ALRTA NEWS -17 August 2018


The NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, the Hon. Melinda Pavey MP, has announced improved access arrangements for heavy vehicles carrying supplies and stock to drought-affected areas.

The measures are outlined below.

The new NSW Class 3 Drought Assistance Dimension Exemption Notice will:

  • From 15 August 2018, allow eligible vehicles transporting baled or rolled hay to travel under notice and without a permit, including B-doubles up to 26 metres long:
    • Up to 2.83 metres wide on all approved roads.
    • Up to 4.6 metres high, on the approved 4.6 metre high network.

Operators can find relevant notices plus an operators guide here.

From 13 August 2018, The NSW Government will:

  • On a case-by-case basis, allow access permits for road trains on roads not currently approved for road trains.
  • An extra $15 million has already been committed for road maintenance.
  • On a case-by-case basis, provide access permits for trucks transporting loads of hay in excess of 4.6 metres high.
  • Refund National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and Roads and Maritime permit fees for drought relief applications.
  • Establish a dedicated hotline (1800 952 292) and website ( ) for any questions or queries transport operators or farmers may have.

The website above contains information tables about different combinations and allowable dimensions.

Prioritisation of Permits and Payment Exemption

The NHVR has introduced a permit payment exemption to operators transporting drought relief products to and from drought affected areas.

The following freight types will be accepted as part of the payment exemption:

  • fodder freight (can include fodder used in maintenance and feeding of cattle, sheep, goats, deer, pigs, chickens, working and breeding horses).
  • water cartage freight (includes water carted for stock and supply for emergency animal welfare needs).
  • stock relocating due to drought conditions.
  • emergency water infrastructure.

For more information about eligibility and documentation please read the Drought relief – Access permit payment exemption (PDF, 188KB).

The NHVR is also prioritising drought relief access permits.

In order for the NHVR to identify and prioritise your drought relief access request please ensure you list the word DROUGHT in your “Create a new permit application – Reference” and within the “Additional comments and declaration” field of your application.

All access permit applications can be made through the NHVR Portal.


Members are advised of the election results of the ALRTA AGM on 16 August 2018.

The National Executive for 2018-19 is:

  • National President: Stephen Marley (LRTAWA)
  • Vice President: Scott McDonald (LBRCA)
  • Vice President: John Beer (LRTAV)
  • Treasurer: Fiona Wild (LRTAQ)
  • Secretary: Grant Robins (LRTAWA)
  • ATA Representative: David Smith (LRTASA)
  • Immediate Past President: Kevin Keenan (LRTAV)

As per the ALRTA Constitution, the one-year term of each elected representative will commence on 1 October 2018.

Photo (L-R): ALRTA National President Elect Stephen Marley and Current ALRTA National President Kevin Keenan.

ALRTA acknowledges the excellent service of outgoing President Kevin Keenan over the past three years and congratulates incoming President Stephen Marley.  Stephen has been a valuable contributor on the ALRTA Council over many years and is a former LRTAWA President and TruckSafe Chair.

ALRTA also thanks outgoing Treasurer Ron Pattel for his enormous contribution in overseeing our association’s structural and financial reform process over the past six years.


Twenty two ALRTA state association and Member Chapter representatives and observers attended the ALRTA National Council meeting and Annual General Meeting in Melbourne, Victoria on 16 August 2018.

Photo: ALRTA National Council – 16 August 2018

Some of the topics discussed included:

  • Effluent:  Council considered the $400,000 grant offer from the Australian Government.
  • Heavy Vehicle Charging: Government proposals for independent charging decisions and a forward looking cost base were considered.
  • HVNL Review: Representatives from NTC presented an overview of the review process and proposed terms of reference.
  • National Ramp Standards: A representative from Standards Australia attended to discuss the standards development process.
  • Vehicle Standards Regulations: Council considered alternatives to the NTC proposals affecting compliance for technology fitted to trailers.
  • Other issues Council also considered live exports, TruckSafe, ALRTA review, privacy and data-sharing and national database.

Photo: NTC HVNL Review team speak to ALRTA Council. 

The ALRTA National Council will next meet in Canberra on 26 October 2018.


ALRTA Finance Manager Jack Evans attended a consultation workshop on options for exploring independent charging decisions and implementing a forward-looking cost base.   Mr Evans has previously worked as an Assistant Secretary with the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport and has a long connection to attempted charging reform stretching back to the 1980s.

ALRTA National Council will consider charging issues this week.  Decisions will be taken to the ATA Council meeting scheduled for the week following.  Formal comments are due on the government regulatory impact statement (RIS) by 31 August 2018.

More information including a the RIS can be found here.


The Coalition Government is considering changes to Australian migration policy to force persons who arrive under the ‘Skilled Migration’ or ‘Regional Sponsored Migration’ Schemes to remain in regional areas for an additional amount of time.

Regional employers have long been concerned about the usual practice of sponsored migrants immediately moving to Sydney or Melbourne after visa conditions have expired. This leaves regional communities with perpetual skills shortages and places additional strain on infrastructure in our two biggest capital cities.

