I am pleased to bring you this special edition of the Local Government Update following yesterday’s first-ever Queensland Road Manager Forum held at the Brisbane offices and online. More than 80 participants, covering road managers across the state, participated in the forum, which provided a great opportunity to share open conversations and find out more about the ways the NHVR is investing in improving outcomes for local government and the heavy vehicle industry.
We plan to hold similar events across each state and continue providing support to road managers, to help in making informed heavy vehicle decisions.
A significant focus of yesterday’s discussions was the NHVR Portal, and how it is being transformed to make it easier for you to manage routes, permits and road assets. The NHVR is taking steps to convert the Portal into a heavy vehicle ‘business centre’ to deliver a seamless experience for operators and local government alike. You can read more about this in the articles below.
I'd like to thank everyone who attended the event yesterday, both in person and virtually, and for the great feedback we received.
And finally, thank you to all our partners in local government across Australia for your continued support of our organisation. I hope the below articles provide you with some valuable insight for what's to come over the next few months.
Kelli Walker, A/CEO
Key discussions from our first full-day forum
Stakeholder Engagement Officer, Athena Ferraro, held the first Queensland Local Government Road Manager Full-Day Forum yesterday in the NHVR Brisbane office and online. The forum saw 20 local road managers from around South East Queensland attend in person, with an additional 60 road managers attending online.
The forum provided an opportunity to provide updates and discuss the benefits of key work programs, such as the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project (SLGGAP), the changes coming to the NHVR Portal and the Road Management and Network Builder tools.
The NHVR’s Chief Engineer, Les Bruzsa also provided an overview of key things to consider when undertaking assessments of Performance Based Standards (PBS) vehicles. A demonstration of the new road manager hub, road manager training and an update on the access program of work including pre-approvals and renewals was provided.
The forum was a success, with our road managers in attendance providing their initial appreciation on the day. A significant takeaway from the event was the keen interest in the SLGAAP and Portal developments.
For those who missed out on yesterday's forum, this special edition newsletter will provide an overview of some of the key projects and initiatives discussed and some upcoming important dates.
We are thrilled to hear it was an informative and enjoyable day for all our road managers who joined us. For those who are yet to submit feedback, an official survey link will be distributed early next week so we can learn what worked well, and what we can improve for future forums.
Building a Single National Network Map for Network Access
As part of yesterday's forum, a demonstration of the new NHVR national network map was provided, including the new road manager self-service tools that will allow road managers to actively maintain, and update heavy vehicle networks within their local government area.
In the next few weeks, the NHVR will start publishing the South Australia, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory maps in the Portal. The maps for New South Wales and Queensland are planned to be made available by the end of the year.
This means that map information currently held within each jurisdiction will be displayed in the one map, allowing the heavy vehicle industry to route journeys across state and territory borders from one location.
Importantly, the road manager self-service tools will allow changes to be proposed to existing networks, or the creation of new networks, including pre-approved networks, which will be managed through a workflow stored within the Portal.
A register of road ownership, created by both local and jurisdictional government nominating their ownership of roads and using the developed Road Management tools, will be a central component of keeping networks up-to-date. If a road manager is listed as the road’s owner, they will be able to apply certain restrictions, conditions or approve full access for each vehicle type.
Key benefits of the single enforceable national network map and changes coming to the Portal include:
A self-service tool to manage gazetted networks,
The enhanced ability to manage disruption to networks and publish safe updates to the network in real-time (such as during disasters),
The ability to manage and expand gazetted networks,
The ability to make quicker and more informed decisions around access based on the bridge assessments, and
Clearer understanding of local bridge capability to better inform heavy vehicle access.
To learn more, email email@example.com.
Next steps for the Road Management Tool
The NHVR has now completed the tooling allowing road managers to accurately claim or transfer road ownership of roads through the Portal.
Training sessions with state, territory, local government and third parties has been completed in Vic, SA and into Qld, with over 5000 ownership changes already made, covering more than 20,000 road segments. The tool is helping to increase transparency and enable more timely access decisions, by ensuring consent requests are allocated correctly for both permits and notices.
Training sessions are run every week and are currently available for Qld Local Government Areas, with the rollout to NSW from July onwards, and Tasmania from September onwards.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on upcoming dates.
Rolling out the Network Management Tool
The Network Management Tool in the Portal is now being used by the Victorian Department of Transport and will continue to be rolled out to state and territory road agencies as maps are transitioned into the Portal.
From September 2023, a pilot will be launched with local government to begin rolling out the Network Management Tools including management of both gazetted and pre-approved network maps. We will update you with more information as this occurs.
