Road Transport (General) Amendment (Intelligent Access Program) Bill
The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL (Minister for Roads) [11.02 p.m.]: I move:
That this bill be now read a second time.
I seek leave to incorporate the second reading speech in Hansard.
The purpose of this bill is to improve access to the road network for the road transport industry, while maintaining the road safety and asset management requirements of the community and Government.
This bill gives effect to the national Intelligent Access Program in New South Wales, to complement the national compliance and enforcement model legislation—adopted in New South Wales via the Road Transport (General) Act 2005.
The Bill incorporates the provisions of the National Transport Commission's national Bill for the Road Transport (Intelligent Access Program) Act 2005, approved by the Australian Transport Council in December 2005.
The Intelligent Access Program is voluntary and provides the technical, legal, administrative and commercial framework to allow road authorities to use technology, such as Global Positioning Systems, to monitor heavy vehicles for compliance and enforcement purposes, while offering productivity benefits to the trucking industry.
The introduction of the Intelligent Access Program will provide substantial benefits to the trucking industry, as well as the community.
In particular, it will improve the New South Wales economy by enabling significant access to major freight routes by higher mass limit vehicles and more efficient access to key freight facilities such as mines, ports and intermodal terminals, as well as distribution and warehousing centres.
The program will deliver improved public amenity with fewer truck trips, reduced exhaust emissions, diminished exposure to noise and fewer trucks on the road.
The Intelligent Access Program will deliver improved asset management by restricting higher mass limit vehicles to approved routes, where the infrastructure can sustain the heavier axle loads.
The national Bill for the Road Transport (Intelligent Access Program) Act 2005 was developed by the National Transport Commission with the assistance of the national Legislative Advisory Panel.
The panel included representatives from the Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services, NSW Police, Victoria Police, the Australian Trucking Association, the New South Wales Road Transport Association and the Victorian Transport Association.
The bill contains several key elements.
It provides the legal authority to the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) to issue access conditions for heavy vehicles in New South Wales.
The New South Wales Government will be able to determine productivity benefits that can be offered to the trucking industry, in return for increased standards of compliance assurance made possible by the use of vehicle monitoring technology.
The bill establishes the process for certification of Intelligent Access Program service providers, that will provide vehicle monitoring services to trucking companies and Non-Compliance Reports to the RTA, for follow-up action of any breaches of the law.
Intelligent Access Program Service Providers will be private-sector companies, providing vehicle monitoring services to the trucking companies on a fee-for-service basis.
In order to certify Service Providers, State and Territory Governments have co-operated to establish Transport Certification Australia Limited, or TCA.
The Bill recognises TCA's role as the sole certifier and auditor of Service Providers, and the manager of the certification and auditing regime for the Intelligent Access Program.
TCA will also be able to cancel the certification of a service provider that does not meet its service provision obligations, and is obliged to advise the RTA if service providers are not meeting their obligations.
This bill provides significant safeguards to protect the privacy and personal information of road transport operators.
The legislation compliments the privacy protections provided by the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998, to cover parties in addition to the New South Wales Government. That is, Service Providers, Transport Certification Australia Limited, Intelligent Access Program auditors, and transport companies.
These parties may be either handling personal information or be responsible for advising employees that personal information is being collected. The new regulations place obligations on these parties and contain significant penalties for failing to meet those obligations.
To provide consistency with New South Wales privacy principles and practices, the national model legislation has been amended to place a clearer obligation on transport operators to advise drivers that their truck is being monitored.
Provision has also been made for a review mechanism for individuals who may have lodged a complaint with the holder of their personal information. These amendments include penalties for parties that fail to comply with a direction from the RTA or TCA to take the required corrective action.
The national model legislation has also been amended to ensure consistency with the NSW Workplace Surveillance Act as far as possible.
The New South Wales legislation provides that information gathered under the Intelligent Access Program, when a heavy vehicle is used while the driver is not at work, cannot be used by the vehicle operator for any purpose.