There are legal challenges in restricting freedom of movement in a nation like Australia, but this has been achieved for some occupations such as doctors where Medicare billing has been linked to a regional centre for up to 10 years.


Those of you who attended the LRTAQ Conference in 2017 will be familiar with Dr Gomes and Heart of Australia.

They are a remote healthcare operation that helps rural Australians. They have now taken delivery of a new Kenworth K200 prime mover and specialised trailer in Queensland.

ALRTA Platinum Partner PACCAR Australia is a longtime supporter of Heart of Australia as is longtime ALRTA member Frasers Livestock Transport and their help will assist in getting these services to more Australians in remote areas.

Due to visit 16 outback towns starting this month, the combination features extra consultation rooms for a range of specialist services, including gynaecology, neurology and endocrinology.

The mobile clinic is the second truck for Heart of Australia, which began in 2014 taking heart specialists to the bush in a custom built 18-wheeler clinic.

Brisbane cardiologist Dr Rolf Gomes mortgaged his home to build the first truck after being confronted by the health inequality facing Australians living in remote areas.

To find out more about the good work Heart of Australia is doing for our industry click here.


Hosted by prominent journalist and author Kerry O’Brien, Australian Industry Standards is holding a series of Industry Skills Forums around the country to explore current and future skills needs.

The forums will feature industry leaders in a Q&A panel discussion about future skilling in an age of digital transformation and new thinking about jobs and careers.

The Forums give you an opportunity to make a real contribution to shaping the skills and workforce priorities for your industry.

Forum dates:

Canberra – 11 September
Sydney – 26 September
Hobart – 9 October
Darwin – 16 October
Melbourne – 30 October
Perth – 8 November
Adelaide – 13 November

Resister here.


This week the ATA hosted a teleconference for CEOs and Executive Directors of member industry associations.  Some years ago these meetings were held regularly but were discontinued after several management changes occurred within ATA.

The meeting was a good opportunity to share information and discuss opportunities for closer cooperation on common issues for mutual benefit.  It was agreed that the meetings should continue on a regular basis.


Tony Sheldon has stepped down as TWU National Secretary to prepare to run for a Federal Senate position.  Mr Sheldon has been replaced by Michael Kaine who was the National Assistant Secretary.  Mr Kaine has been a long-time advocate of mandatory minimum rates for owner drivers so don’t expect too much the change at the TWU.


The ALRTA President and Executive Director are attending the LRTAV Conference in Bendigo Victoria this week.  Look out for a report next week.


There are several important events coming up in the next few months, including:

ATA & ALC Supply Chain Summit
When: 5-6 September 2018
Where: Melbourne
More information

Road Freight NSW Conference
When: 13 September 2018
Where: Rooty Hill RSL
More information

ATA Technology and Maintenance Conference
When: 15-17 October 2018
Where: TBC
More information

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ALRTA News – 10 August 2018


The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has secured $400,000 as part of the Australian Government’s 2018-19 Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative program, to construct and operate a roadside livestock effluent disposal facility.

ALRTA National President, Mr Kevin Keenan, welcomed the announcement saying, “This funding cements an industry-government partnership that will establish Australia’s first roadside effluent disposal facility for livestock carriers.

“Australia’s livestock supply chain will benefit greatly from the project and it will help drivers better comply with legislative requirements to contain effluent.

“Livestock processing facilities in Australia are not required to provide disposal areas for captured effluent and primary producers will not accept it onto their property due to biosecurity concerns.

“Considering this, we need to better manage effluent disposal on public roadways and roadside effluent disposal sites will be welcomed by the industry and other road users.

“We have identified South East Queensland as the ideal pilot site and the project is supported by the Queensland Government.  The facility will be located on the Warrego Highway, servicing more than 20,000 semi-trailer equivalent movements and removing up to 2,500,000 litres of effluent from the road corridor annually.

“Vehicles fitted with effluent capture tanks will be able to enter the site from the adjacent roadway, discharge tanks, and proceed back onto the Warrego Highway in a highly efficient manner. Captured effluent will be redirected for productive purposes such as irrigation, soil composting, worm farms or energy generation.”

Mr Keenan said that once completed the facility will serve as the foundation stone to expand the program in future.

“The longer-term aim is to construct a network of livestock effluent disposal facilities on key livestock transport corridors across Australia and this site is the vital first step towards that goal.

“I thank the Australian Government for supporting this pilot facility.  It will make a real difference for road safety, animal welfare, biosecurity and amenity,” said Mr Keenan.



The ALRTA Executive Director joined LRTAQ members Ian Wild (LRTAQ President), Fiona Wild, Graeme Hoare, Geoff Dowling and Jarrod Seilers in a series of meetings with Queensland regional councils (RC) to discuss effluent containment.

Over two days we met with Somerset RC, North Burnett RC and South Burnett RC.  In Somerset and South Burnett we were able to deliver a presentation and have open discussion as part of formal Council proceedings with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and all Councillors present.

Photo (L-R): Jarrod Seilers, Fiona Wild, Ian Wild, Graeme Hoare and Mathew Munro at South Burnett Regional Council.

