Current projects / Review of HVNL investigative and enforcement powers

The NTC will examine whether the agencies charged with enforcing the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) have the appropriate investigative and enforcement powers, including sanctions, to meet the objectives of the law.

Review of HVNL investigative and enforcement powers

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Purpose

In June 2016, transport ministers requested that the National Transport Commission undertake a review of all investigative and enforcement powers in Chapters 9 and 10 of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), and their application by enforcement agencies. The review will identify potential regulatory or operational reforms to reduce complexity and improve effectiveness.

This review is driven by road transport and enforcement agencies’ concerns about the complexity of the HVNL investigative and enforcement powers, especially in relation to the additional information-gathering power proposed as part of the Chain of Responsibility Reforms approved by ministers in November 2015. These are reflected in the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (Qld).

The purpose of this review is to ensure agencies enforcing the HVNL have sufficient and appropriate investigative and enforcement powers, including sanctions, to achieve the objects of the law, while maintaining appropriate safeguards.

The HVNL investigative and enforcement powers provisions have been developed over many years, balancing the needs of regulators and the rights of individuals subject to the law. Changes should only be made where there is clear evidence of a problem and where this balance can be maintained.

This project will involve consultation with key stakeholders, including industry, road transport agencies and enforcement agencies.

Next steps

In October 2016, the NTC released a discussion paper (available below) informed by preliminary consultation with key stakeholders, including industry, road transport agencies and enforcement agencies.

Submissions for this paper closed on Friday, 9 December 2016.

Following receipt of stakeholder submissions, the NTC will prepare a policy paper with recommendations for transport ministers’ consideration in May 2017.

Should ministers agree to legislative change, the NTC will then prepare a draft Bill to amend the HVNL for ministers’ consideration in November 2017. If the development of further guidance materials and training is required, this work will be led by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, as administrator of the law, with input from enforcement agencies and industry bodies and supported by the NTC.

Background

Investigation and enforcement by authorised officers are essential elements in controlling or regulating activities and ensuring compliance with the HVNL. This is achieved by authorised officers detecting breaches, bringing them to the attention of the alleged offender, requiring corrective or preventative action, applying penalties and providing deterrence.

Compliance with the HVNL and, where compliance fails, enforcement of those laws by authorised officers under the HVNL is important for reasons of the safety of all road users, fairness, protection of the road network and the health and wellbeing of the community.

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Contact us

Project Manager Anna Beesley
Last Updated: 13/2/2017