To protect the integrity of the underlying objective of the Intelligent Access Program regime, the bill includes penalties for those tampering with Intelligent Access Program equipment.
The technical specifications allow for the automatic reporting of attempts to tamper with monitoring equipment and systems.
These anti-tampering provisions are supported by TCA's sophisticated auditing regime, and the RTA's Inspectorate which will also be working to identify trucking companies who may try to cheat the system.
The bill also ensures that data collected and Non-Compliance Reports are of an evidentiary standard and will be admissible in Court if necessary.
Prosecutions under road transport legislation, for non-compliance with conditions applicable to heavy vehicle access in New South Wales, will continue to be undertaken where Intelligent Access Program conditions apply.
The prosecution will have to prove the elements of these offences. However, the new provisions will enable prosecutions to rely on evidentiary certificates as set out in the new Division 5 of Part 6A of the Road Transport (Mass, Loading and Access) Regulation 2005, rather than on oral evidence from witnesses.
The new provisions also provide, in clause 72AE, that certain evidentiary presumptions apply. Clause 72AF provides that reports are presumed to be correct, unless evidence sufficient to raise doubt about these presumptions is adduced by the defendant.
The Intelligent Access Program will optimise economic utilisation of the road network by facilitating higher productivity, while ensuring the safety and asset management requirements of the community and Government are met.
Truck operators wanting access to increased productivity under road transport law will be able to use systems that demonstrate compliance with that law. A gain for the trucking industry will be accompanied by a benefit to the community.
Approximately eighty per cent of Australia's long haul road freight passes through New South Wales, creating unique asset management challenges. It is therefore fitting that New South Wales is the first State to implement this legislation.
This bill will facilitate the Iemma Government's plan for the expansion of the Higher Mass Limits network in New South Wales. Higher mass limits access provides a 13 per cent increase in B-Double payload and a 10 per cent increase in standard semi-trailer productivity.
The extra payloads reduce the truck journeys needed to complete a freight task. This results in fuel savings, reduced exhaust emissions, diminished exposure to noise and fewer trucks on the road.
This benefits the New South Wales economy, the environment and provides for improvements in community amenity.
The New South Wales Government was successful in having vehicle monitoring included as a condition for higher mass limits access, under the AusLink Agreement with the Commonwealth.
The Intelligent Access Program will provide the productivity benefits of higher mass limits, while managing the use of the State's bridges and roads. It also provides the compliance assurances needed to expand the current higher mass limits network.
The Intelligent Access Program will allow the Government to expand the New South Wales Higher Mass Limits network, in addition to the 3,800 kilometres of the AusLink Higher Mass Limits network.
This does not include roads within Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, that can now be opened up to more productive trucks, thereby providing more efficient access to ports, railheads, major industrial parks and oil refineries.
The Intelligent Access Program will make possible a significant network of major freight routes for more efficient road transport, to the benefit of the New South Wales economy.
The New South Wales Government is working with Local Government and other relevant stakeholders to finalise a framework for the on-going assessment and approval of access to other RTA-managed roads, as well as Council and State Forest roads.
Higher mass limits are only one example of a productivity initiative made possible by the availability of the Intelligent Access Program.
Another proposed scheme is the operation of higher productivity road train variants—B-Triples and AB-Triples.
It is anticipated that these vehicle combinations will be used substantially for grain, livestock and fuel haulage in rural areas. These vehicles have an equal or better safety performance than existing road trains and carry up to 26 per cent more payload.
However, as these vehicles are up to 20 tonnes heavier than a standard road train they have to be restricted to suitable sections of the road network so that we can manage vulnerable rural bridges.
Also, for safety reasons, it is important that these combinations remain on the approved sections of road. The Intelligent Access Program will provide the economic benefit delivered by these vehicles, while ensuring that road safety and asset management safeguards are in place.
