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NatRoad is your voice to government and regulators








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.


Submitted to: National Heavy Vehicle Regulator

Date submitted: 29 January 2018

Summary: NatRoad supported the voluntary use of EWDs on the proviso that:

  • the integrity of EWDs is assured, including privacy and security of information
  • the regulatory burden for fatigue management is reduced, and
  • the treatment of drivers using EWDs compared to those using written work diaries is equitable and consistent.

Outcome: In the final notice of rule-making released on 17 April 2018, the NHVR clarified how operators would be treated when using written work diaries or EWDs, including outlining that drivers can make manual entries at any time prior to accepting the information at the end of their work day.  The NHVR is in the process of reviewing candidate systems against the EWD Standards and a list of EWDs that are approved will be available on the NHVR website.

Document: NatRoad Submission -EWD Policy Framework and Standards 

Submitted to: NSW Staysafe Committee

Date submitted: 1 February 2018

Summary: NatRoad submitted that, as a general principle, designing our roads and vehicles to be safer is more effective than relying on driver behaviour.

Although in-vehicle technologies and mobile apps can make the driving task safer, they also have the potential to increase driver distraction. These risks must be considered in the design of in-vehicle technologies.

Outcomes: The Committee issued its final Inquiry Report on 24 May 2018, finding that no single technology currently available can accurately and reliably detect or predict fatigue and that further research is adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and automated emergency braking should be encouraged. Recommendations included:

  • Completing the NSW Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy as a priority
  • Pursuing national harmonisation of heavy vehicle regulation
  • Adopting a consistent policy on the installation of telematics and the early adoption of proven and available safety technologies
  • Examining accreditation and operator licensing, and the value of an incentives scheme to encourage small operators to acquire new technologies
  • Reviewing the current road safety strategy with an increased focus on safe driving on country roads, driving safely around heavy vehicles, driver distraction, and management of roadworks.

Document: NatRoad Submission -NSW Inquiry into heavy vehicle safety and use of technology to improve road safety

Submitted to: Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities

Date submitted: 2 February 2018

Summary: NatRoad’s policy position is to support the use of engineering controls as a reasonably practicable measure to minimise the hazards and associated risks of roll-overs. NatRoad supported mandating ESC and RSC systems in new heavy vehicles but did not support excluding heavy rigid vehicles from the requirements.

Outcomes: In June 2018 the Government released the final RIS, recommending that ESC would be mandated for new prime movers and short wheelbase rigid vehicles greater than 12 tonnes GVM and new buses greater than 5 tonnes GVM, fitment of ABS would be mandated for new trailers greater than 4.5 tonnes GTM, and fitment of RSC would be mandated for new trailers greater than 10 tonnes GTM.

The proposed implementation timetable is:

  • For heavy trucks and buses – 1 November 2020 for new models and 1 January 2022 for all new vehicles.
  • For medium and heavy trailers – 1 July 2019 for new models and 1 November 2019 for all new vehicles

The final RIS says that this option (Option 6c Plus) would offer positive net benefits of $217 m resulting from savings of 126 lives and 1101 serious injuries from a 15-year period of regulation.

Document: NatRoad Submission – Consultation Regulation Impact Statement for Improving the Stability and Control of Heavy Vehicles

Submitted to: Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities

Date submitted: 16 February 2018

Summary: NatRoad recommendations included:

  • Extending the functions of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to include the investigation of serious heavy vehicle incidents.
  • Raising awareness and providing guidance for businesses using vehicles for work to recognise that road safety must be managed in the same way as other workplace safety risks.
  • Offering subsidies or incentives to encourage the purchase of safer vehicles and use of safety technologies.
  • Supporting greater use of high productivity vehicles
  • Applying Safe System principles and treatments to all road infrastructure investment and include road access service standards for significant freight and supply chain corridors.
  • Reviewing and improving the heavy vehicle driver fatigue regulations.
  • Improving training and assessment standards for heavy vehicle driver licensing.
  • Including information on sharing the road safely with heavy vehicles in all driver education programs.
  • Ensuring enforcement is appropriately targeted to areas of highest risk.

Outcome: Awaited

The review of the fatigue laws will occur as part of the review of the HVNL at the end of 2018.  The other recommendations form the basis of ongoing NatRoad lobbying on road safety improvements.

