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CoR reforms: the wheels are in motion

June 18, 2015

In August 2015 ALC will host its second Supply Chain Safety & Compliance Summit, where discussion will focus on regulatory changes to the Chain of Responsibility which are being progressed by the Transport and Infrastructure Council (TIC).

TIC, which is comprised of all transport and infrastructure ministers, is attended by ALC to ensure the needs of the logistics industry are appropriately recognised in ministers’ decision making.

At May’s TIC meeting, ministers decided to start making changes to CoR, including an in-principle decision to impose duties on freight chain participants to ensure the maintenance of vehicles. How these participants will be identified is yet to be determined and further work will be carried out on this reform over the course of 2015.

How this reform will directly impact on supply chain participants is also still unclear. Until the legislation is published, no-one will be able to determine what this will mean in practice. The National Transport Commission has confirmed a ‘decision’ Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) will be developed as part of this process. ALC has been advised it is not intended that industry will have the opportunity to comment on this RIS, which is unsatisfactory given the proposed impact on the supply chain.

ALC will be pushing to ensure the RIS actually calculates the real costs to industry imposed by the regulation, as well as, most importantly, how much improvement in safety outcomes will be achieved by imposing the new duties.

In relation to this issue, ALC has proposed to the NTC a series of first practical steps focused on some critical administrative reforms that should be progressed to improve safety and national consistency. But any change to the regulatory framework governing heavy vehicle road worthiness needs to be well-thought through, undertaken in close consultation with industry, and done in such a way that prioritises activities that delivers results.

Another outcome from transport ministers is an endorsement to try to standardise the way scheduled inspections are conducted throughout the country. This is another step along the way towards one national rule book. This step, as well as a mooted standardisation in the way enforcement officers treat defects (a part of the proposed roadworthiness reforms) will assist a ‘one country – one rule book’ approach.

Transport ministers also noted policy issues associated with the development of a national heavy vehicle registration scheme, and directed the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to progress plans for the implementation of a fully workable scheme by 1 July 2018.

ALC will focus on these and other important CoR issues at their upcoming Summit in August.

The ALC Supply Chain Safety & Compliance Summit takes place at Australian Technology Park, Sydney, 26-27 August 2015. To register, visit http://www.alcsafety.com.au

Until next time,
The CoR Adviser Team