Effluent loss from heavy vehicles is a hot topic in south east QLD with tens of thousands of semi-trailer equivalent movements of livestock annually now needed to service very large feedlots, piggerys and processors in the area.  A practical solution needs to be found to allow the livestock industry and local urban populations to grow side-by-side with minimal conflict.

Some RCs have been threatening fines of up to $70k for inadvertent effluent loss and $200k for deliberate dumping in the road corridor.

Our representatives outlined a strategy which involves encouraging better animal preparation practices, improved disclosure of curfews on NVDs, a common-sense approach to enforcement, development of a code of practice and construction of disposal options within the road corridor.

We were able to clearly demonstrate that livestock carriers are the ‘meat in the sandwich’.  We do not own the effluent and we do not own the roads. Crates must be ventilated to meet requirements under animal welfare laws and capturing effluent in tanks just creates a secondary disposal problem.

The circumstances in every RC are different and this is reflected in the attitudes of Councillors and staff.  Some RCs are major livestock thoroughfares, some are production centres and others host large processors that are significant employers in the region.   Having grown up on a piggery myself, I was particularly taken by the enthusiasm in which Kingaroy is preparing for Baconfest (24-26 August) – right now just about every business and public place has a pig-themed picture, poster or statue on display.

During each meeting we were able to explore:

  • The value of facilitating strong livestock industries;
  • Reasons for localised effluent problems;
  • Alternatives to heavy handed enforcement;
  • The number of vehicles using the main livestock routes and future scenarios;
  • Potential for local disposal sites.

Over the course of each meeting it was clear that attitudes were changing for the better.  These RCs now understand that drivers are not the party ‘at fault’ and that fines will not fix the problem. Only an ongoing cooperative approach involving the entire supply chain and all levels of government can result in meaningful change.  We must hold those who prepare livestock for transport to account and start assisting (rather than prosecuting) drivers by providing viable disposal options.



The ALRTA Executive Director participated in a Design Workshop to help inform the National Heavy Vehicle Charing Pilot that is being developed by the Australian Government.

The stages of the pilot are as follows:

  • Stage 1 (2018): foundation advice, modelling and market research.
  • Stage 2 (2018-20): On road mock billing.
  • Stage 3 (2020): test new system on an opt-in basis.
  • Stage 4: Full implementation.

Decisions about whether or not to proceed will be made after Stage 2.

The new charging system is intended to replace both rego and fuel-based charges.  Charges will be based on planned future spending (rather than cost recovery of previous spending) and it will at least involve a distance and mass charge, and possibly also a location factor.

Determining a suitable mass charge is one of the most difficult aspects of the project.  Not one of the several European countries or US states with distance-based charges has successfully implemented a ‘real time’ mass measurement.

It is also intended that all charges raised will be hypothecated for road spending (i.e. charges must be spent on roads and road regulation).  Tolls will be outside of the system and some other special access projects will also be treated differently (e.g. local operators may be asked to pay a special levy for some access projects to be viable – we will need to watch this element closely to make sure it does not become the primary focus).

Some of the additional concerns raised by ALRTA were:

  • Whether charges will be based on marginal cost of road provision or service level – using an unsealed rural road should cost far less than a major highway;
  • Complexity of charging calculation – how will an operator be able to estimate operating costs if every road is different?
  • Cost of implementing new technology (GPS tracking) and what else it might be used for in future – just imagine the temptation of governments to use a GPS charging system for compliance and enforcement purposes.

After much discussion it became clear that the key questions for the Government were:

  1. How much will operators have to pay?
  2. What will operators get in return?
  3. How will the system link with the HVNL (Will it be able to provide a revolutionary new access system? Will it just be used as an enforcement tool?).

ALRTA also attended a consultative workshop this week on possibility of moving to independent decision making for heavy vehicle charges and the proposed forward-looking cost base.  Currently, charges are decided by Ministers after a recommendation from the NTC.  Ministers do not always make fair decisions and are currently over-charging industry by more than $100m annually.

The ALRTA National Council will consider charging issues next week.



Prime Minister Turnbull this week announced $190m in new drought relief measures with mixed responses from farmers around Australia.  The main aspects of the announcement are:

  • Households eligible for the Farm Household Allowance – a fortnightly payment totalling around $16,000 a year – will receive two additional lump sum payments on 1 September 2018 and 1 March 2019.  Couples in a household will receive up to an additional $12,000 and single households will receive up to $7,200.
  • The net asset threshold cap to qualify for the Farm Household Allowance will increase from $2.6 million to $5 million.  This will extend access to around 8,000 farmers.
  • The availability of Farm Household Allowance will be extended from three years to four.
  • Additional funding has been allocated to the Rural Financial Counselling Service, mental health services and various community programs.

These new funds come in addition to $386m in drought relief measures already in place and the Coalition has stated that there will be further announcements in coming weeks.

The NSW Government has also recently announced freight subsidies covering up to 50 percent of the transport cost for grain, hay or fodder for feeding livestock or for transporting livestock for adjustment, sale or slaughter.  There is a cap of $20,000 per farm business.

For more information about drought relief assistance click here.



