The ATA and its accreditation scheme, TruckSafe, has called for fast action on accreditation to be included as a critical part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law review.

TruckSafe is an industry initiative, using a business and risk management system aimed at improving the professionalism and safety of trucking operators nationwide and delivering competitive advantages to accredited operators.

The TruckSafe board of directors met last week, raising questions about the recommendations and outcomes of the 2018 Medlock Analysis of Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Schemes in Australia.

“The Medlock review identified TruckSafe as a robust scheme. TruckSafe accredited operators should receive the same benefits as those in the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme,” TruckSafe chair Ferdie Kroon said.

Review recommendations also included the need to ensure robust audit requirements, greater consistency between schemes through alignment of standards, mutual recognition between schemes, development of a single national accreditation framework, regulatory recognition for all recognised schemes and expanding scheme membership.

“While the findings of the review have great potential to reform heavy vehicle regulation, we are yet to see any action,” Mr Kroon said.

“That’s why we’re calling for fast action on this as part of the current HVNL review. In addition – and as an immediate step – state governments should ensure that TruckSafe accredited operators get the same benefits under their own requirements as operators in any other scheme,” he said.

Supporting the discussion at the TruckSafe Board meeting, the ATA has released its submission to the Productivity Commission on national transport regulatory reform.

The submission calls for an agreed approach to accreditation. The role of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator should be changed so it regulates accreditation scheme providers, such as TruckSafe, and auditors but does not run one itself.

“We want to know why no action has yet been taken, despite the Medlock Review finding that TruckSafe is stronger and more robust than the NHVAS,” ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said.

“TruckSafe is a superior scheme and the discussions about recognising it have come to a standstill. Faster action is needed,” he said.

The ATA submission also calls on the Productivity Commission to revise its draft findings about the NHVR’s cost recovery arrangements. Its draft report asserts that there is very limited cost recovery for the cost of running the NHVR.

“In fact, all heavy vehicle operators in the HVNL states pay an extra registration charge to fund the NHVR,” Mr Crouch said.

“In its consultations on heavy vehicle charges for 2020-21, the NTC pointed out that this regulatory component of registration charges was in fact too high, not too low.

“Its consultation report concluded that a reduction of around 1.3 per cent in the regulatory component in 2020-21 was justified to make sure it accurately recovered the NHVR’s approved budget, $156.4 million,” he said.