WA, NT and Qld talk their priorities with NHVR
THE national regulator has met with industry bodies from WA, the NT and Queensland to discuss their future co-operation, despite some states continued resistance against the NHVL.
Instead the group believes gains can still be made in the north, through degrees of co-operation.
"Regardless of whether we are with the NHVR or not, we need to get the collective problems of the NT, WA and Queensland to the forefront, it is the economic importance of the road transport economy in each of these states that is critical," Western Roads Federation CEO Cam Dumesny said following the meeting.
"Productivity must be a national priority. Collect- ively we need to lead that national conversation about the economic importance of the road transport industry to northern Australia."
An infrastructure agenda agenda and understanding of the export focus all part of the discussions between the groups.
"NHVR has a role to play and access to Canberra," Mr Dumesny said.
"We can't do that by being tribal, the more people we have involved in this conversation and getting it on the national agenda the better - we will work with anyone."
Executive officer of the NT Road Transport Association Louise Bilato said the issue involved more than just the industry, it is about the quality of life for all Australians.
"Rather than us solely focussing on regulation in a singular way we need to, adopt a framework which is about the productivity of the nation," Louise said.
"That's where northern Australia comes into its own, it's not about congestion or urban constraints.
"The conversation with the NHVR was about shifting, and recognition the conversation should be going from insular to looking at more access to the network - how to broaden the opportunities between Queensland, the NT and WA, because that is where you get that greater vision, focus and consistency."
Instead of a black and white focus on the spread of the NHVL into Western Australia and the Northern Territory, there was hope in the group that there would be a deeper look into productivity gains.
"The NHVR shares many similar goals with industry bodies in WA and NT," NHVR CEO Sal Petoccitto said when asked about his view of the meeting with the northern counterparts.
"We are keen to work with industry groups and transport departments in Queensland, NT and WA to ensure the best outcomes for the heavy vehicle industry across Northern Australia.
"We believe we can assist by working toward consistency with laws and safety standards, standards for infrastructure and better access for cross border productivity."