The NHVR must be applauded for taking proactive and practical measures to assist with the transportation of feed and fodder around Australia to deal with the worsening drought crisis in NSW and other parts of Australia.

Some of the steps taken by NHVR include:

  • Waiving of permit application fees;
  • Prioritisation of permits needed for drought relief purposes (NOTE: a one day turnaround is possible if the applicant specifies the permit is for drought relief);
  • Development of new drought notices for fodder movements to address width issues;
  • A general alert has been issued to all enforcement authorities to apply discretion and consider formal warnings for non-safety related breaches involving vehicles carrying drought relief supplies.

Operators experiencing adverse enforcement outcomes are encouraged to contact your state association or the ALRTA and will endeavour to assist.

ALRTA understands that the NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, the Hon Melinda Pavey MP, will make further formal announcements on Monday.


On Friday this week ALRTA participated in a meeting of the NHVR Industry Reference Forum (IRF) in Brisbane.  This is the highest level NHVR consultative group.  The IFR also met jointly with the National Operational Strategy and Policy Advisory Group with comprises senior government officials across all jurisdictions.

Look out for an update next week.



The Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (of which ALRTA is a member) is running a project to help make it easier for small and medium sized businesses, particularly in rural and regional areas, to employ people with a range of disabilities – and we need your help!

If you can spare time for an anonymous three-minute survey, click here.

The survey is open until 24 August 2018.

The next stage will involve an opportunity to be involved in paid market research.   I have participated in several of these forums in the past – it a great way to make some spending money while helping a good cause.  Look out for details in future newsletters.



Members are advised that the ALRTA will be holding a Council meeting and AGM on Thursday, 16 August 2018 at the Best Western, Airport Motel and Convention Centre, 33 Ardlie St, Victoria.

For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat (02) 6247 5434 or



LRTAV Annual Conference
When: 17-18 August 2018
Where: Bendigo, Victoria
Click here for a Delegate Brochure.
Click here for a Delegate Registration Form.

ATA & ALC Supply Chain Summit
When: 5-6 September 2018
Where: Melbourne
More information

Road Freight NSW Conference
When: 13 September 2018
Where: Rooty Hill RSL
More information

ATA Technology and Maintenance Conference
When: 15-17 October 2018
Where: TBC
More information

Posted in General News | Comments Off on ALRTA News – 10 August 2018

ALRTA News – 3 August 2018


ALRTA has lodged a formal submission to NTC rejecting a proposed change to the Heavy Vehicle (Vehicle Standards) National Regulation.

The proposed change to section 11 of the regulations would require all mandatory equipment to be connected to a vehicle – or be deemed non-compliant.

ALRTA National President Kevin Keenan said that the proposal is unworkable.

“There are many situations when mandatory equipment fitted to heavy trailers cannot be plugged into a prime mover or leading trailer,” said President Keenan.

“Australian Design Rules are constantly changing.  Vehicles are built to meet the mandatory specifications in place at the time of manufacture.

“For example, some new trailers were required to have ABS from 1 January 2015 and an even wider range of new trailers will require EBS from 1 November 2019 with some of these required to have 24v power.

“This means that the Australian heavy vehicle fleet is always comprised of a mix of older and newer technologies.  Many older vehicles lack compatible plugs and voltage systems to be connected with newer technologies.

“Prime movers built before July 2014 were not required to have an ABS/EBS connector.  A lack of compatible connections is also a common problem for multi-trailer combinations, larger fleets and tow operators.

“There are also many considerations in play when assembling heavy vehicle configurations such as ownership of trailers, destination of goods, availability of trailers for the next leg of a journey, relative trailer mass and placement of specialist trailers within a combination.  It is just not safe or practical to constantly re-configure a combination just to access an available connection.

“Passage of the amendment in its current form would result in trailers that are physically compliant with ADRs upon purchase and maintained in this form becoming periodically non-compliant because of their relative position within a multi-vehicle combination – which can vary from journey to journey.

“It would make more sense for the regulations to simply require that mandated technology is not left unplugged if a compatible plug is readily available in the current vehicle configuration,” said President Keenan.



On 25 July 2018, the Victorian Minister for Industrial Relations, the Hon Natalie Hutchins MP, introduced a bill to amend the Owner Driver and Forestry Contractors Act 2005.  Both LRTAV and ALRTA lodged submissions and met with the Minister’s Office during the review that proceeded the bill.

Critically, in line with the views expressed in our submissions, the bill does not establish mandatory minimum rates and new provisions for tip truck contractors will not apply to the rural road transport sector.

Key Features of the Existing Act

  • requiring the provision of information to contractors at the time contracts are negotiated.
  • requiring contracts of no fixed duration or for a period of at least 30 days to be in writing, and to specify the minimum income or hours of work under the contract.
  • setting a minimum period of notice for the termination of contracts.
  • including unconscionable conduct and contract variation provisions.
  • providing that a provision of a contract is void to the extent that it is contrary to the legislation or the Code.
  • providing that claims of unconscionable conduct and disputes arising under the scheme may be dealt with by mediation by the Office of the Victorian Small Business Commissioner, and if not resolved, by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
  • establishing an advisory Transport Industry Council and a Forest Industry Council.

