Got a problem with the NHVR?
THE National Heavy Vehicle Regulator receives many applications for various permits, schemes and exemptions. Usually these applications are processed smoothly - and approved.
But sometimes, an application is refused. This can be debilitating for a company relying on the permit or accreditation. It can be overwhelming to know what to do next.
Thankfully the National Heavy Vehicle Law provides a review process for people who are aggrieved by a decision of the Regulator.
The review process has two tiers.
Stage 1: Internal Review
The first stage is an internal review. The decision is referred back to the body who made it for further consideration. You will be given the opportunity to provide further information in support of their application.
The person conducting the internal review will be a different person to the one who made the original decision. This means the application is given fresh consideration by new eyes.
Stage 2: Court Appeal
If the internal review does not go favourably, you can appeal the decision to a Court. A Magistrate will consider all of the information and decide whether or not a different decision should have been made. This is an important opportunity for an impartial third party to consider the situation.
Although these steps seem straight forward, the law has many intricacies. People going through the process for the first time can easily fall into a trap that ruins their case.
The following are some things you should think about if you are considering an appeal:
Can the decision be appealed? - Not all decisions made by the Regulator can be appealed. As a starting point, you should check whether your decision is one that can be appealed. The National Heavy Vehicle law contains a list of the type of decisions which can be. Usually, the letter from the Regulator notifying you of the decision will also include this information.
Time limits - There are strict time limits to apply for an internal review or appeal. Usually you will not be able to pursue your case if you miss the deadline. It is important to make note of the time limit as soon as you are notified of the Regulator's decision.
Can I get more information? - The Regulator is required to provide a Statement of Reasons for their decision. If the Regulator has not included this in their original letter, you can ask them to provide you with one.
Will the decision be stayed? - a 'stay' means that the decision does not take effect until the internal review or Court case is finished, e.g. you may be allowed to keep using your permit that was going to be cancelled. In most cases the decision is not automatically stayed. You will need to make an application.
Where can I go for help? - It is important to get the right information and help as soon as you are considering appealing a decision. This is often the difference between your appeal succeeding or failing.
It is a good idea to seek advice from a lawyer who is experienced in heavy vehicle law. The team from Armstrong Legal is always happy to answer your questions.