain Harvest Management Scheme. NatRoad welcomes the NHVR initiative to make uniform the scheme rules relating to harvest schemes.  But a national scheme should not mean that members involved with a State scheme should lose the benefits of that scheme.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic: Issues Paper: Assurance Models

Submitted to: National Transport Commission

Date submitted: 24 October 2019

NatRoad provided the National Transport Commission with a submission about assurance models. We have received feedback from members that the shape of assurance schemes must fit with the new HVNL. NatRoad submits that until the substantive law is settled, the design of an assurance scheme should be delayed.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic: Issues Paper: Effective Enforcement

Submitted to: National Transport Commission

Date submitted: 31 October 2019

NatRoad's submission in response to the NTC Issues Paper entitled Effective Enforcement emphasises the issues of compliance and enforcement are in urgent need of reform. NatRoad has proposed a system where enforcement under the new HVNL should target the most significant threats and consequences associated with driving fatigued

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here

 
Submission Topic: Inquiry on the importance of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry

Submitted to: Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee

Date submitted: 5 November 2019

NatRoad provide a submission on important issues about the road transport industry raised by the Committee’s terms of reference. NatRoad has made eleven recommendations for policy change including:

  1. The transport satellite account becomes a permanently government funded activity.
  2. NatRoad submits the federal Independent Contractors Act could be changed so that the proscription on undercutting Award wages was made clearer. This prohibition would have to exclude payments where the independent contractor/owner driver clearly made a commercial decision to accept a lesser rate than the Award prescription because they would otherwise be travelling empty or they were involved with a backload. Hence, informed consent to such an arrangement should override any strengthened provision. That informed consent must have been reduced to writing.
  3. The Government advance its planned review of the law relating to unfair contract terms.
  4. The priorities identified by Infrastructure Australia that would enhance both safety and the efficiency of the freight task should be analysed, and appropriate funding allocated to their achievement.
  5.  The policy framework for Heavy Vehicle Road Reform be considered by the Committee with a view to better integration of the current Government policy with other reform proposals.
  6. In order that the Heavy Vehicle National Law becomes fit for purpose all Australian governments fully support the outcome of the HVNL review.
  7. The Committee recommend to the federal Government that the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business liaise with NatRoad in order to ascertain what current or future funding is available to assist with the development of the training pathways outlined.
  8. A dedicated authority such as the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) be given power to promptly and fully investigate serious heavy vehicle accidents and to share the results and recommendations publicly so that all industry participants can take appropriate action to reduce the road toll.
  9. The investigative organisation’s role (see Recommendation 8) encompass better research on trends and causal factors about heavy vehicle road safety, such as a growing difference between the level of improvement in the safety record of heavy articulated trucks when compared with heavy rigids.
  10. The federal Government introduce a mandatory code for the road transport industry under Part IVB of the Competition and Consumer Act which would address harsh payment terms in transport industry contracts inclusive of a “pay when paid” prohibition and a maximum 30 day payment provision.
  11. A federal consultative mechanism structured along the lines of the Road Freight Industry Council established in NSW be put in place federally.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: Click Here