Weekly News – 15 July 2016

ALRTA PRESENTS AT COSBOA SMALL BUSINESS SUMMIT

Last week the ALRTA Executive Director made a joint presentation with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) at the COSBOA Small Business Summit in Brisbane.

The topic was ‘RSRT Case Study – How NOT to deal with Small Business’.

Really, we couldn’t have asked for an easier topic.  Our recent experience with the highly inappropriate operation of the RSRT gave us plenty of examples of woeful consultation practices.  The hard part was fitting in all of the material in a 30min presentation.

The presentation was an excellent opportunity for the ALRTA to highlight the importance of not bringing back the RSRT directly to the leaders of hundreds of small business associations and several high ranking Federal politicians – not to mention the ASBFEO Ombudsman who is currently preparing a report to Government on this very topic

AUDITOR-GENERAL REPORTS ON NHVR ACCESS REFORMS

The Queensland Auditor-General has released a report on ‘Heavy Vehicle Road Access Reforms’ which examines how well the NHVR has addressed the root causes of the access management system failure and whether it is on track to deliver its access management responsibilities.

Here is the report’s conclusion:

Industry operators across participating states and territories continue to face inconsistent processes and decisions for getting a heavy vehicle permit, and the industry has yet to obtain any substantial benefit from the new law with regard to access permit management. More than two years after ‘go live’ the NHVR has not implemented a fully effective one-stop-shop for access management.

From early 2013 until February 2014, the NHVR had invested $9.3 million in its access management system, but during 2014–15, it processed only about 12 per cent of the heavy vehicle permit volumes across participating states and territories.

Even when the NHVR addresses the current access management process and system issues, this will only deliver the benefits expected of the reforms if
the NHVR, state, territory and local government road managers work effectively together to implement the HVNL. This area requires more attention.

However, the NHVR Board and management have learnt from their mistakes — they now engage better with their stakeholders and have changed their project management approach, releasing system changes in stages after much planning and testing.

This demonstrates the NHVR’s commitment not to repeat the same problems. But some stakeholders remain concerned about the NHVR’s ability to deliver access management efficiently and effectively.  They perceive that the pace of change and system rectification is too slow, and that there has been insufficient communication with them.

From the ALRTA’s perspective, this conclusion comes as no surprise.  However, there is no point in attributing blame for the initial failure, we need to focus on what is being done to fix the problem.  Yes, progress has been slow, but NHVR are consulting with us and we can ill-afford a repeat of the previous disaster. Better to get it right than get it quickly.

The audit also makes several recommendations relating to improved budgeting; monitoring of reasons for access refusal; targeted assistance for local governments and, most importantly, making sure that Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads is supporting the NHVR to meet the objectives of the HVNL.

These are reasonable recommendations but some elements could go further.  For example, the ALRTA would like to see the NHVR publish an annual report on the reasons for refusal, along with an assessment of whether or not the reasons given are in line with the relevant Ministerial Guidelines.  Also, it is worth noting that the audit report recognises that the 28 day statutory time frame for permit approvals is a significant problem.

GCCD COVERAGE NARROWS

The Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) NSW Branch advised the ALRTA this week that the extended coverage of the NSW General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD) to include all owner-driver contracts throughout NSW provides specific exemptions for the transportation of livestock and primary produce.

In a statement by ARTIO, clarification is given that Section 309 (4) (f) and (h) of the NSW Industrial Relations Act 1996 rules out livestock and primary produce moved to/from a farm.

ARTIO further inform that specialised vehicles including work carried out by vehicles such as tippers, tankers, low loaders and car carriers (unless the vehicle carries goods other than those for which the vehicle is intended) seem to be excluded from the coverage also though general freight not destined to a farm appears to be affected.

For the majority in our industry this is welcomed news.  We will keep you updated on any relevant development –  Bec Coleman, LBCA

LRTAWA ANNUAL CONFERENCE

The ALRTA National President and Executive Director attended the LRTAWA Annual Conference held in Bunbury, 1-2 July 2016.

The Conference held against the backdrop of the Federal Election.  Local Candidate and Federal Coalition Whip, the Hon. Nola Marino MP, popped in to address the Conference in between campaigning around the electorate polling booths. Nola Marino was a champion of the rural trucking sector throughout the RSRT abolition campaign and continues to passionately support a strong and viable future for rural transport operators.

