Work is now underway on an $8 million project aimed to make it easier for local councils to support heavy vehicle operators to choose the most productive routes.
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said that the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project would include 12 councils nationwide in its pilot phase.
“Important freight corridors around Australia include many assets like bridges and culverts on local roads that have not been assessed in many years,” Mr Buchholz said.
“These local roads serve an essential purpose as key links on the transport network, helping to keep industry moving with everything from mining equipment to keeping our shelves stocked.
“For many local councils, especially in regional and rural Australia, the task of assessing infrastructure such as bridge weight limits and height can be complex, especially when you consider the enormous number of different vehicle configurations.
“This project will balance productivity and reduce movement risks by giving local councils access to engineers and other experts so they can make the best decisions about improving accessibility on these important routes.
“Improving our freight transport corridors and making the information available to industry, means it’s easier to plan. That means knowing the best route and the right truck for the job.”
National Heavy Vehicle Regulator CEO Sal Petroccitto said that the NHVR would start work undertaking assessments with the local councils in the pilot.
“We’re looking forward to kicking off this work in the coming weeks with a diverse group of councils from right across the country,” Mr Petroccitto said.
“The project will improve heavy vehicle access by identifying key heavy vehicle routes on local roads and assisting local governments with the management of their road asset data.
“It will also provide a central database that contains information on road assets making it easier for heavy vehicle operators to use routes that can accommodate them.
“By working with local councils we can simplify things, by improving the certainty of access for the wide range of vehicles that use our roads.”
The 12 Local Governments participating in the pilot are:
- NSW – Bega Valley Shire Council, Cessnock City Council, Muswellbrook Shire Council
- Queensland – Central Highlands Regional Council, Isaac Regional Council, Mackay Regional Council, Toowoomba Regional Council
- South Australia – Barossa Council
- Victoria – Glenelg Shire Council, City of Greater Dandenong, Pyrenees Shire Council
- Western Australia – Town of Port Hedland