Bulletin 1: Released on 8 January 2020
The NHVR is urging all heavy vehicle operators to take steps to ensure safe travel when operating in and around areas affected by bushfires.
Where possible operators should avoid travelling in bushfire impacted zones, however if required be aware of local emergency access arrangements.
The following Bulletin answers some of the questions we’ve received in relation to work and rest hour exemptions, access arrangements and road conditions.
The next Bulletin will be available on January 13.
Heavy vehicle access across bushfire affected areas
The NHVR is working with road and emergency services authorities to ensure safe access to affected areas.
Heavy vehicle operators should take a number of steps when accessing bushfire affected areas.
- Check the local road conditions through state government websites. A list of websites with the latest information about road conditions can be found below.
- If travelling in an affected area, check with local emergency services or recovery operations.
- Ensure your vehicle is able to travel on the existing network. If you’re travelling outside of these networks, you may need to obtain a permit through the NHVR Portal at www.service.nhvr.gov.au/ or call 1300 696 487 for assistance.
- Ensure you have enough food and water supplies in case of unexpected conditions, and avoid using back tracks or off-network roads to get around road closures.
If fires have interfered with your ability to lodge access or accreditation applications please get in contact with us on 1300 MYNHVR (1300 696 487) or email@example.com so we can provide appropriate support and guidance.
Understand emergency fatigue provisions – what you can and can’t do
An emergency services work and rest hour exemption may apply if working with or under the direction of emergency services. This includes transporting relief supplies or working to restore essential utilities and services.
For this exemption to apply, written or verbal direction must be received from emergency service personnel.
While the direction may exempt you from complying with work and rest limits and maintaining work diaries, they do not exempt an operator or a driver from managing fatigue.
Drivers should keep a record of any instruction given by emergency services.
Drivers should stop work and rest immediately if they are feeling fatigued at any time while operating a heavy vehicle.
Eyre Highway closure
The Eyre Highway between Norseman and Caiguna remains closed in both directions due to the impact of fire and smoke. The following alert has been issued by the WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
It remains unsafe for people to travel east due to worsening fire weather, the active Balladonia fire and the potential for dry lightning.
All vehicles outside of this area are asked to stay away. Eyre Highway, Coolgardie-Esperance Highway and the border from South Australia into Western Australia will remain closed.
Operators are reporting a lot of large equipment is being moved during this period. Victoria and New South Wales have extensive Oversize, Overmass (OSOM) networks, which operators are encouraged to utilise where possible. Using these networks removes the need for a permit.
Local network maps are available here:
If travelling outside of these networks, please visit www.service.nhvr.gov.au for permit information.
There continues to be a significant amount of road closures across the country due to ongoing bushfires.
You can find up-to-date maps for each state at the links below:
Contacts for fire information
New South Wales
NSW RFS: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and www.fire.nsw.gov.au
NSW Bush Fire Information Line: 1800 679 737
Victoria Country Fire Authority: www.cfa.vic.gov.au
VicEmergency Hotline: 1800 226 226
SA CFS: www.cfs.sa.gov.au
Bushfire Information Hotline: 1800 362 361
SA Government Recovery Hotline: 1800 302 787
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services: www.qfes.qld.gov.au
Department of Fire and Emergency Services: https://www.dfes.wa.gov.au
Public information: 133 337