Managing the road network is a joint effort between the NHVR, operators and road managers, who work closely together to get the right balance between increased productivity and safe access of infrastructure.

The NHVR is not a road owner or road manager, but we help to facilitate a range of access applications from start to finish in a timely way, liaising directly with more than 400 road managers.

The NHVR envisions a future state where permits are required by exception, rather than a rule. Over the past five years, we’ve been working to reduce the need for permits—falling from more than 115,000 permits in 2013 to around 80,000 over the past year. This reduction is a good start, but there is a lot more work that needs to be done.

Over the past three years we’ve also seen an increase in the number of pre-approved routes, and the expansion of state and national notices (with reduced cross border operating conditions). Often these notices provide targeted or local wins for operators as they are able to focus on improving operations of specific parts of the heavy vehicle industry. For example, recent changes to road train and OSOM networks will lead to a reduction in access permits across NSW, South Australia and Victoria.

As always, please make yourself aware of the changes and ensure you have applied, or are carrying, an access notice where required. Other initiatives the NHVR is pursuing to reduce the need for permits; this includes work on the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project to identify infrastructure capability and build a knowledge base of local assets and ultimately deliver a shared responsibility between industry and road managers in accessing networks. If you’re applying for a new or renewed permit through the NHVR Portal, our case officers are here to help if you need assistance or information, and track your application as it goes through the approval process.