The Intelligent Access Program will also ensure the appropriate safety and asset management measures are in place for future developments in trucking.
For example, the Intelligent Access Program will support the take-up of innovative higher productivity vehicles operating under the proposed Performance Based Standards regulatory framework, which the National Transport Commission is currently developing.
With respect to the Performance-Based Standards and innovative vehicles being used on long-haul routes between metropolitan and regional centres, the National Transport Commission estimates an annual Net Present Value benefit to the transport industry of $18.8M per year.
There is already evidence of what the use of vehicle monitoring technology can deliver.
There is the New South Wales Mobile Crane Concessional Benefit Scheme, under which mobile cranes up to 2.9 metres wide are fitted with Global Positioning Systems, so the RTA can remotely monitor compliance with time, route and access restrictions across greater Sydney and other parts of the State.
The Scheme provides the RTA with assurances that the potential adverse impact on other road users arising from the nature and size of these vehicles is minimised while allowing additional operational flexibility for crane operators.
A cost benefit analysis of the first year of the scheme's operation indicated a benefit to each crane operator of between $490,000 and $970,000 per year, as a result of a 25 per cent increase in crane utilisation efficiency.
The Scheme will operate within the Intelligent Access Program framework.
The use of Global Positioning System technology to achieve strong compliance assurance would provide clear benefits to the public, and increased productivity to the road freight sector.
In addition, the Intelligent Access Program scheme provides an open market for service provision, allowing efficiency and innovation. This means job creation in the Information Technology industry.
The Intelligent Access Program takes ideas from the newest industries and applies them to solving the problems of one of the world's oldest—trade and freight carriage.
All Governments have agreed that we should not be in the game of installing "black boxes" in trucks.
Instead, New South Wales is represented on the Board of Management of Transport Certification Australia Ltd, or TCA, so that it can certify, audit and cancel—if necessary—the certification of Intelligent Access Program Service Providers, and maintain a certification and auditing regime of the highest standard.
TCA's certification and auditing framework will deliver certainty in quality systems; operations - including systems, hardware and software; and also testing, training and disaster recovery processes, in addition to monitoring and non-compliance detection and reporting.
Australia's freight task has been forecast to double over the next ten to fifteen years. The traditional 'on-road' enforcement resources of the RTA have led Australia in the use of compliance technology.
It is time for the next step.
We need smart regulatory and compliance models to match the development of 'smart' trucks with their higher productivity, improved fuel efficiency, and lower emissions and noise.
The Intelligent Access Program builds on what innovative transport companies are already doing.
The introduction of the Intelligent Access Program will provide substantial benefits to the trucking industry, as well as the community.
The Iemma Government is leading the way with innovative solutions, supported by tough regulation.
I commend the Bill to the House.
The Hon. MELINDA PAVEY [11.02 p.m.]: I lead for the Opposition on the Road Transport (General) Amendment (Intelligent Access Program) Bill and indicate at the outset that the Opposition does not oppose the bill. However, I refer to a number of concerns and reservations I have with it. I will talk briefly about the importance of the road transport industry to the New South Wales economy. To highlight this relationship I will share some figures with honourable members. In 2005 the road transport industry's gross domestic product was $13.7 billion; it employed 15,000 people; and it was responsible for the transportation of 1.696 billion tonnes of goods per year. The road freight task has trebled since 1980 and it is expected to double again by 2020.
The roads share of the domestic freight task in tonne kilometres has increased from 22 per cent to 36 per cent in the past 25 years. That share is also expected to increase in the coming years to 42 per cent. In total, the road freight task is forecast to grow 30 per cent faster than the economy as a whole between now and 2020. As honourable members can see, the road transport industry plays a vital role in the New South Wales economy.
I acknowledge the contribution of the Federal Government, which took over rail freight networks across Australia—an important aspect that will increase the freight task across Australia. It also highlights the inability of State Labor governments to manage that task. The Federal Government has taken over those networks, and that is a good sign. The new Assistant Minister for Transport is also the Minister for Roads. He has much to learn about the rail freight issue.
