Why we need a National Tanker Regulator

NBTA calls for establishment of a National Dangerous Goods Regulator

The National Bulk Tanker Association supports the establishment of a National Dangerous Good Regulator. The history of regulation of this sector leaves individual States and Territories responsible for OH&S rules and the supervision of compliance for a range of laws including the Australian Dangerous Goods Code and compliance with the AS2809 Tanker Code.

The inevitable result is that each State develops its own approach to compliance. Almost all companies involved in the transport and storage of dangerous goods operate nationally.

We currently have a situation where NSW has mandated electronic braking standards for dangerous goods tankers, however none of the other Sate based regulators have chosen this outcome, despite industry support for them to do so.

We also have initiatives from various States around inspection practices and interpretation of design rules for dangerous goods road vehicles that are not consistent. On top of this we have differing registration practices for tankers that only add cost with no safety dividend. Whilst the Competent Authorities Panel or “CAP” plays a coordinating role, this group has no mandate to create any national outcomes.

With the establishment of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) it is
time that we also now committed to the introduction of a National Dangerous Good Regulator. The NHVR is up and running and now provides a platform and a process where dangerous goods can also achieve nationally consistent treatment.

The benefits of a national approach are self evident. The introduction of a National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual for heavy vehicles has obvious parallels when extended to dangerous goods vehicles. “Its time to think national and act national,” said the Executive Director of the NBTA, Rob Perkins.

The NBTA will be seeking meetings with the National Transport Commission and NHVR and also the Competent Authorities Panel to put its view to these organisations.

For more information contact:
Rob Perkins, Executive Director, National Bulk Tanker Association Inc. Tel 0411 402 832, robperkins@nbta.com.au