The primary purpose of the HVNL is to ensure a safe and efficient heavy vehicle journey. This is made up of a safe driver, a safe vehicle and a suitable route.

This topic and issues paper covers heavy vehicle access to a suitable route. It uses the risk-based approach outlined in the first issues paper.

The issues paper identifies the problems with the current access arrangements under the HVNL and the high-level principles that a revised law should consider.

There will be future opportunities to tell us about the specifics of safe people and practices, safe vehicles, accreditation, compliance and technology and other matters.

Access banner

Easy access to suitable routes

Heavy vehicle access to public roads is regulated to reduce risks to public safety, manage the effects of larger vehicles on public infrastructure and minimise any negative effects on public amenities.

Heavy vehicles are granted access to the road network based on their total mass and dimensions.

For most heavy vehicles, regulation is straightforward, as they have as‑of‑right, general access to public roads. Larger heavy vehicles, however, may have access restricted to help manage risks.

There are a range of controls also used in the decision-making framework to manage key risks. These are:

  • Vehicle classification
  • Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme
  • Prescribed mass and dimension limits
  • Accreditation
  • Notices and permits

Access challenges

Through consultation with industry, regulators, jurisdictions (participating and non-participating), the NTC understands the high-level problems with the current access arrangements under the HVNL are:

  • inefficient access costs Australians
  • the vehicle classification and route assessment process is complex
  • the decision-making framework is prescriptive and inflexible
  • decision-making is inconsistent
  • risk controls are limited
  • many challenges are beyond the current HVNL.

Share your ideas

The NTC wants to give everyone affected by the Heavy Vehicle National Law an opportunity to have their say.

We are seeking your advice until Friday 16 August 2019 on the ways we can improve heavy vehicle access to suitable routes.

To upload a formal written submission please visit the NTC website.


Access arrangements under the HVNL

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Have your say

Access arrangements under the HVNL
Strongly disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Strongly agree
I can get access authorisation easily, when I need it
Current access arrangements cause too much wear and tear on roads and infrastructure
Limits and/or conditions placed on access decisions should be reduced
All relevant people should be able to access and track the progress of decisions
Access consent requests mean a lot of work for road managers
The law should allow operators to challenge access decisions