ENSURING greater safety through Australia’s transport supply chain is the focus of changes to Chain of Responsibility laws which take effect from 1 October.

Consultation to amend the laws started in 2015 with the National Transport Commission engaging in talks to gather feedback from regulatory agencies and industry groups throughout Australia.

The Australian Government has also invested more than $800,000 through the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiatives project over two years to fund an education campaign to ensure supply chain participants understand their obligations under the altered laws.

Since early 2017, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has delivered more than 200 targeted information sessions on Chain of Responsibility obligations, which have attracted thousands of attendees from the transport and logistics sector, agriculture and government.

Nearly a quarter of these sessions were delivered for primary producers who interact with the transport industry on a daily basis.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack acknowledged the changes coming into effect today, saying they were designed with safety the primary consideration.

“The Chain of Responsibility changes make clear that responsibility for minimising potential risk lies with everybody across the supply chain, not just drivers and operators out on the road,” said Mr McCormack.

“The changes taking effect on October 1, 2018 are a crucial step in ensuring improvements to safety on our roads nationwide.

“People need to remember what they do, or what they don’t do, makes a difference to other peoples’ safety.

“We all have an obligation to making sure everyone has a safe workplace, whether we drive a truck, load up pallets, organise rosters, arrange for our produce or livestock to go from one place to another, or even run a company.

“We all need to do our part because everyone should be able to go home safely to their families at the end of their shift.”

The Federal Government’s delivering a record $75 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline which includes funding for programs with pragmatic outcomes in focus, to ensure people and/or freight arrives at destinations sooner and safer.

Recently the Liberals and Nationals’ Government also announced $132.5 million for 93 road upgrade projects in Round Six of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program which forms part of a $368 million commitment from 2013 to 2022 and $40 million each year following.

Shane Manning