Performance Based Standards revisited

A review of the national Performance Based Standards (PBS) reform has identified improvements to ensure the scheme realises the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) objective for continuous productivity gains.
 
National Transport Commission chief executive Nick Dimopoulos said the position paper released today identifies a practical way forward for PBS to meet the needs of regulators, operators and manufacturers.
 
"The PBS scheme is a win-win outcome for government and industry. It provides a robust risk assessment tool to give regulators confidence that high productivity vehicles – which require fewer trips for the same freight task – are safe to operate on suitable roads.
 
“PBS also delivers more flexibility, so transport businesses can work smarter, not harder, to maintain downward pressure on freight costs.”
 
Key improvements put forward by government and industry during consultation include:
Self-assessment and certification for manufacturers, to produce pre-approved ‘off-the-shelf’ SMART vehicles;
Modular certification of trucks and trailers to give operators more choice when purchasing pre-approved SMART equipment; and
Improved blueprint process to encourage the wider take-up of generic vehicle designs.
 
Mr Dimopoulos said valuable contributions from government and industry during consultation ensures PBS is well positioned to realise its full productivity and safety potential.
 
NTC also supports improvements to existing access arrangements, such as for B-triples on road-train routes.
 
NTC will prepare a draft regulatory impact statement for consideration by the Australian Transport Council (ATC) in 2010. Putting legislation in place will offer greater certainty and ensure PBS becomes a clear, nationally consistent scheme for delivering improvements in the road freight industry.
 
 
Background
 
A key element of the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) national reform agenda for transport, Performance Based Standards (PBS) became operational in October 2007 after the unanimous approval of the Australian Transport Council (ATC).
 
The PBS scheme allows operators to apply for access to the road network based on the vehicle’s ability to stop, turn and travel safely without damaging roads or bridges.
 
Applications are considered by a national PBS Review Panel, comprising representatives from each state and territory and the Commonwealth.

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