Councils implicated in Chain of Responsibility laws

Reforms to the National Heavy Vehicle Register (NHVR) Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws, implemented on 1 October 2018, have direct implications for Local Government including large fines and/or imprisonment for breaches.

Simply put the law now says councils involved in any transport activities that include a vehicle weighing over 4.5 tonne when loaded (regardless of whether it is owned by council or a contractor), will have a shared responsibility to ensure safety and that risks are adequately managed. 

NHVR Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sal Petroccitto, said, “The reforms complement national workplace safety laws, and place a positive duty-of-care on supply chain parties.

“Duty holders who assess their risks and manage them will be complying with both the Heavy Vehicle National Law and workplace safety law.”

The NHVR encourages all parties in the heavy vehicle supply chain to adopt and utilise a Safety Management System as part of their everyday business, to help effectively consider and manage their day-to-day safety risks.

National Transport Commission Acting Chief Executive, Dr Geoff Allan, said, “The reforms remove prescriptive obligations, providing greater flexibility for industry in how they achieve safety outcomes. 

“They also encourage parties in the chain to be proactive in managing risks. 

“These reforms recognise that every party in the heavy vehicle transport supply chain has a duty to ensure safety.

 “The best way to do this is to have safety management systems and controls in place, such as business practices, training and procedures.”

The NHVR has information available on its website to assist councils become compliant including CoR Gap Assessment tools such as role-specific fact sheets, Safety Management System templates and tools, and videos and podcasts.

For more information visit