The New South Wales economy has been lagging behind that of other States mainly due to the Labor Government's mismanagement and the failure of its economic policies. In particular, our road transport industry has struggled to compete with the rest of the country as a result of the unfair burdens and restrictions placed on it by the Government. New South Wales is the most overregulated and least flexible State when it comes to transport across the board—road, rail and port. It is lagging behind other States in restrictions on mass limits, as well as volumetric loading and harvest schemes.
The current set of rules and regulations that guide the New South Wales road transport industry are incompatible with those for the rest of Australia and, as a result, areas of our economy suffer. Businesses that conduct interstate business are struggling because they are subject to different levels of regulation and restriction between States. For example, Queensland accepts higher mass limits than New South Wales. That means that businesses must incur unnecessary costs when they deal interstate—something about which the Hon. Amanda Fazio would be aware. As a result many businesses have relocated interstate to take advantage of lower levels of taxation and regulation, and generally more favourable operating conditions.
This affects our entire economy as it impacts not only on businesses that rely on interstate transport but also on our transport industry. I highlight in particular that the Intelligent Access Program is linked with the roll-out of higher mass limits in New South Wales and intelligent transport systems. The Opposition believes that the roll-out of higher mass limits is vital to the New South Wales economy and it is long overdue.
The Opposition also supports the use of the intelligent transport system and welcomes the idea of using sophisticated electronic and global positioning systems [GPS] technology to improve the transport industry. This involves the use of electronic or other technologies that have the capacity and capability to monitor, collect, store, display, analyse, transmit or report information relating to vehicles, drivers, operators, or other persons involved in road transport—having the overall effect of providing real-time data on vehicles in use on New South Wales roads.
This technology can be used to determine the location, speed, load and scheduled delivery time of freight. There are issues relating to technology being able to ascertain a vehicle's load. The Hon. Rick Colless, a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Road Safety, raised those concerns with me. So there are issues relating to the GPS system, which cannot weigh a truck load from high in the sky. The system has potential but we need to work out how to weigh truck loads. Although the implementation of this technology across the board no doubt will improve the efficiency of the road transport industry, the Opposition is concerned about the applicability of current GPS and monitoring systems to ensure they do not become obsolete.
The bill must be flexible in its definition of the intelligent transport system to accommodate and incorporate new technologies as they continue to develop. This will ensure that New South Wales remains up to date and competitive with the rest of the States. An assurance must also be given to the road transport industry that the Intelligent Access Program will address compliance concerns and will be capable of use on existing GPS systems that have been put in place by a number of transport operators in this State. The Opposition is also concerned about the financial implications of the up-front and ongoing costs for many truck operators having to implement or upgrade existing tracking systems.
Any additional costs incurred by the road transport industry will, of course, be passed on to consumers through the price of goods at the retail level. Given that road freight is such a significant component of the cost of goods sold, it would be wrong to assume that increased freight costs are not an issue. The Opposition wants an assurance that the Intelligent Access Program will address compliance concerns and will be capable of use on existing GPS systems that are currently being used by transport operators. This issue, along with high fuel prices, taxes and other expenses may potentially impose heavy financial and taxation burdens on transport operators in New South Wales. This would add to the ever-growing list of burdens that face truck drivers.
Already on this list are further regulative burdens such as the fatigue-related long distance regime, the three-strikes legislation, and the responsibility legislation. In addition, the road transport industry faces a lot of media scrutiny and is often used as a whipping post by the Labor Government. We have seen this occur on numerous occasions, such as when the Government blamed trucks, instead of its own mismanagement, for pollution levels in the M5 tunnel. This scenario is also reflected in statements from the Minister for Roads, who said that the heavy vehicle industry would be targeted for random drug tests. It seems as though the Labor Government is giving the trucking and road transport industry—a major component of the New South Wales industry and economy—a hard time.
