The National Transport Commission (NTC) is calling for feedback on ways to improve the Performance-Based Standards (PBS) scheme.

The NTC has released a discussion paper, Assessing the effectiveness of the PBS marketplace, which presents preliminary findings of an evaluation of the PBS scheme and possible actions for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the scheme.

Chief Executive of the NTC, Paul Retter, said the purpose of the evaluation is to look at ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the PBS scheme, and in doing so respond to Australia’s growing freight task.

“Road freight is projected to increase by 26 per cent in the next 10 years. PBS vehicles are well placed to assist industry and government in coping with this forecasted growth,” Retter said.

“Since 2007 when the world-first scheme started, PBS vehicles have been involved in fewer crashes, carried more freight with fewer trips, generated lower emissions and reduced road maintenance expenditure. We need to continue improving the scheme to promote greater uptake of these vehicles.”

Australia remains a world leader as the only country to have a high productivity heavy vehicle scheme incorporated into the Heavy Vehicle National Law and administered by a national regulator.

The scheme was introduced as an alternative performance-based regulatory system that could replace the prescriptive method of using mass and dimension limits. This is the first comprehensive evaluation of the scheme.

Feedback from this consultation will help inform recommendations to be presented to transport ministers in May 2018. Submissions in response to this discussion paper will be accepted until 5pm Monday, 9 October 2017 via the NTC website.

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