Key Changes in the Amendment Bill

The amendment bill will:

  • amend the purpose of the Act to include the promotion of industry best practice, education and training.
  • clarify the definition of ‘freight broker’ to ensure contractors employed through third-party contracting platforms like Uber Freight.
  • clarify that hirers can provide owner drivers and forestry contractors with information in an electronic form, including an Internet link.
  • require a hirer or freight broker to provide the rates and costs schedule annually if a contractor is engaged under more than one contract during the 12-month period.
  • require the payment of invoices within 30 days of receipt of a correct invoice from the contractor, unless there is a dispute over the amount payable. The parties will also be able to agree on alternative arrangements that are fair to both parties.
  • clarify that contractors have the option of being covered by the same terms and conditions of an existing regulated contract that has been jointly negotiated.
  • specify that the Small Business Commission can arrange arbitration where the parties to the dispute agree.
  • require hirers to provide tip truck contractors with the information booklet and the applicable rates and costs schedules regardless of the period of time they are engaged. This amendment is limited to contractors who drive tip trucks in connection with excavation work in the building and construction industry and is not intended to capture to tip truck contractors operating in the rural road transport sector.
  • establish a compliance and enforcement framework, and the introduction of penalties (including infringement notices) for non-compliance with the mandatory requirements of the Act.  Penalties will apply to failure to provide:
    • the Information Booklet;
    • the relevant rate and cost schedule;
    • a written contract; and
    • notice of termination or payment in lieu of notice.
  • empower authorised officers to require that hirers produce documents relevant to an investigation. It also includes a power for authorised officers to enter premises with consent of the occupier.

The bill has not yet passed the Victorian Parliament.  It is expected that more information will be available here before any changes come into force.



ALRTA President attended the North East Agricultural Dinner this week hosted by Federal Independent for Indi Cathy McGowan MP.  The event focussed on the ‘Future of the Sheep Industry’ with speakers including Federal Member for Farrer Susan Ley MP (who introduced a private members bill into the Federal Parliament that would phase out live sheep exports) and Executive Chair of Sheep Producers Australia, Chris Mirams.

The event was a good opportunity to hear both sides of the live export debate.  President Keenan was able to ask several questions of the speakers and deliver an ALRTA briefing paper to Susan Ley.  ALRTA has been invited to a follow up meeting with Susan Ley after Federal Parliament resumes on 13 August 2018.



Do you very require permits to move oversize or overmass (OSOM) loads?

The Australian Government has commissioned an independent review to get to the bottom of why it takes so long to approve permits for vehicles that are outside of standard weight or dimension limits.

The review is being undertaken by consultancy firm WSP Australia and will consider what changes to the regulatory framework are required to ensure that OSOM permits can be issued within a reasonable timeframe without compromising safety.

If you would like to participate in the consultation phase of the review you can send an email with your contact details to this address before 10 August

For more information click here.



Fuel tax credit rates will increase for fuel acquired from 1 August 2018 in line with indexation of fuel tax duty.

Click here for the new rates.

Here are some other use tools and information sources on fuel tax credits:


Do you have questions or concerns about the switch to national registration plates from 1 October 2018?

The NHVR has released a fact sheet containing answers to common questions.

Click here to download the factsheet.



The ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee met via teleconference this week. Topics of discussion included ramp standards, effluent disposal infrastructure, chain of responsibility, live exports and working dogs.



Members are advised that the ALRTA will be holding a Council meeting and AGM on Thursday, 16 August 2018 at the Best Western, Airport Motel and Convention Centre, 33 Ardlie St, Victoria.

For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat (02) 6247 5434 or

Posted in General News | Comments Off on ALRTA News – 3 August 2018

ALRTA News – 27 July 2018


The political waters will be tested this weekend in five Federal by-elections on Saturday, 28 July 2018. The seats being contested are:

  • Longman (Labor 0.8%)
  • Braddon (Labor 2.2%)
  • Perth (Labor 3.3%)
  • Mayo (Centre Alliance 5.0%)
  • Freemantle (Labor 7.5%)

The Turnbull Government is now in the last year of its term and the final Federal Budget has already been delivered.  While the Government’s one seat majority is not in jeopardy, it is possible that this could be increased.

While a sitting Australian Government has not won a by-election in almost 100 years, recent polls indicate that result in Braddon and Longman could go either way.

Given that Federal Labor has firmly promised to reinstate mandatory minimum rates for owner drivers, abolish live sheep exports and repeal company tax breaks, the rural transport sector will be watching the results closely.



The Australian Government has commissioned Marsden Jacob Associates to prepare and release a consultation regulatory impact statement (RIS) as part of the second phase of the Heavy Vehicle Road Reform Program.

The RIS was released this week and explores two key proposals:

  1. Independent Price Regulation:  Heavy vehicle charges are currently recommended by the NTC and agreed by Ministers.  Since 2014, Ministers have ignored the NTC and kept charges high when they should have been reduced.  The RIS considers the possibility of establishing an independent price regulator with powers to set charges and perform oversight functions.
  2. Forward-looking cost base: Currently, charges are collected retrospectively (i.e. governments first spend the money on charges and regulation and then recover it via charges).  The RIS considers the possibility charging operators in advance for expected government expenditure.