The Opposition believes that transport operators should not be punished further as a result of the Labor Government's failure to consider the financial implications of a further regulation of the road transport industry. The Opposition is also concerned about the handling of the information obtained through the Intelligent Access Program and, in particular, whether that information may be used as an enforcement tool rather than a compliance tool. If that were to occur it would be yet another case of transport operators being targeted and subjected to taxes and fines.
Currently, taxes paid by road transport operators in Australia total more than $1.6 billion per year. There is significant doubt within the industry as to whether the Intelligent Access Program will remain a compliance tool rather than be used as an enforcement tool to punish operators that breach operating conditions. It is important that the Intelligent Access Program fulfil its purpose, which is to facilitate higher mass limits. It must not facilitate more revenue raising through the fining of road transport operators. The Opposition wants an assurance that the Government will not use the information obtained through the Intelligent Access Program simply as another means to impose fines and raise revenue from truck drivers in New South Wales. The industry has another concern relating to the handling of information obtained by the Intelligent Access Program. When dealing with such information, the matter of privacy has to be considered.
As the Government expects full compliance on behalf of the road transport industry, we should expect the Government to respect the often private nature of transport operating businesses. The Opposition wants an assurance that there are legislative and regulatory mechanisms that will exist to address perceived concerns regarding the protection of commercially sensitive information. Having stated the concerns that the Opposition has with the bill, we will not oppose it. I trust the Minister will respond to the concerns I have raised and I hope that this legislation will aid in the improvement and efficiency of the road transport industry in New South Wales.
The Hon. ROBERT BROWN [11.10 p.m.]: Honourable members may be aware that I am a relatively newly appointed member of the Staysafe committee. Of course, I acknowledge the much longer history and knowledge of the workings of the committee of my colleagues the Hon. Rick Colless and the deputy chair, the Hon. Ian West. Even though I am the new boy on the block, I will take a few minutes to reflect on the Road Transport (General) Amendment (Intelligent Access Program) Bill. In part the bill addresses how freight will be managed in New South Wales. It foreshadows a future of widespread application of motor vehicle telematics involving global positioning system technologies to monitor, manage and control aspects of a driver's performance in manoeuvring a vehicle within the road transport network. It is an exciting future.
In New South Wales our roads handle about 80 per cent of the national road freight task. That includes freight movements within New South Wales and freight movements to destinations in other States and Territories. New South Wales roads are transit roads from point of origin to destination. There are significant issues for New South Wales, notably, safety concerns and road infrastructure capacity. By 2020 it is predicted that there will be an extra 50,000 heavy vehicle trucks on Australian roads. Anyone who drives on the M5, M4, M2 and M7, Sydney's arterial routes or New South Wales highways will know that they are already congested. I speak from experience having run businesses in the Botany area for the last 20 years. I had to contend with them every day of the week. Imagine 40,000 more trucks within the next 15 years and imagine that by 2020 one in four vehicles on Sydney roads will be a truck. That is the prediction, and it is a conservative view.
As well, there is an inexorable move towards higher mass limits on heavy vehicles. We must ensure that the roads on which those heavier vehicles operate are actually capable of carrying the vehicles and their loads safely and efficiently. The Intelligent Access Program is a way of ensuring that heavier, more massive vehicles are operating safely and only on roads that are approved, and that the expensive road infrastructure that is provided is protected from damage. I draw the comparison there between Botany Road and Foreshore Drive, which is a perfect example. Vehicle telematics enable the provision of services to road freight operators that can monitor the compliance of vehicles with respect to access conditions set by individual jurisdictions such as New South Wales. This ability to accurately monitor compliance provides an opportunity for a whole new set of opportunities for both the State Government and transport operators to manage and optimise performance, improve road safety and protect the road infrastructure.
