Victoria’s (still) flawed Professional Engineers Registration Scheme

The Victorian Government has backtracked on a commitment that the heavy vehicle industry engineers would not be bound by the Victorian Engineers Registration Bill.

HVIA’s Greg Forbes said the Victorian Government has outlined its latest problematic proposed approach to the registration of professional engineers such as Authorised Vehicle Examiners, more than two years after acknowledging the flaws in its proposal.

“Engineers would be required to register with the Building Licensing Authority in Victoria and comply with a proposed code of conduct,” Mr Forbes said.

“HVIA supports consistent national regulation of the heavy vehicle industry already functioning well through the combination of the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, who regulate imports and vehicles manufactured in Australia, and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator which manages in-service regulation and vehicle modifications.

“Introducing an additional layer of regulation at a state level will only add cost to the industry and stifle innovation rather than promote it.”

Mr Forbes said Victoria should have followed the lead of NSW and restricted the registration scheme to the building industry.

“This legislation was originally driven by a perceived need to enforce standards in the building industry but has morphed into a scheme applying to all engineering services.

“This contrasts with the approach in NSW which had originally proposed a comprehensive registration scheme but sensibly reduced the scope to focus on registering engineers involved in the building industry through its Design and Building Practitioners Bill.”

Under Victoria’s proposed approach the scheme would apply to all Engineers who provide professional engineering services within Victoria and also outside Victoria if the services are intended for Victoria.

The requirements will be phased in for different types of Engineering work with engineers in the building industry required to register by 1 July 21, fire and safety engineers by October 2021, structural and civil engineers by 1 October 2022, electrical engineers on 1 June 2023 and mechanical engineers on 1 December 2023.

Mr Forbes added that differences in the rules between states is problematic for industries that operates across state boundaries.

“HVIA will be making further submissions to the Victorian government asking them to reconsider the proposed regulations and exempt the heavy vehicle industry from this legislation,” Mr Forbes said.

The government is seeking feedback on the proposed approach by 7 October.

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