The traditional ‘Talbot (Mark) & Power (Darren)’ duo was most entertaining over the weekend.  As if the family wasn’t already talented enough, along came another singing, guitar playing, joke telling, whip cracking Talbot (Ben) to MC the gala dinner.

One very interesting announcement made during the conference sessions was that Main Roads WA will now be taking on a ‘one stop shop’ function for all permit applications.  I am hoping that the Department has taken notice of the QLD Auditor General’s report on how the NHVR has performed in that very same function!

ALRTA congratulates the LRTAWA Executive elected at the AGM:

  • President: Stephen Marley
  • Vice President (bulk): Darren Power
  • Vice President (livestock): Shannon Dawson
  • Treasurer: Mark Sullivan

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ALRTA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR  ON LEAVE

The ALRTA Executive Director will be on leave from Monday, 11 July 2016, returning to the office on Monday, 25 July 2016.

For urgent enquiries please contact Tracy Fairhall on (02) 6247 5434 or office@alrta.org.au

REMINDER: ALRTA NOTICE OF AGM AND COUNCIL MEETING

Members are advised of the upcoming ALRTA AGM and Council Meeting on Thursday, 4 August 2016, at the RACV Torquay Resort, 1 Great Ocean Road, Torquay, Victoria.

Details are:

  • 3:00pm: Council Meeting
  • 7:30pm: Annual General Meeting

For more details please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.

REMINDER: JOINT LRTAV / NATIONAL CONFERENCE

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The Joint LRTAV – National Conference will be held 5-6 August 2016 at the RACV Resort in Torquay. Why not give yourselves a break and enjoy the magnificent facilities at Torquay whilst meeting people from other states and helping to support the LRTAV and ALRTA as we enter into a new era with a new Government!

Friday sees the conference kick off with golf in the morning, followed by three short information sessions and a longer session on the RSRT.  Friday night dinner is a special 80’s themed event including presentation of Young Driver and Outstanding Industry Contribution Awards.  The main Conference Sessions are on Saturday followed by a Gala Dinner and Auction.

Don’t miss out on this informative conference, or opportunity to soak up the beauty of the Great Ocean Road!

Register here

 

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Weekly News – 8 July 2016

2016 Federal Election: Uncertainty Prevails

As I write this we still have no clear winner a week after the 2016 Federal Election.

Like me, you may have been following the results last Saturday night and thought the Coalition had clinched it when the ABC computers had them at 74 seats (of 76 needed to form a majority Government).  By morning, many more seats were considered ‘in doubt’ and both the Coalition and Labor were locked up at 66 all.

After a week of counting postal votes it now looks like we are headed either for a Coalition Government with the slimmest of majorities, or more likely, a minority Government including one or more of the lower house cross-benchers.

A majority Coalition Government would be the best outcome for the road transport industry.  That will mean that the RSRT will not return in this parliamentary term and there is a reasonable chance that the promised small business concessions will be enacted.  However, if the Coalition can only scrape together the bare minimum 76 seats, it would only take the resignation of one member to potentially bring down the Government.  So, we could look forward to plenty of muck-raking, character assassinations and no-confidence motions that will detract from useful Parliamentary business.

If we wind up with a minority Government things will be very interesting indeed.  I think that the Coalition will have the best chance of forming a stable(ish) minority government – but at what price?  If potential partners will only guarantee supply (i.e. that the money tap will not be turned off and no confidence motions will be defeated), but do not commit to vote with the Coalition on other issues, the door will be open to all sorts of mischief.  Firstly, the Coalition may not be able to deliver on election promises such as the abolition of the ABCC and a cut to the company tax rate. No doubt frustrations would boil over soon enough.

Secondly, a Labor opposition might even be able to muster enough votes to pass legislation through both houses without Government support.  For instance, we might see Labor introduce a marriage equality act or perhaps even have another crack at re-establishing the RSRT (or something like it).

Turnbull is meeting with Bob Katter this week to discuss the possibility of a minority government.  In a speech during the RSRT abolition campaign, Katter stated that he supports the TWU and the establishment of minimum rates for owner drivers – he just didn’t support that particular tribunal and so voted to abolish it.  He may feel differently about an alternative Labor proposal.

All of this uncertainty is present before we even start to consider the make-up of the Senate.

Most of the Senate cross-bench that helped us vote out the RSRT will be gone.  Along with Lambie and an expanded Xenophon team, we will see the likes of Hanson and Hinch take on potentially very powerful positions.  In some ways, the political postures of these new Senators are known….but in many other ways they are not…..did you know that Senator Hinch is strongly opposed to live exports?