Document: NatRoad Submission – National Road Safety Strategy Inquiry

Submitted to: Senate Select Committee on the Future of Work and Workers

Date submitted: 20 February 2018

Summary: NatRoad argued that enhanced legal responsibility along the supply chain for safety outcomes is a reform that will be central to improving safety of workers.  NatRoad asked the Committee to firmly reject any arguments for the re-introduction of so-called “safe rates” into the transport industry and to reject the scheme established via the NSW General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD.)

Outcome: The Senate Committee will report on 15 August 2018.

Document: NatRoad Submission – Inquiry on the Impact of Technological and Other Change on the Future of Work and Workers in Australia

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

Date submitted:  17 April 2018

Summary:  Given the complexity of the system it is likely to add costs, especially for heavy vehicles.  The potential uncertainty in relation to heavy vehicle modifications and this additional cost burden of having a new inspection service that could be unnecessarily imposed on the heavy vehicle sector needs to be re-examined or further clarified before the legislation implemented.

Outcomes: There are still a number of statutory Rules that require development and/or revision to ensure that the new legislation delivers appropriate consumer protection and road safety outcomes.

Document: NatRoad Submission – Road Vehicle Standards Bill 2018 [Provisions] and related bills

Submitted to: Safe Work Australia

Date submitted: 26 April 2018

Summary: NatRoad submitted that overall, the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws are operating as intended. Ultimately heavy vehicle safety requirements, including rules relating to fatigue and load restraint, could be rationalised by including specific regulations under the WHS laws. This will remove the risk of inconsistency and confusion and should improve compliance where heavy vehicle safety is managed holistically as part of a safe system of work.

Outcome: Feedback from the review consultations will inform a report being provided to WHS Ministers in early 2019.

Document: NatRoad Submission – Review of the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws

Submitted toSenate Standing Committee on Education and Employment

Date submitted: 6 June 2018

Summary: NatRoad highlighted the need to look beyond increased regulation and higher penalties to focus on preventing work-related death and injury in the first instance.

NatRoad highlighted overlapping and complex safety laws and the lack of national consistency as key burdens for transport operators, and opposed the introduction of industrial manslaughter laws as there are already existing manslaughter offences in each jurisdiction under general criminal law.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: NatRoad Submission – Inquiry into Industrial Deaths

Submitted to: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Summary: NatRoad submitted concerns about the dominance of Transurban in operating Australia’s toll roads and that the proposed acquisition would give Transurban an advantage in bidding for future toll roads in NSW and nationally, funded by further increases in truck tolls on its existing toll roads. Government incentives to constrain Transurban’s heavy vehicle charges will continue to erode.

Outcome: Decision date delayed to 6 September 2018.

Document: NatRoad Submission – Sydney Transport Partners – proposed acquisition of a majority interest in WestConnex

Submitted to: National Transport Commission

Date submitted: 2 July 2018

Summary: Engine brake noise standards should not proceed in the form proposed by the National Transport Commission. The regulatory impact of the proposal has not been adequately gauged given that the RIS was undertaking in draft in 2006 and published as a final in 2007.

Outcomes: Awaited

Document: NatRoad Submission – Heavy Vehicle (Vehicle Standards) National Regulation Amendment Regulation 2018 – Engine Brake Noise

Submitted to:  National Transport Commission

Date submitted:  4 July 2018


  • Option 3 in the Discussion Paper (Allow for a minor, incidental or unavoidable loss of part of a load) is supported as it would sensibly introduce a practical protection against prosecution where the part of a load that has been released has no safety or environmental impact
  • Option 3 would lead to the situation where the HVNL would be amended to provide that the minor, incidental and unavoidable escape (in any practical sense), release or discharge of part of a load in circumstances such as a minor spillage of effluent does not constitute an offence.
  • NatRoad urges broader reform to chain of responsibility laws than set out in the Discussion Paper
  • NatRoad supports extension of CoR responsibilities to those preparing livestock for transport

Outcome: Awaited

Document: NatRoad Submission – NTC Effluent and Load Restraint

Submitted to: National Transport Commission

Date submitted: 2 July 2018

Summary: The proposal to introduce an engine brake noise standard should not proceed.  It fails at a number of levels but particularly in relation to accessibility and transparency. Because of the distance between the theoretical basis on which engine brake noise is measured and practical on-ground measurement and calibration, we submit that this part of the Draft Regs should be removed for reconsideration

Outcomes: Awaited

Document: NatRoad Submission – Heavy Vehicle (Vehicle Standards) – Engine Brake Noise

Submitted to:  National Transport Commission

Date submitted: 6 July 2018


Operators involved in two-up and solo driving

  • Currently, under the HVNL, drivers operating under a two-up arrangement are unable to transition to solo driving unless they are fully compliant with solo work and rest hours, or complete a reset rest break of 48 hours plus two consecutive night breaks. This means that there is no incentive for drivers to operate under a two-up arrangement.
  • A nationally agreed policy or a legislative amendment is needed to clarify work and rest hours when transitioning between two-up and solo driving.

