Senate Committee Hearing: Having Our Say for the Road Transport Industry

Senate Committee Hearing: Having Our Say for the Road Transport Industry

If you have ever spoken with Sarah or me about a heavy vehicle fatigue matter, there’s no doubt some of the conversation would’ve covered problems with the fatigue provisions in the HVNL and the heavy vehicle work diary.

Over the years, you’ve told us how it feels to operate under these confusing and impractical laws, and we’ve seen them work in ways that have hurt the industry.

Well, on 8 February 2021, we were invited to share our grievances with the Senate Committee looking into what the Federal Parliament can do to support a “viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry”- and we went for it.

Senator Glenn Sterle was interested to hear our perspective from the “pointy end” of where the industry meets the law, and we were glad to highlight problems with the system in a way that will hopefully bring real change for the industry.

On behalf of Ainsley Law and of all our clients who have shared their experiences with us over the years, I spoke with the Committee about:

  • using Chain of Responsibility provisions for fatigue offences, rather than hitting drivers with heavy fines and court dates when someone else is responsible;
  • training in how to use the work diary and the benefits of long-haul driving being recognised as a trade with apprenticeships;
  • inconsistency in the treatment of drivers roadside by police and transport officers;
  • the ridiculously high fines faced by hard working drivers and operators under the HVNL;
  • and that all these things are forcing good people out of the industry and causing a rift between the industry and law enforcement.

If you would like to read the transcript of my evidence, you will find it here. Further to this, Ainsley Law’s written submission to the Committee (submission 98) can be read here. Now we will wait and see if Parliament will make real changes to back the industry based on our submissions.

If you have any questions about HVNL (Heavy Vehicle National Law) or you have a heavy vehicle fatigue matter you would like some advice on, please contact us at Ainsley Law on 0416 224 601 or leave an enquiry.