The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (14:51): My question is to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure. Can you please update the house on the progress of awarding and implementing the second stage of the heavy vehicle inspection scheme, which we were the first state to implement in 2017. With your leave and that of the house, I will explain further.
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: As you are aware, I have been asking this question since May 2018, and whilst the minister has been advising an update of the issue, I think it is very beneficial to give a further update to the house at this particular time and also to the industry.
The Hon. S.K. KNOLL (Schubert—Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government, Minister for Planning) (14:51): I thank the member for Frome for his question and agree that he has been passionately seeking updates for his community about what this means for his community. He is right that, under the former government, HVIS stage 1 was put in place, and what we are dealing with now is the second stage of that: all vehicles over 4½ tonne will be subject to heavy vehicle inspections because we know of the increased risk that heavy vehicles have on our road network.
I can update the member that we are currently in a tender process, that the selection is down to the final two tenderers and that essentially the final stages of that tender process are being undertaken. This has taken a long time but, as I have said in this house before and will say again, we want to take a cautious approach to this because on the one hand we have the desire to see safer trucks on our roads, but on the other hand, especially for regional communities, what we don’t want to have is a bureaucratic red tape model that keeps trucks off our roads simply because they don’t have access to the inspection points that they need to have.
We are taking a cautious approach because we want to make sure that when and as this is rolled out, it will be rolled out as a staged process in terms of the types of vehicles that will be progressively entered into the system so we can gear up for that, so that we can take again a cautious, staged approach. The other thing that I can update the member on is that in relation to HVIS stage 2, there is a mandatory period of three months of notification before the new system comes into place. I am thinking especially now about farmers, grape growers and the like. In my electorate, for instance, they grab the Bedford truck out once a year and use it to cart back and forth.
There will be a staged rollout. There will be very strong and long consultation and notification, and we will be taking a cautious approach to the rollout so that what we don’t see in regional areas is those not able to get their produce to market, which this government desperately wants them to do in ever increasing quantities, simply because they cannot get access to an inspection. We are going to make sure that we do this properly. Again, the concerns that the member for Frome has reflected to me are very much at the centre of our thinking, and as I have more information as the tender stages close, I will definitely make that available.