Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) has identified a series of policy issues which it believes are crucial to the heavy vehicle industry and, by extension, affect all Australians.
The issues outlined in HVIA’s detailed Federal Election Roadmap all fall under the theme, A strong heavy-duty industry – vital to a resilient Australia.
They address skills shortages, support for Australian manufacturing and productivity, safety and sustainability.
The HVIA said both major parties have expressed the need for increased support for Australian manufacturing.
He will be looking for more concrete details on how this support will apply to our industry.
“HVIA asked that supply chains be streamlined to avoid local production, delivery and support bottlenecks,” said HVIA CEO Todd Hacking.
“The government can do this by adding heavy-duty vehicle manufacturing to Australia’s national manufacturing priorities, including explicit support in the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy.
“We have asked the government to prevent cheap imports from overseas from flooding the market, i.e. vehicles not suited to our unique transport challenges, which could displace designers and builders from innovative heavy trailers from Australia.
“By speeding up regulatory approvals, reducing red tape and lowering compliance costs, the government can be an effective partner for Australian industry.”
HVIA believes that allowing high-productivity vehicles on more routes will ease Australia’s growing freight burden.
“To do this, the government must prioritize improvements to bridges and other parts of the road network to facilitate access to more innovative and productive vehicles.”
Here are more details on exactly what the HVIA is asking for in its federal electoral politics roadmap.
The National Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 identifies safer vehicles as one of the main pillars of the strategy.
The Productivity Commission’s recent report on national transportation regulatory reform concluded that, rather than regulatory reforms, most of the gains in heavy-duty vehicle road safety and efficiency are likely to come from result of:
• improving road infrastructure and;
• Increase the adoption of new security technologies.
Safety Policy Statement: Improving Adoption of Road Safety Technologies
• Prioritize updates to Australian design rules to include mandatory installation of available safety technologies on new vehicles.
• Government tenders should favor services based on the use of safer vehicles.
• The government should encourage all organizations to favor safer vehicles when awarding contracts.
• Gradually introduce requirements for safety technologies to be fitted to new PBS vehicles.
Energy security and the environment
Over the past 40 years, emission standards for new vehicles in the Australian fleet have improved, leading to a substantial reduction in air pollutants (especially in major cities).
At the same time, there have also been significant increases in:
• the energy efficiency of vehicles in the heavy vehicle fleet.
• More productive vehicle combinations.
• improving road infrastructure.
While emissions per ton/km of freight have improved significantly, global climate change commitments have placed greater emphasis on low and zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) such as battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell.
In Australia, the variety and capacity of models available will increase rapidly over the next few years.
A proactive government policy can influence the rate of use of these vehicles by heavy vehicle operators.
Immediate measures to support the transition to low- or zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles.
Introduce exclusive depreciation incentives for new low- or zero-emission vehicles (ADR80/04 or higher).
Channel investments into targeted energy supplies and infrastructure, not consultants and feasibility projects.
Prioritize funding for projects that assess the business case for electric vehicles in real-world scenarios.
Remove barriers to ZEHV adoption – don’t let Australia fall behind.
Align Australian heavy vehicle standards for ZEV trucks with international width and mass standards.
MANUFACTURING AND PRODUCTIVITY
Australia has a very efficient and reliable transport system by world standards.
It is supported by a vibrant local manufacturing industry, which produces innovative vehicles and combinations that lead the world in road transport productivity.
In particular, Australia’s adoption of performance-based standards has driven rapid innovation, leading to more efficient vehicles.
The health of heavy vehicle manufacturing in Australia is critical to the continued pace of innovation and to the productivity and reliability of Australia’s supply chain, particularly in the context of a growing population and an ever-increasing freight task.
Streamline supply chains to avoid local production, delivery and support bottlenecks.
Add heavy vehicle manufacturing to Australia’s domestic manufacturing priorities, including explicit support for the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy.
Don’t let cheap overseas imports – which don’t suit our unique transport challenges – supplant Australia’s innovative heavy-duty trailer designers and builders.
Reduce costs for Australian manufacturers by speeding up regulatory approvals, cutting red tape and lowering compliance costs.
Enable high-productivity vehicles to ease the burden of Australia’s growing freight task.
Prioritize the improvement of bridges and other parts of the road network to facilitate access to more innovative and productive vehicles.
SKILLS AND JOBS
Between the Covid pandemic and the many other challenges of the past two years, Australians have faced the consequences of supply chain issues which have also highlighted the labor challenges facing our industry. , particularly in terms of key skills.
In the short term, we need to address these challenges by streamlining processes for recruiting skilled workers from overseas, but simultaneously, in the longer term, we need to attract young Australians to the rewarding careers our industry has to offer.
Streamline processes to bring in skilled migrants to address critical skills shortages in the heavy-duty industry.
Cut red tape and lower the costs of bringing skilled migrants to Australia.
Recognize the priorities of the heavy vehicle trade in the new apprenticeship incentive system.
Add heavy vehicle manufacturing trades and heavy vehicle maintenance and repair trades to the Australian apprenticeship priority list.
Facilitate skills development to support all aspects of the deployment, maintenance and repair of battery electric and fuel cell heavy-duty vehicles.
• Include courses and skill sets related to Cert 3 in Automotive Electric Vehicle Technology on the priority skills grant list.
• Develop a corresponding set of courses to cover skills related to hydrogen fuel cell technologies.
• Provide funding for capital investment by RTOs to support the delivery of heavy-duty electric and hybrid vehicle training