It may take quite a while yet for the votes to be counted (or maybe even re-counted), negotiations to conclude, and ministries to be re-shuffled.

Whichever way you look at it, there will be some challenging times ahead for the Government of the day and for advocacy groups like the ALRTA.  But if I learned anything at all from our successful RSRT abolition campaign, a high level of uncertainty and lack of absolute government power can also bring opportunities.

Once the dust settles the ALRTA will assess the situation and develop an appropriate strategy to protect and enhance the interests of the rural transport sector.

Owner Drivers in NSW

Last week we reported that the NSW Industrial Relations Commission has greatly extended the geographical coverage of the NSW General Carriers Contract Determination to now include owner-driver contracts throughout all of NSW.  This will impose some new ‘award like’ obligations but it does not extend mandatory minimum rates at this stage (although the TWU has made an application).

This week, the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) has informed us that the laws include specific exemptions for the transportation of livestock, as well as any goods to or from a farm.  This is welcome news, but of course this may not exempt some other types of rural movements such as grain from a silo to a port.

We will provide a further update when more information comes to hand on this developing situation.

New Fuel Tax Rates from 1 July 2016

Members are reminded that fuel tax credit rates changed on 1 July 2016.

In line with the Federal Government’s decision to freeze the total amount of revenue raised via the road user charge, the rate has decreased from 26.14 to 25.9 cents per litre.  As a result, the fuel tax credit rate for eligible heavy vehicles will increase from 13.36 cents per litre to 13.6 cents per litre.

ALRTA Executive Director on Leave

The ALRTA Executive Director will be on leave from Monday, 11 July 2016, returning to the office on Monday, 25 July 2016.

For urgent enquiries please contact Tracy Fairhall on (02) 6247 5434 or office@alrta.org.au

REMINDER: ALRTA Notice of AGM and Council Meeting

Members are advised of the upcoming ALRTA AGM and Council Meeting on Thursday, 4 August 2016, at the RACV Torquay Resort, 1 Great Ocean Road, Torquay, Victoria.

Details are:

  • 3:00pm: Council Meeting
  • 7:30pm: Annual General Meeting

For more details please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.

REMINDER: Joint LRTAV / National Conference

The Joint LRTAV – National Conference will be held 5-6 August 2016 at the RACV Resort in Torquay. Why not give yourselves a break and enjoy the magnificent facilities at Torquay whilst meeting people from other states and helping to support the LRTAV and ALRTA as we enter into a new era with a new Government!

Friday sees the conference kick off with golf in the morning, followed by three short information sessions and a longer session on the RSRT.  Friday night dinner is a special 80’s themed event including presentation of Young Driver and Outstanding Industry Contribution Awards.  The main Conference Sessions are on Saturday followed by a Gala Dinner and Auction.

Don’t miss out on this informative conference, or opportunity to soak up the beauty of the Great Ocean Road!

Register here 

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LRTAV 30th Anniversary & Combined National Conference

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LRTAV 30th CONFERENCE COMBINED NATIONAL CONFERENCE, 5-6 AUGUST 2016 – TORQUAY

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) is excited to be partnering with the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria (LRTAV) in hosting the 2016 Annual Conference.

The Conference allows you the opportunity to engage with other operators in the livestock and rural industries to put forward your thoughts and ideas by participating in the discussions during the different sessions.

In today’s bureaucratic society, every operator on the road needs to be in an Association and support it.

This year sees the LRTAV celebrate 30 years as an Association and we hope to achieve record numbers to celebrate such an enormous achievement.

The Conference also provides an excellent opportunity for delegates to meet with our magnificent sponsors in an informal environment to discuss opportunities for you and your business. Without our sponsors we would not be able to continue to provide the high standard of lobbying which we are known for throughout the transport industry.

The LRTAV have put a lot of thought into the weekend’s activities and I encourage you, your partners and your employees to come along and actively participate in the relevant sessions which are made available but, above all, enjoy the venue, the hospitality and give yourselves a well earned break.

Finally, we need you to come to this Conference to attend our Annual General Meeting
and take the opportunity to have your say.

Only four weeks to go!!

REGISTER HERE

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Weekly News – 24 June 2016

2016 FEDERAL ELECTION: MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT

There is now just over a week to go until the Federal Election on 2 July 2016.  The result will impact on your road transport business – for better or for worse.

This time around, there is a double dissolution and new voting rules in place.  It is next to impossible to predict the result with any certainty and most polls are forecasting a tight finish.