The Intelligent Access Program is a program whereby heavy vehicle compliance is monitored via the tracking of vehicle location and reporting of associated parameters. The objective is the implementation of a voluntary system that will allow the monitoring of road freight vehicles remotely using satellite-based telematics services to ensure that they are complying with the agreed conditions of operation_that is, ensuring that the participating trucking and logistics companies are operating how, where and when they should. Roads authorities such as the Roads and Traffic Authority in New South Wales can set conditions on the access of a particular vehicle, a combination or even a particular delivery to a known location and then be able to monitor compliance with those conditions of the permit.
Even though I am a relatively new member of the Staysafe committee I would like to draw the attention of the House to the current work of the committee. The committee has been promoting intelligent speed adaptation as a means of more effective speed management by drivers. I acknowledge also the concerns expressed by my colleague the Hon. Rick Colless about some of the limitations of that technology. However, the concept is the subject of major research and investigation in Europe. Programs to investigate intelligent speed adaptation are well advanced.
The Intelligent Access Program is a demonstration of the feasibility and application of on-board telematics systems for monitoring and reporting what drivers are doing with their vehicles. It also shows that it is possible to implement practical and effective programs that use satellite-based telematics services to monitor and track motor vehicle parameters. In concept, it is a comparatively easy step to build in speed zone and speed limit data that can be combined with vehicle location to provide for capacity to monitor, manage and control vehicle speeds. I can see a future, now closer than many of us think possible, where exceeding the speed limits in our cities and towns and on our open roads will no longer be able to be explained as a transitory mistaken behaviour. Instead, excessive speeding by a heavy vehicle driver will be a reflection of a conscious and criminal intent to subvert vehicle technologies and our laws for what is typically a reduction of only minutes or even seconds of travel time while increasing the risk of a crash, property damage, injuries and death. I endorse the Intelligent Access Program as an innovative piece of legislation. I welcome the shift in thinking it represents and the foretaste of a new safer future for motorists as we become accustomed to the new opportunities offered by on-board telematics systems.
Reverend the Hon. FRED NILE [11.05 p.m.]: The Christian Democratic Party supports the Road Transport (General) Amendment (Intelligent Access Program) Bill. The bill will amend the Road Transport (General) Act 2005 and regulations made under the Act to provide for compliance by vehicle operators and drivers with conditions relating to access to and use of roads to be monitored by intelligent transport systems such as global positioning systems and the collection, use and disclosure of information obtained by the use of such intelligent transport systems.
The bill is consistent with the national model legislative provisions for the Intelligent Access Program that have been approved by all Australian transport Ministers. It is estimated that approximately 80 per cent of Australia's long haul road freight passes through New South Wales and that creates a number of challenges. The use of global positioning systems is designed to ensure heavier vehicles will be directed onto roads and bridges that can carry those loads. I understand the current load can be increased by up to 20 tonnes and we are concerned about the impact of heavier vehicles such as triple-Bs and B-doubles. One wonders whether our roads, even with the global positioning systems, can physically cope with heavier loads because they are cracking under existing loads.
One must also consider the concerns that motorists have about their safety when confronted by triple-Bs. In addition, congestion on the roads will increase when a number of triple-Bs line up, one after the other, on our roads. The Government should review its policy to ensure that it maximises the use of rail because it seems that government policy is to use road trains rather than freight trains, which I believe is the wrong policy direction. However, with those comments, the Christian Democratic Party supports the bill.
The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL (Minister for Roads) [11.28 p.m.], in reply: I thank honourable members for their contributions to this debate. The Road Transport (General) Amendment (Intelligent Access Program) Bill is about improving access to the road network for the road transport industry while ensuring that high standards of road safety and asset management are maintained. The Intelligent Access Program [IAP] will provide a boost to the New South Wales economy. The voluntary scheme will allow significantly improved access to major freight routes by higher mass limit vehicles and it will enable more efficient access to key freight facilities such as mines, ports, intermodal terminals and distribution centres. The Intelligent Access Program will ensure that higher mass limit vehicles travel only on approved routes where the infrastructure can sustain the heavier axle loads.
