2021 HVIA President’s Report

In my report last year, I said:
“It is hard to predict the future with COVID-19 still ever-present in our lives; what does the new normal look like? When will it commence? When will a vaccine be available? But rest assured, whatever ends up being the answers, every effort of HVIA will be made to remain at the forefront of support, advice and information to our members.”

When I wrote that, I had no idea that a year later Australia’s two largest states would still be facing significant lockdowns.

Add to that the ongoing challenges posed by both global supply chain uncertainty and domestic skills shortages and, for many for HVIA members, 2021 has been more challenging than 2020.


Despite these challenges, the HVIA team has continued to provide advice to members and timely and accurate advice to Government on lockdowns, border issues, vaccines, supply chains, investment allowances, raw material supply, and the availability of capital – all ensuring our industry’s voice is heard.

I hope you have benefitted from this advice, and you have been able to take comfort in the knowledge your association was working hard on behalf of its membership.

There is much more to consider and play out, and as I write this the 20 millionth vaccine dose has been administered meaning 40% of the adult population are fully vaccinated and 65% of the population have had a first dose.

As new mutations arise and the pandemic plays out, HVIA will continue to play a lead role in advocating and representing HVIA members to ensure the interests of the industry are a paramount consideration before any policy is announced or implemented.

Brisbane Truck Show

2020/21 was not all bad. For me one of the highlights of the year was the Brisbane Truck Show.

The Board had many discussions about whether to proceed or defer and how to overcome the many challenges of hosting an event of that magnitude.

There was a COVID-safe plan the size of a phonebook, countless hours of briefings, and then just the crazy-brave confidence to push through.

I hope you will agree that there was an electric buzz in the air and the mood, and the survey feedback indicates how important it was to “Come Together” which was the tagline for the event.

It was great to reconnect with customers in a way many had not been able to for 12 months.

At 31,000 attendees – the Brisbane Truck Show was the largest indoor event in Australia since the commencement of the pandemic and has been the largest truck show in the world since BTS19.


Aside from the Brisbane Truck Show, the HVIA staff continued to be busy as the once in a generation overhaul of the regulatory system – the Road Vehicle Safety Act (RVSA) came into effect.

Whilst it has not been smooth sailing, it has been important for HVIA to assist the membership navigate the complexities and offer advice, checklists, support and information as the new system went live.

HVIA also had a big win with the 100% Full Immediate Expensing provisions extended until June.

This has given many HVIA members a well needed boost during the pandemic.

HVIA has also worked hard with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to simplify the Performance Based Standards (PBS) system as it related to the treatment of tyres.

This recommendation was supported by the Infrastructure and Transport Ministers Meeting (ITMM) and, as it is implemented, will lead to more flexibility for heavy vehicle operators, whilst ending tyre anomaly fees for trailer manufacturers, saving an estimated $100,000/month.

HVIA has also led the way in the operational improvements of the PBS system and is now turning its attention to issues such as vehicle width, the
Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), preparatory work on a new national Authorised Vehicle Examiner (AVE) scheme, Road Access issues, and simplifying the Australian Design Rules (ADRs).

Shortly, HVIA will be surveying the membership on the impact of skills shortages and what more the organisation can do to ease the burden for members.

Board Changes

As I close out my report for another year, I would like to publicly thank Mr Mario Colosimo (SAF-Holland) and Mr Nick Stavrakis (Dana Australia) who must, constitutionally, retire at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.

Both Mario and Nick have served six continuous years on the HVIA board, overseeing the transition from CVIAQ to HVIA and have volunteered countless hours in the hope of assisting the broader industry. I thank them for their service and contribution.

These retirements though, offer a great opportunity for Board renewal, and I hope we see other industry leaders stick their hand up to ensure their big shoes are filled.


In conclusion, I would like to thank the HVIA team for their ongoing hard work and support and thank our ever-growing members for their ongoing support and membership. Together, we are making significant in-roads and ensuring our collective voice is heard and our members supported through the work program of HVIA.

John Drake

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