Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) Review

The National Transport Commission has been asked by the Transport and Infrastructure Council (State and Federal Transport Ministers) to undertake a review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law(HVNL).

The intent of the review is to produce a performance-based and outcomes-focused regulation that will:

  • improve safety for all road users
  • support increased economic productivity and innovation
  • simplify administration and enforcement of the law
  • support the use of new technologies and methods of operation, and
  • provide flexible, outcome-focused compliance options.


The Heavy Vehicle National Law has been in operation since February 2014 and was due for review in 2020. However, Ministers decided to bring forward the review of the HVNL.

The scope of the Review will include the entirety of the HVNL and regulations, other than the functions of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

The Review will consider matters such as:

  • whether the objects of the HVNL remain appropriate and clear
  • the efficacy of the HVNL in fulfilling its objects
  • closer alignment with model Work Health and Safety Law
  • the benefits of increasing national consistency of heavy vehicle regulation, able to adapt and apply sensibly to remote, regional and urban areas
  • the varied freight task and capacity of those in the road freight supply chain to comply with the HVNL
  • opportunities to remove legislative hurdles to efficient administration of the law
  • opportunities to restructure and simplify the HVNL, remove redundancy and move detail down the hierarchy of legislative instruments, and
  • the capacity of the law to accommodate new business models, digital technologies and data.

Transport Ministers have appointed a panel of experts to assist in the review

The expert panel is chaired by Peter Harris who is a former chairman of the productivity commission and comprises:

  • Sharon Middleton – Director, Whiteline Transport and President, South Australian Road Transport Association
  • Andrew Ethell – Executive Director, Amalgam Strategic and Board Member, Infrastructure Australia
  • Gary Mahon – Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Trucking Association
  • Gary Liddle – Enterprise Professor of Transport, Melbourne University and Senior Strategic Adviser, Transport, Jacobs
  • Louise Bilato – Executive Officer, NT Road Transport Association

The NTC released eight issues papers as follows:

  • Risk-based heavy vehicle regulation
  • Effective fatigue management
  • Easy access to suitable routes
  • Safe vehicles
  • Safe people and safe practices
  • Accrediting operators to deliver best practice
  • Managing compliance, and
  • Other policy matters.

HVIA’s response to the Safe Vehicle issues paper can be viewed here: [PDF]

Next steps: A regulatory impact statement will be released in early 2020.

Please Contact HVIA’s National Manager Policy and Government Relations, Greg Forbes g.forbes@hvia.asn.au 0437923755 for further information.

Latest news on HVNL

NTC lays out consultation roadmap for HVNL

13 October 21

The National Transport Commission has laid out the road map for the consultation process on the Heavy Vehicle National Law with fatigue management the first cab off the rank.


Updates to Vehicle Standards Guide 2

10 February 21

The NHVR has updated Vehicle Standards Guide 2 to outline some changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Regulations that will come into effect from 22 February.


Draft revisions of Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual

20 January 21

The NHVR has published a draft of proposed updates to the Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (HVIM).


Open for comment – HVIM and Tow trucks (VSB6)

16 December 20

Draft documents regarding VSB6 – Section T covering Tow trucks and proposed reviews to the Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual are currently ioen for comment.


HVIA to outline solutions for HVNL rewrite for State Committees

25 November 20

Attendees of HVIA’s State Committee meetings will have the opportunity to inform HVIA’s submission to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) Review with the meetings kicking off in Brisbane tomorrow.


HVNL review: consultation period extended

29 October 20

The closing date for submissions to the HVNL review consultation regulation impact statement (RIS) has been extended until Friday 20 November 2020.


Have your say on HVNL changes impact

30 September 20

It is not too late to have input into HVIA’s response to the current review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).


HVNL reset is a rare chance to iron out legacy issues

29 June 20

HVIA says the HVNL legislation review is a very rare opportunity to iron out legacy issues, making it less prescriptive and more outcome focused to harness to industry’s innovation.



25 June 20

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has just released the consultation regulatory impact statement (RIS) for the Review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law.


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