This is critical to improving safety and productivity: ATA

REDUCED audits and independent accreditation are critical to improving trucking safety and productivity, Chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Geoff Crouch, said today.

In his opening address today at the Australian Trucking Association and Australian Logistics Council Supply Chain Safety Summit in Sydney, Mr Crouch emphasised the need for law reform to address duplication and unnecessary complication surrounding compliance audits.

"The Australian trucking industry has come a long way since the Heavy Vehicle National Law was introduced, but we cannot rest on our laurels," Mr Crouch said.

"There are still problems within the law, which is why we called for a review.

"It has failed to increase our industry's productivity and failed to address the growing number of customer audits that trucking businesses are required to undertake.

Mr Crouch said the audits are costly, time-consuming, generally cover the same ground and are of little legal value.

The ATA's vision for the new heavy vehicle law includes a separate, voluntary, safety-based system for operators that need even more flexibility.

"We want to see the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator regulate accreditation scheme providers, not run one," Mr Crouch said.

"This would improve productivity and provide greater benefit to operators by reducing the need for multiple scheme and customer audits. Most importantly, it would be a big step improving safety outcomes," he said.

Mr Crouch said he looked forward to discussion during the Summit about the other barriers to streamlining compliance audits.

"This is about ensuring a safer industry, reducing audits, stronger regulation and competitive neutrality - there has never been a better time for transformational change in how we improve safety," he said.

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