Operators driving in and out of WA or NT

Section 245 in the HVNL requires drivers travelling into WA or NT and back again in the last seven days to comply with work and rest hours under the HVNL. The submission proposes that:

  • Drivers based in participating jurisdictions who make journeys into WA or NT and who do not operate under WAHVAS and NHVAS fatigue modules and cannot satisfy the WA or NT fatigue requirements should continue to comply with the HVNL work and rest hours as a default.
  • Drivers based in WA or the NT should be allowed to follow their own laws until they drive into a participating jurisdiction, when they must comply with the HVNL by recording their work and rest hours from the end of the last rest break of 5 or more hours before entering the participating jurisdiction.

Although a complete review of the fatigue rules is necessary as part of the HVNL review, it will help industry if these issues are addressed in the meantime.

Outcomes: Awaiting NTC decisions

Document:  NatRoad Joint Submission – National Transport Commission Discussion Paper: HVNL Fatigue Issues

Submitted to: The Treasury and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

Summary: NatRoad notes that the extension of the TPRS to the road freight industry will occur 12 months following the extension of the system to the courier industry which is due to commence from 1 July 2018. Because of the delay in the passage of the First Bill and the difficulty in distinguishing courier and road freight services touched on in this submission and the subject of prior NatRoad submissions, NatRoad recommends that the commencement date of the extension to the courier industry be the same as that for road freight: from 1 July 2019.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: NatRoad Submission – The Treasury and ATO – Extending the TPRS to the Road Transport Industry

Submitted to: Transport and Public Works Committee, Queensland Parliament

Date submitted: 28 Aug 2018

Summary: NatRoad notes that there are several barriers to adoption of alternatively fuelled vehicles, not the least of which for electric vehicles is the lack of infrastructure especially for long-haul vehicles and the current and projected length of “down time” for re-charging.  To accommodate any shift to alternative fuelled vehicles, infrastructure planning will be vital.  We are sceptical about the imminent increased use of technology (which would include utilisation of electric heavy vehicles) because of the poor state of Australian roads.  For example, the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory says that 85% of the NT roads are unsealed, with many impassable in the wet season.

In analysing the effects of transport technology on employment, NatRoad has once again rejected safe rates as appropriate.  Instead, NatRoad is advocating for further amendments to the HVNL to ensure all parties in the chain of responsibility who have influence or control over the transport task are captured by the safety duties, including online platforms facilitating the engagement of contractors. This measure would also reinforce that so-called safe rates are a defunct and inappropriate response to increasing the protection of owner drivers and other industry participants.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: NatRoad Submission – Inquiry into Transport Technology

Submitted to: Marsden Jacob Associates

Date submitted: 28 Aug 2018

Summary: The consultants (Marsden Jacob Associates) have released a consultation paper relating to reforms under phase 2 of the Government’s broader Heavy Vehicle Road Reform (HVRR) program.

NatRoad supports the Government establishing an independent price regulator for heavy vehicle charges as without the establishment of such a regulator the implementation of a model to determine allowed revenue under heavy vehicle charging based on expected future expenditure

For the reasons set out in the submission, NatRoad recommends that this part of the HVRR be postponed. An independent pricing regulator should possess a broader regulatory role than that set out in the RIS, including the setting of light vehicle charging. It should also regulate and monitor toll fees and landside port charges, given the current lack of transparency and fairness in setting tolls and landside port charges for heavy vehicles.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: NatRoad Submission – Independent price regulation of heavy vehicle charges

Submitted to: The Treasury

Date submitted: 21 Dec 2018

Summary: The unfair contract term (UCT) protections under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) apply to small business contracts from November 2016. The Australian Government has determined to review this extension two years after its commencement.

Treasury published a discussion paper titled Review of Unfair Contract Term Protections for Small Business. In its paper, the Government seeks feedback and comments on a number of questions relating to this regime.

NatRoad made a submission to the inquiry on 21 December 2018.  The submission asks that the Government deem any payment term in a small business contract that provides for a minimum of more than 30 days payment to be unfair.  This deeming could be confined to the road freight industry where unfair payment terms are rife.

Outcome: Awaited

Document: NatRoad Submission – Payment times and unfair contract terms

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