An update on SLGAAP Phase 2 Round 2
At yesterday's forum, road managers heard from the Project Manager of the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project (SLGAAP).
The NHVR is committed to working collaboratively with local government to support councils in better understanding their asset capability and inform heavy vehicle access decision-making. Through the SLGAAP, engineers are funded to undertake route capability assessments and asset assessments for local governments across Australia.
Round 2 of SLGAAP is well underway and includes engineering assessments for 125 critical assets across 33 councils. Once completed, the total number of assessments completed under SLGAAP will be close to 600 assessments across 88 local council areas.
You can now express interest in SLGAAP via the Portal. The SLGAAP team will contact road managers who complete the EOI when the next round of nominations is expected to open. You can also view the list of the 125 local government assets and 33 councils currently undergoing assessment in Phase 2 Round 2.
SLGAAP Knowledge Hub
The Knowledge Hub is a centralised area on the SLGAAP website containing resources, checklists, and helpful tools. These resources aim to support road managers and transport operators in better understanding asset capability regarding heavy vehicle access, as well as improving knowledge of assets like bridges and culverts.
eLearn modules – Foundation Course available late-2023
To complement the existing learning materials, an online training course is being developed to provide road managers with the knowledge and tools necessary for more informed heavy vehicle access decision-making and enhance understanding of assets. The content was identified through feedback with road managers and will support the project assessment activities.
The online courses will be available to all road managers at no cost and offers learning at a time and place that is convenient for you. For updates on progress visit our project website, or to register interest in the foundation course, send us an email at email@example.com.
Working with Local Government for Heavy Vehicle Priority Routes
The SLGAAP team also presented yesterday on the team's work regarding heavy vehicle priority routes.
As part of the project, the SLGAAP team has worked with councils to identify approximately 2000 local government priority heavy vehicle routes for engineering asset assessments. These routes were selected based on their critical role in supporting the movement of goods across communities.
The key benefits of focusing efforts on priority routes include:
Targeted prioritisation and assessment of local government assets,
Helping local government identify strategic corridors,
A national consolidated dataset for local government roads,
A strategic link between local roads and key freight routes,
Contributing to a more comprehensive database of assets, and
Administrative efficiencies for local government in the management of heavy vehicles on their roads.
The list of priority heavy vehicle routes can be found in the Engagement Hub. Routes were identified based on six key criteria to understand and prioritise heavy vehicle routes and their significance to the network.
We want to hear from local governments to check the routes are appropriate for your local government area. If you would like a one-on-one meeting to discuss your council's routes, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also learn more about local government priority heavy vehicle routes here.
Out and about: SLGAAP engagement activities
To understand more about each council’s unique priorities and challenges, the SLGAAP team has been on the road engaging with local government road managers.
Workshops commenced recently with SLGAAP and 15 councils from the Legatus Region in SA. The workshop aimed to connect with the regions councils to validate identified priority routes and consider other routes based on local expertise. The participants provided valuable local insights, resulting in the number of priority routes increasing from 88 to approximately 140.
Regional workshops will be held over the coming months with councils in the Grampians Region (Vic), Hunter Valley (NSW), Toowoomba Western Downs (Qld) and Mackay Whitsunday (Qld). We encourage all councils in these areas to participate. The project will continue to work with regions of councils with priority heavy vehicle routes until all are completed. Assessments of routes identified through these workshops will be subsequently undertaken, providing clarity on the suitability of the routes for heavy vehicles.
If you would like SLGAAP to participate or attend any upcoming meetings or forums, please send your requests to email@example.com.
Progressing the Asset Rapid Assessment Tool
Work is progressing on the Asset Rapid Assessment Tool (ARAT) with a trial with a small number of councils to kick off this month. The ARAT will allow road managers to quickly compare vehicles they nominate as being representative of bridge capability to other vehicles requesting access to the network.
This means road managers will be able to run the ARAT during their consideration of access suitability within the Portal to see if the vehicle being applied for can safely travel over the bridges on the proposed route. This should streamline the assessment process and give road managers greater confidence in their determinations of access on the network.
Road managers will be updated about the next stages once the trial has been completed. If your council is interested in participating in further stages of ARAT testing, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local government road managers information hub launch
During the forum, road managers were given a demonstration of the new Local government road managers information hub. Participants indicated that the new hub will be a great tool for new road managers, and provide great support for them to learn about the role.
The new hub provides a central location on the NHVR website that links to all relevant sources of road manager support and information the NHVR provides.
Road managers will see new pages on the hub that are focused on key information on road manager responsibilities including access permits, conditions, network access and more.
We will be updating you further on the changes in the next Local Government Update, as well our focus for the next steps of the project.
If you have any questions or feedback, please email email@example.com or contact us.