Stakeholders can respond to the RIS until 31 August 2018.  Following consultation, a decision RIS will be prepared setting out a recommended approach for the consideration of Transport Ministers.

ALRTA will consider the proposals and work with the ATA to develop an appropriate response.

ATA members met via teleconference this week to consider general positions on heavy vehicle charging reform.

More information including a the RIS can be found here.



ALRTA has formally requested that NHVR remake the National Primary Production Work Diary Exemption (Notice) 2015 (No.2).   The current notice is due to expire on 4 October 2018.

This notice replaced similar notices that were already in place in NSW and QLD.

National application of the notice was a shining example of how the NHVR can reduce regulatory inconsistencies between HVNL jurisdictions and remove unnecessary red-tape where appropriate.

Importantly, the notice has not compromised safety standards.

The purpose of the notice is to extend the record keeping obligations ordinarily applying to a driver undertaking 100km work, to the driver of a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle transporting primary produce between a primary production facility and a point of sale, processing or distribution (including return journeys) within 160km of the driver’s base.

The generally applicable 100km work diary exemption was originally designed to reduce the disproportionately high regulatory burden on ‘local’ drivers who travel short distances with frequent breaks during which they load or unload. This works well in urban areas relieving low risk drivers from many hours of ‘small entry’ paperwork every week.

However, a ‘local’ area in a rural setting is somewhat larger than urban areas because congestion is lower, speed limits are higher and the economic base is spread more broadly.

Discontinuation of the notice would be a backwards step for regulatory consistency and fairness.



The tax office has published the 2018-19 reasonable amounts for employee truck driver meals.

The reasonable amounts for 2018-19 are:

  • breakfast: $24.70
  • lunch: $28.15
  • dinner: $48.60

The new amounts are slightly higher than the revised figures for 2017-18.  Truck drivers must sleep away from home to be able to claim a tax deduction for their meals.

The tax deduction allowed for each meal is the amount spent and not the reasonable amount. The reasonable amounts are separate and cannot be combined into a single daily amount or carried over from one meal to another.

Employee truck drivers who receive genuine meal allowances from their employers do not have to keep written receipts for claims up to these reasonable amounts but do need to be able to demonstrate the basis for their claims, if asked.

In July 2017, the tax office announced that employee truck drivers would only be able to claim $55.30 per day in meal allowances without detailed receipts. The ATA and other associations worked together to get the decision reversed.

ATO website information, including the 2017-18 rates for current tax returns
Tax determination TD 2018/11 with the 2018-19 rates

NOTE: This article is provided for general information. It is not tax advice and cannot take into account your specific circumstances.



Mark Collins of Frasers Livestock Transport represented LRTAQ and ALRTA at the 2018 National Saleyards Expo held this week in Casino, NSW.   Mark delivered a presentation on chain of responsibility (CoR) laws in the livestock supply chain and participated on a panel which included agents, saleyards, producers, buyers and NHVR.

The presentation focussed on customer demands that can result in breaches of mass, dimension, load restraint, fatigue and speeding laws, and included photos of good and bad infrastructure at particular saleyards.

The Australian Livestock Marketers Association (ALMA) is currently grappling with the new CoR laws that will come into place from 1 October 2018 – especially the provisions relating to loading managers and responsibilities to ensure that mass limits are complied with.

Regulators are putting pressure on some sites to install weighbridges.  ALMA would prefer that all trucks install onboard scales.

Mark made the point that the appropriate response will depend on the level of risk and capacity of the premises to respond.  Installation of a weighbridge is the most extreme and costly measure that would only be appropriate for large premises with highly variable loads.

While some trucks may have onboard scales fitted, it is currently unrealistic to expect that all trucks will have this capacity because there is a significant cost involved in fitting and maintaining the equipment in working order – especially in harsh operating environments.

From an economic perspective, in some cases it would actually be cheaper to install a weigh bridge and make it available to the hundreds of trucks that enter a busy site and charge for usage in the same way as charges are levied for washdown facilities.

Mark also advised that ALRTA would support grant applications to build weighbridges at affected sites under the Building Better Regions Fund or Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.



The ALRTA National President and Executive Director attended the LRTAWA Annual Conference held in Bunbury WA over 20-21 July 2018.

The conference was opened by WA Minister, the Hon. Mick Murray MLA, and the program covered some very interesting topics such as knowing your rights when inspectors come knocking, dealing with tough finances and the future of rural production in Australia.  The keynote address was delivered by Australian Paralympian snow boarder, Sean Pollard, who survived a shark attack and went on to compete for Australia – he knows a thing or two about dealing with adversity.

I was amazed at the generosity of the attendees who together raised around $20,000 for charity over the two days.



