The Federal Government has announced an independent review into why some heavy vehicle operators are experiencing economic losses and delays in being granted special road access permits.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the review followed concerns being raised by industry about operators of some restricted-access heavy vehicles being required to wait for up to several months for permits allowing them to access the road network.
“To protect infrastructure and ensure the safety of other road users, oversized trucks and machinery that are outside the standard weight and/or dimension limits often require special authority to travel on certain roads,” Mr McCormack said.
“In some cases, however, the time it is taking for this authority to be granted is much longer than anticipated, leaving trucking businesses unable to deliver the required goods when they are needed.
”We need to sort through the barriers to the efficient transport of large but essential materials and machinery and come up with both immediate and long-term responses to the issues.
“The Oversize Overmass (OSOM) Review will therefore consider what changes to the regulatory framework and processes are required to ensure OSOM vehicle permits can be issued within a reasonable timeframe, without compromising safety.”
Consultancy firm WSP Australia will undertake the review with the assistance of an expert reference group, which will include industry representatives.
“The review will be led by Pascal Felix from WSP who, as a former regulator in Western Australia, brings a wealth of relevant industry experience to the role,” Mr McCormack said.
The OSOM Review will start immediately, commencing with consultation with industry, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and road managers including local councils and state and territory road authorities.
The review is scheduled to be completed by October 2018 following which a report will be provided to federal, state and territory transport ministers for their consideration.