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If you are involved in the trucking industry you will at some stage need to deal with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator in order to conduct your business.  Since its creation, the Regulator is responsible for the regulation of many aspects of trucking law. Amongst other duties, the issue and manage accreditation schemes, permits and exemptions. Most applications for permits, exemptions and accreditations are usually granted, but it may happen that your application is declined. This can have significant implications for your business. Fortunately, the initial decision does not have to be the final answer. There are remedies available to you.

What can you do if your application is denied?

Firstly, there is a process for review.

You can request an internal review of the decision. An internal review involves the Regulator to reconsider its original decision. You are allowed to submit additional information for the review. This new information will be considered with the information that was considered in the initial application. A different person will conduct the review; this ensures a fresh approach with a different set of eyes. After conducting the review, the Regulator will either uphold or change the original decision.

Secondly, you can appeal the internal review.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you can appeal the decision. A Court or Tribunal in your state or territory will hear the appeal. This is an opportunity to have your application heard by an impartial body. The Court or Tribunal will consider all the evidence and then decide whether it will uphold the Regulator’s decision, or whether another decision should have been made.

What should you do when preparing for the internal review or appeal?

  • Prepare properly for every step of the process. Any information you include with the original application will be considered on review. And any information you include in your review will be considered in your appeal. The biggest mistake people make is to not submit the strongest original application or internal review. People think that they can fix it at a later stage. This is not always so easy. Failing to seek advice where it is needed and then submitting a “weak” application is a mistake. It is much easier to do it properly from the start than to try and fix it later.
  • Confirm whether your case can be reviewed. Not all decisions are reviewable. The letter notifying you of the regulator’s decision will usually inform you if the decision can be reviewed. It is always a good idea to seek legal advice, sometimes the information that the regulator provides is not clear.
  • Stick to time limits. There are time limits within which you need to lodge your application for a review or an appeal. These limits can be extended under some circumstances, but it is not guaranteed. Don’t rely on getting an extension. If you miss the limit, you may have to live with the original decision.

Important: The original decision is not “on hold” pending your review or appeal.

Lodging your application for an internal review or an appeal does not automatically pause the original decision or denial. If you want to stop the original decision from being enforced pending your review or appeal, you need to make a separate application.

Legal advice

Since the Regulator’s decisions can have a significant impact on your ability to conduct your business, it is always a good idea to seek legal assistance if you are uncertain about the possible outcome of your dealings with the Regulator.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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