The chain of responsibility provisions in the Heavy Vehicle
National Law (HVNL) are currently under review.
In July 2015, the National Transport Commission (NTC) published
a discussion paper entitled Primary Duties for Chain of
Responsibility Parties and Executive Officer Liability. The
report proposes a number of options for reform including:
imposing a primary duty on operators, prime contractors and
employers to ensure the safety of road transport operations;
imposing role specific duties on other chain of responsibility
parties to reflect their responsibilities and influence on road
replacing the standard of care presently required by the HVNL
of 'all reasonable steps' with 'so far as is reasonably
increasing the penalties for a breach of the HVNL to better
align with comparable offences under the model WHS and Rail Safety
National Law; and
clarifying the relationship between the chain of reasonability
provisions under the HVNL and other work health safety
Stakeholder submissions on the draft proposals in the report
closed on 7 August 2015. Ministers will consider the NTC's
policy recommendations in November 2015. Subject to the
ministers' agreement, a Bill to amend the HVNL will then be
prepared for ministers' consideration in May 2016.
Gillian Bristow presented to the NatRoad national conference in
August 2015 discussing chain of responsibility legislation and the
proposals for reform. If you would like a copy of the slides from
that presentation, please email Gillian (email@example.com).
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This decision will be significant to aviation industry participants in assessing whether claimants in the context of international or domestic carriage by air have commenced claims in an appropriate forum in Australia.
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