Policy, Advocacy and Technical Updates
Heavy Vehicle Charges Determination BIC Submission
In 2021, the Government released for consultation a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) related to Heavy Vehicle Charges Determination. The BIC responded making several recommendations for Government to consider including suggesting a reduction in the charge from the proposed 3.5%.
the consultation, Government subsequently decided to increase heavy vehicle charges by 2.75% in 2022-23 and indicated the determinations would be revisited in late 2022. Another Consultation RIS was released in September 2022. In revisiting determinations, Government was considering options for setting heavy vehicle charges from 2023-24, including multi-year charge settings and other technical recommendations outlined in the RIS.
The BIC has reviewed the three options for setting heavy vehicle charges from 2023-24 onwards and has made another submission to government advocating for a one year rather than multi year charge given the current uncertainty in the economy nationally and internationally.
The National Transport Commission recently released a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (C-RIS) which sought feedback on proposed changes to the National Heavy Vehicle Driver Competency Framework. To enable and support the growing freight task, and changing fleets, the proposed changes to the Heavy Vehicle Driver Competency Framework are aiming to provide more effective, standardised training and tools for heavy vehicle driver training and licensing.
On 24 October, we put forward a submission in response to the consultation RIS. Our response raised challenges with the highly regulated
vehicle driver licensing arrangements (relevant to the scope of the Consultation RIS) and raised known challenges with Bus Driver Authorities (BDA) and safety considerations for varying jurisdictions. We agree with the policy objectives set out in the Consultation RIS, however acknowledge there is a nation-wide shortage of bus drivers.
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National Electric Vehicle Strategy: consultation paper – BIC Submission
Government has just released the National Electric Vehicle Strategy Consultation Paper. A quick review reveals that it includes buses and bus manufacturing.
The consultation paper was seeking views on Government’s proposed goals, objectives, and actions for the National Electric Vehicle Strategy. Feedback collected on the consultation paper will be used to shape the National Strategy, deliver the best transport technologies and enable industry to meet emission targets. The National Strategy aims to provide social, economic, business, health, and environmental benefits. We have been engaging with members of the Zero Emissions Bus Committee to capture opportunities and challenges in the transitions to transport electrification and have prepared a submission on behalf of industry.
Lunch with the Hon Catherine King
Industry leaders from across the bus and coach industry met with the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Catherine King at an intimate boardroom lunch on 13 October to discuss all things bus and coach. The lively conversation explored the transition to zero emissions and the challenges and opportunities for industry, skills and workforce, and various reforms including the Heavy Vehicle National Law review and the reforms to the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport. The lunch was a great opportunity for the operators to example why maintaining the current school bus exemption is so important.
would like to thank Anthony (Tony) Hopkins, Roz Chivers, Julian Gurney, Jeff Wilson, Jonathan Myers, Thiago Deiro, Alex Wang, Warren Young, Neil Wang, Sean O’Neill, Campbell Christian, Andrew Cornwall, Stephen Lucas and Nicholas Beaver for joining the Minister at the lunch.
Lunch with the Hon Tony Burke
During October, we had the opportunity, along with colleagues from other associations and businesses, to have lunch with the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister of Arts, the Hon Tony Burke MP.
We engaged Minister Burke on key areas of interest in the proposed industrial relations reforms. All present displayed a keen interest in
multi-enterprise bargaining and what that would mean for business. We also discussed potential changes to casual conditions, highlighting the challenges this would present where there are ‘seasonal’ employees such as school bus drivers. We look forward to reviewing and providing feedback on the Fair Work Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 which was introduced to Parliament this week.