The ALRTA congratulates the following office bearers elected at the LRTAWA AGM on 21 July 2018:

  • President: Andy Jacob
  • Vice President – Livestock: David Fyfe
  • Vice President – Bulk: Timm Lange
  • Treasurer: Billy Bartlett
  • Immediate Past President: Stephen Marley

Photo: LRTAWA President Andy Jacob



It was all happening in WA last week with more than 1,000 people gathering at a rally in support of live exports at Katanning.

The event was a combined meeting of WAFarmers Upper Great Southern, Central Great Southern and Corrigin/Lake Grace Zones and open to the public to provide a forum for farmers and allied businesses to convey their opinions about the current live export situation.  Speakers included the WA Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, the Hon. Alannah Mac Tiernan MP, Federal Member for O’Connor, Rick Wilson MP and Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce MP.

The event was attended by producers, livestock carriers, shearing contractors, stock agents and regional business owners.  It attracted broad media coverage and delivered a strong message of support from the wider agricultural sector for continuation of the trade under increased standards and scrutiny.

Expert presentations during the LRTAWA conference the following day made it clear that WA sheep producers have a unique production system and depend on multiple paths to market.  If there is no ‘price tension’ from export competition, sheep prices are certain to fall until it is economic to truck WA sheep to the Eastern States – this will become the new ‘floor’ in the WA market and consequently put pressure on sheep prices in other states.

While industry participants are overwhelmingly supportive of lifting welfare standards, this must be done in a practical and meaningful way.  Any imposition of arbitrary standards by regulators who do not understand the industry will add significant unnecessary cost which will jeopardise the viability of the trade.  In these circumstances, sheep producers will consider other options and stock numbers may fall below a critical mass from which the market may never recover.



The TruckSafe board are continuing their work to develop best-practice policies and procedures to ensure all accredited members will satisfy chain of responsibility obligations when the new laws are introduced on October 1.

The new laws introduce:

  • a strong general safety duty, including on trucking industry customers
  • the extension of chain of responsibility to cover vehicle maintenance and repairs
  • due diligence obligations on company directors and executives to ensure chain parties comply with their primary safety duty
  • maximum penalty increases for the most serious cases to bring them in line with other national safety laws and
  • the removal of red tape and unnecessary legislative requirements.

Industry customers and supply chains are increasingly looking to TruckSafe operators to ensure they meet their CoR obligations, with the knowledge that the accreditation meets all HVNL requirements.

TruckSafe accreditation enables you to verify to customers that you are reducing their risks through safe work practices, safe and well maintained trucks, healthy drivers and sound management systems.



Members are advised that the ALRTA will be holding a Council meeting and AGM on Thursday, 16 August 2018 at the Best Western, Airport Motel and Convention Centre, 33 Ardlie St, Victoria.

For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.



LRTAV Annual Conference
When: 17-18 August 2018
Where: Bendigo, Victoria
Click here for a Delegate Brochure.
Click here for a Delegate Registration Form.

ATA & ALC Supply Chain Summit
When: 5 September 2018
Where: Melbourne
More information

Road Freight NSW Conference
When: 13 September 2018
Where: Rooty Hill RSL
More information

ATA Technology and Maintenance Conference
When: 15-17 October 2018
Where: TBC
More information

Posted in General News | Comments Off on ALRTA News – 27 July 2018

ALRTA News – 20 July 2018


The National Transport Commission (NTC) is encouraging more heavy vehicle drivers to take part in a research project examining heavy vehicle driver fatigue.

In collaboration with industry and governments, the NTC is working with the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC) to evaluate the impacts of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) on driver fatigue.

NTC Chief Executive Paul Retter says not enough evidence exists about the cause and impact of fatigue to determine the changes needed in fatigue policy.

“The heavy vehicle industry requires more flexibility in fatigue regulation, however first we need to better understand fatigue and the road safety challenges it represents.

“There is a lack of comparable data, and data in general, on fatigue risks associated with heavy vehicle driving. We need robust evidence to underpin any future reforms of the fatigue regulations in the HVNL,” Mr Retter said.

A new NTC video about the research project explores both the real-world and laboratory phases of the study with the view of encouraging more drivers to take part. Click the link to see LRTAV’s Tom Allen explain the value in participating in the research project.

“Drivers are vital in helping us understand fatigue. We need more drivers and operators to take up this valuable opportunity to share their experiences,” Mr Retter said.

The research phase of the project is due for completion at the end of 2018. The NTC will present findings to transport ministers in May 2019.


The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has suspended the live export licence of a second livestock export company.

The suspension applies to EMS Exports which is related to Emmanuel Exports – the company that received the first licence suspension.

The suspension will remain in place pending a full review by the Department.

Sheep that had been due for export remain in a registered feedlot.  The sheep have been inspected by the department’s veterinarians; they are in good health and well-cared for.

Arrangements for these animals remain the responsibility of the exporter.  Exporters are also responsible for ensuring they meet all animal welfare requirements imposed under Commonwealth and state law.

As a result of these suspensions, and the decision by Livestock Shipping Services to voluntarily leave the market, live sheep exports from WA have effectively come to a halt with tens of thousands of animals stranded in feedlots and incomes reduced for transporters and producers.


The Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, the Hon Dr John McVeigh MP, has announced that $208m in new funding has been offered to 136 new regional project around Australia.

