Local, Independant and Effective
February 25, 2014

Cathy McGowan questions NHVR oversize haulage permit process

Permit process for oversize haulage causing major delays for transport and industry 

CATHY McGowan AO, Federal Member for Indi, today asked the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, about the action the Government is taking to reduce processing times on oversized haulage permits.

“My question is to the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. Several constituents have told me they are having problems with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and its ability to issue permits. I’m told that since February 9, waiting times for permits have blown from 2-3 days when VicRoads was handling the permit application to 28 days. Minister, can you please tell me what the government is doing to rectify this situation?” Ms McGowan asked.

Mr Truss responded that he shared Cathy’s concern about the delay and has found an interim solution with the states to revert back to the old system whilst the issues with the National Regulator are resolved.

The Minister said that they would be in place until the new body is confident that it can provide a timely service.

“It is good to hear that the Minister has a solution,” Ms McGowan said.

“I trust that he will implement it quickly so our trucking businesses can get back to work.”

Ms McGowan asked this question after a number of constituents voiced concern about the issue and said that it was seriously impacting their businesses.

According to one business owner, a process which previously took 2-3 days under the administration of VicRoads, now takes up to 28 days.

“This operator is desperate to get his orders moving and has five permits pending with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator who cannot say when they would be issued,” Ms McGowan said.

The transport operator informed Ms McGowan’s office the factory he was intending to cart goods from a factory that was potentially looking at standing down 25 workers because the goods could not be moved.

“The result of the permit hold-up has been that small business is adversely affected,” Ms McGowan said.

“I know small business is especially important to this Government and speeding up the processing of these permits would really help small businesses across the country.”

Whilst a temporary permit program has been organised by VicRoads, this does not solve the problem for those companies whose work takes them across state borders.

Ms McGowan is concerned not only about the truck and freight businesses in her electorate, but also the impact the inability to transport goods between states would have on other businesses around the country.

“The idea of a national permit system makes sense because freight is constantly moving from state to state,” Ms McGowan said.

“Once the approval process is fixed, the system will be a good one for our trucking and freight industries.”

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