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Australian road transport operators will be able to transport more goods using fewer vehicles thanks to new policies approved by ministers at last Friday’s Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting that will allow trucks to carry larger but not heavier loads.

Ministers approve up to $1.5 billion annual productivity boost to Australia’s freight operators

25 May 2017

Australian road transport operators will be able to transport more goods using fewer vehicles thanks to new policies approved by ministers at last Friday’s Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting that will allow trucks to carry larger but not heavier loads.

Chief executive of the National Transport Commission Paul Retter said the commission had developed the new policy settings to help people who transport lighter loads such as cotton, wood chips or hay get their goods to market more efficiently.

“These policy decisions pave the way for changes to the law that will help to reduce the number of trucks on Australian roads and give our nation’s transport industry a productivity boost worth up to $1.5 billion per year,” Mr Retter said.

“Our estimates show that as many as 5000 fewer rigid vehicles and up to1700 fewer B-double vehicles would be needed to move the same volume of freight.”

Mr Retter said the changes would permit an increase in the length of rigid vehicles of up to two metres and that B-doubles up to 30 metres in length would be permitted as long as they met certain standard safety requirements.

“These changes will result in better road access, fewer trucks on our roads, less road damage and no reduction in road safety,” Mr Retter said.

Mr Retter said the current access restrictions for PBS level one vehicles will be removed to encourage more people to use safer and more efficient vehicles approved under the scheme. Allowing these longer vehicles to operate under general access conditions will give Australia’s transport operators another productivity boost.

“If this country wants to get serious about improving the productivity and safety of our road network we need to embrace the opportunities that PBS can provide and not be afraid to try sensible new approaches,” Mr Retter said.

A copy of the final policy paper is available here.

The proposed laws will be considered by Australia’s transport ministers at their next meeting scheduled for November 2017 and are likely to take effect in 2018.

Last Updated: 25/5/2017