The bill gives the Roads and Traffic Authority [RTA] the legal authority to issue access conditions for heavy vehicles in New South Wales based on the Intelligent Access Program. The bill establishes the process for the certification of Intelligent Access Program service providers by a single body, Transport Certification Australia Limited. Intelligent Access Program service providers will be required to provide non-compliance reports to the RTA for follow-up action of any breaches of the law. The bill gives Transport Certification Australia the authority to cancel the certification of a service provider that does not meet its service provision obligations. Transport Certification Australia is obliged to advise the RTA if service providers are not meeting their obligations.
To further protect the integrity of the IAP, the bill includes penalties for tampering with equipment. The bill adopts a high level of privacy and personal information protection by adopting the national model provisions developed in consultation with the New South Wales, Victorian and Commonwealth privacy commissioners. There was also direct consultation with the New South Wales Privacy Commissioner during the translation of the national model bill into the New South Wales bill. The New South Wales Attorney General's Department was consulted to ensure that existing workplace surveillance protection was maintained.
A review mechanism will be available for individuals who have lodged a complaint with the holder of their personal information. Failure to comply with a direction from the RTA or Transport Certification Australia to take the required corrective action will attract penalties. The bill ensures that data collected and non-compliance reports are of an evidentiary standard and will be admissible in court if necessary. This bill will facilitate the Iemma Government's plan for the expansion of the higher mass limits network in New South Wales. I welcome the Opposition's support for the use of the Intelligent Access Program to provide the safeguards required to expand the higher mass limits network in New South Wales.
The New South Wales and Australian governments agreed that vehicle monitoring should be included as a condition for higher mass limits access under the AusLink agreement. I have already acknowledged the co-operation of the New South Wales Road Transport Association. The association, which has worked with the Government to ensure that the bill addresses the concerns of industry, has advised that it believes the bill contains adequate safeguards that are consistent with prevailing policies and legislation regarding privacy in New South Wales. The association has expressed its desire to work closely with the RTA and Transport Certification Australia during implementation of the Intelligent Access Program to work through any issues that arise. The New South Wales Road Transport Association has adopted a good attitude and has worked co-operatively and amicably to deliver a better result for the State and for our trucking industry. I hope that the association's counterparts interstate will adopt the same sort of working relationship with the New South Wales Government.
The leaders in the trucking industry understand and accept that the Intelligent Access Program is the way of the future for compliance under a fully operational higher mass limits scheme. There have already been more than 500 Intelligent Access Program pre-enrolments for higher mass limits and 233 permits were issued to vehicles operating in western New South Wales. There are significant benefits for the industry in supporting this bill. The National Transport Commission estimates the financial cost to heavy vehicle operators of using Intelligent Access Program services is between $500 and $1,600 per vehicle per year. Transport Certification Australia has estimated that a B-double on a higher mass limit permit that runs from Melbourne to Sydney with an extra payload of just four tonnes one way will break even on all extra expenses in just 16 trips.
Australia's freight task is forecast to double over the next 10 to 15 years. The traditional on-road enforcement resources of the RTA have led Australia in the use of compliance technology. It is time to use technology to support smart regulatory and compliance models to match the development of smart trucks, with their higher productivity, improved fuel efficiency, and lower emissions and noise. The bill builds on what innovative transport companies are doing already. The introduction of the IAP will deliver substantial benefits to the trucking industry as well as the community. The Iemma Government is leading the way with innovative solutions, supported by tough regulation. I am grateful to the RTA and its dedicated staff for working through the process and ensuring the success of the IAP, which we developed with the trucking industry. I commend the bill to the House.
Motion agreed to.
Bill read a second time and passed through remaining stages.