No funding has been allocated for a pilot roadside effluent disposal facility.  The ALRTA remains hopeful that our other grant application will deliver a better result.

Some of the successful project applications are outlined below.

Upgrade and Redevelopment of the Inverell Livestock Exchange
The project will upgrade and redevelop the Inverell Livestock exchange to include a new amenities building for transport drivers, new undercover selling pens with soft flooring, upgraded weighing and animal handling facilities, new feed yards with feed bunks to improve animal welfare outcomes, expanded truck parking and decoupling area to improve heavy vehicle safety and driver fatigue and new truck wash down facilities.

Livestock Market Kiosk Upgrade
The project will refurbish the Singleton Regional Livestock Market’s Office/Kiosk building to improve the aesthetics of the building and make it more user friendly.

Roma Saleyard Multi-Purpose Facility
This project will build a multi-purpose facility including construction and fit-out of an interactive centre to showcase the livestock industry in the region of Roma.

Macedon Ranges Livestock Exchange and Truck Park – Stage 1
The project will upgrade the Macedon Ranges Livestock Exchange and Truck Park.


NHVR has announced another twenty industry information sessions on the changes to chain of responsibility laws that will come into effect on 1 October 2018.

The workshops will be held between 2 August and 24 September at locations in QLD, NSW, ACT, VIC, SA and TAS.

To find out about specific locations and how to register click here.


There is only two weeks left to consider and comment on the draft Master Industry Code of Practice.

The code will assist supply chain parties to meet obligations under the new chain of responsibility laws that will come into effect on 1 October 2018.

For more information click here.


The ALRTA Executive met via teleconference this week to discuss management arrangements.

The next ALRTA Council meeting will be held in Melbourne on Thursday, 16 August 2018.  Please see meeting notice below.


The ATA is now calling for nominations for the 2018 Craig Roseneder Award, which recognises technical and maintenance excellence in the trucking industry.

Photo: 2017 Winner Mark Collins of Frasers Livestock Transport

This prestigious award celebrates the professionalism of the men and women who work behind the scenes in the trucking industry’s workshops and highlights the amazing calibre of people who work behind the scene to keep our trucks safe on the road.

The award winner will receive a fully paid trip to Atlanta, Georgia, USA, to attend the US Technology and Maintenance Council’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition including:

  • Return airfares to the United States of America
  • Full registration to attend the 2019 US Technology and Maintenance Council’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition
  • 5 nights premium conference accommodation
  • Partners’ program registration if applicable
  • AUD $1,500 spending money
  • Complimentary registration to the 2019 ATA Technology and Maintenance Conference

The award winner will be announced at the ATA’s 2018 Technology and Maintenance Conference, to be held 15-17 October at the Kangan Institute’s Automotive Centre of Excellence.

Nominations for the 2018 Craig Roseneder Award close on 14 September.

View the selection criteria and nominate someone great

You can also join others from <member association> and register for the 2018 TMC


ALRTA congratulates our National Platinum Partner nti on being awarded the Mansfield Award for Claims Excellence in the Specialty Category for the second year running.

nti’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tony Clark says receiving such a prestigious Award on the back of nti’s period of expansion is as much a reflection on the nti culture as it is the claims proposition. “Maintaining our level of service while increasing our portfolio was our ultimate goal,” he said. “We’ve continued to deliver a promise to customers – which sees businesses functioning at full capacity, with minimal impact, as soon as possible.”

Winners of the Award are determined via an independent system developed by claims specialists LMI Group. Claims performance is rated using official data and user surveys. Results are then weighted to take into consideration the range of policies, service efficiency, proactivity, accuracy and fairness. Companies are not invited to make a submission, nor involved in the judging process.

Following on from the Mansfield win, nti also received confirmation on Friday as a Finalist for ANZIIF’s Underwriting Agency of the Year. Winners will be announced at a ceremony 30 August 2018. The ALRTA team wishes nti the best of luck and thanks nti for their ongoing contribution to our industry.


Members are advised that the ALRTA will be holding a Council meeting and AGM on Thursday, 16 August 2018 at the Best Western, Airport Motel and Convention Centre, 33 Ardlie St, Victoria.

For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.


LRTAWA Conference
The LRTAWA Annual State Conference will be held 20-21 July 2018 at the Quality Light House Hotel in Bunbury.

The program and registration form is now available.

Click here for more information.

LRTAV Conference
The LRTAV Annual State Conference will be held 17-18 August 2018 at All Seasons Resort in Bendigo.

Click here for a Delegate Brochure.

Click here for a Delegate Registration Form.

ATA & ALC Supply Chain Safety & Compliance Summit
The ATA & ALC will hold the 2018 Supply Chain Safety & Compliance Summit, 5-6 September 2018, in Melbourne.

The Summit will be the last major industry event before the commencement of expanded chain of responsibility laws and the new Registered Industry Master Code of Practice.

Click here for more information.

Posted in ALRTA Council, ATA, Chain of Responsibility, Live Exports, LRTAV, LRTAWA, NTI | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on ALRTA News – 20 July 2018