Review of HVNL investigative and enforcement powers
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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.
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.