NHVR seeks to allay farmer fears on COR

By: Rob McKay

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Looming amendments have had some primary producers on edge

NHVR seeks to allay farmer fears on COR
Farmers have had discussions with the NHVR on COR

 

Primary producer concerns at the possible impact of freight Chain Of Responsibility (COR) reforms may have been somewhat allayed after further consultations.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) says its chain of responsibility manager, Kym Farquharson-Jones, has been travelling across Australia outlining the changes to many of the 165,000 businesses which make up the heavy vehicle supply chain.

"These changes are a significant step forward in recognising that everyone in the supply chain has a role to play in heavy vehicle safety," Farquharson-Jones says.

"Primary producers also play an important role in supporting safe, reliable road transport to all road users, particularly heavy vehicles.

"Because they are part of the heavy vehicle supply chain, primary producers have for almost a decade had the same legislative obligations for heavy vehicle safety as other parties in the chain.

"These obligations are commonly referred to as the Chain of Responsibility or COR.

"Amendments to the COR laws coming later this year will align the existing laws more closely with workplace health and safety provisions.

"This means that all parties in the chain, including primary producers, must proactively reduce risks related to the safety of heavy vehicle transport tasks.

"Under current Chain Of Responsibility laws primary producers may be responsible for breaches by drivers once they are detected.

"Although the laws will change, they will still only apply to activities that a person or business has responsibility for and could influence. In other words no one will be liable for breaches they cannot control."

National Farmers Federation (NFF) CEO Tony Mahar was quoted in early February being quite critical of the consultation process, saying the national regulator hadn’t "taken back the feedback we’ve provided". and voicing concern at the impact multiple breaches may have depending on the size of the farm business and what farmers can and cannot control.

However, the NFF declined to speak further about the issue when asked by ATN and a NHVR spokesperson tells ATN it had taken time to talk through the issues, including COR’s closer alignment with existing work health and safety provisions with the peak farming body in recent weeks.

Tasmania is the next destination for the NHVR in its consultation trek.

 

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