As always, your vote could be critical.

The ALRTA and our affiliated associations have been monitoring policy announcements and liaising directly with the parties and individual candidates.

We have prepared this election guide to assist you to better understand what the parties are offering your road transport business.  Please take the time to read through this guide and think about how you will exercise your vote on or before 2 July 2016.

THE ALRTA ELECTION STRATEGY

The ALRTA has engaged in a multi-prong lobbying and information sharing campaign in the lead up to the Federal Election. Our activities include:

  • Working with the ATA and COSBOA to agree and investigate key policies of interest;
  • Writing directly to all Labor, Greens and Independent candidates;
  • Meeting key Labor decision makers to discuss the possible return of the RSRT;
  • Funding a marginal seat mail out campaign;
  • Publishing a formal letter from Labor concerning the RSRT and HV Charging;
  • Providing assistance to members to write directly to your local candidates;
  • Producing this election guide; and
  • Issuing a media statement on our considered position.

We trust that these activities will be of assistance to you and will prepare our association for any eventuality following the Federal Election.

KEY TRUCKING ISSUES

The ATA family of associations, including the ALRTA, has prepared a summary report card on key issues relating to the broad themes of:

  1. No Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal;
  2. Practical Safety; and
  3. Strong Trucking Businesses.

We have carefully considered the key policies announced by the Coalition, Labor and Greens in the 2016 Budget and during the election campaign.  Ticks or crosses have been awarded to each party for easy reference.

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What about the Independents?

There are a number of high profile independent candidates also vying for your vote. We worked closely with many of them during our recent campaign to abolish the RSRT.

It is difficult to assess the positions of each candidate on a very broad range of issues, so instead, we offer you this summary showing who helped abolish the RSRT and who is likely to support bringing back something similar.

TABLE 1

KEY SMALL BUSINESS ISSUES

Eligibility for small business taxation and red-tape concessions is an important point of difference between the Coalition and Labor Parties.

Currently, small businesses are defined as those with an annual turnover up to $2m.

The Coalition has promised to lift the threshold definition to an annual turnover of $10m.

This will benefit thousands of small trucking operators because, as ‘high capital – high turnover’ businesses, many genuinely small businesses currently do not qualify for taxation relief or red-tape concessions.

The benefits of being defined as a ‘small business’ include:

  • Taxation rate reduced from 28.5% to 27.5% for incorporated small businesses;
  • Tax discount of 8 per cent for unincorporated small businesses;
  • Small business instant asset write-off up to $20k per item;
  • Simplified BAS; PAYG; & GST accounting;
  • FBT concessions;
  • Immediate deductibility of professional and pre-paid expenses;
  • Rollover of gains/losses when changing legal structure;
  • Period reduced to two years in which tax commissioner can amend tax assessments.

In addition, the Coalition has committed to introducing ‘unfair contracts’ laws (from 12 November 2016) and also an ‘effects test’ to protect small businesses from negative competitive impacts caused by larger businesses.

Labor has not matched these commitments and will leave the turnover threshold and taxation rate unchanged.

ROAD SAFETY REMUNERATION TRIBUNAL

The Coalition Government, with the support of cross-bench Senators, abolished the RSRT and will not bring it back.

Labor will establish a bi-partisan forum to set minimum rates. Beyond that commitment, it has been unclear what exactly a new rate setting body might look like.

To get a better handle on what direction Labor might take on the issue should they win the election, the ALRTA has met with key Labor decision makers including:

  • The Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition – Senator Collins;
  • The Shadow Minister for Employment – Brendan O’Connor; and
  • The Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure – Anthony Albanese.

Certainly, these influential decision makers openly acknowledge that the 2016 Payments Order did not work and that the Tribunal, and those leading the Tribunal, acted unfairly and inappropriately.

It would appear unlikely that Labor would simply re-introduce the same legislation that established the RSRT. However, a ‘tribunal style’ model remains a likely outcome.

While the ALRTA continues to oppose the concept of minimum rates, we have nonetheless started a discussion with Labor about the fundamental flaws in the previous system and offered a range of suggestions that aim to reduce negative impacts and build in appropriate checks and balances.

We have received a firm commitment that the ALRTA would be invited to participate in any new process to re-introduce minimum rates and that our proposals are sensible and would be considered.

It is also worth noting that some individual Greens candidates are generally supportive of our suggestions.

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ANIMAL WELFARE
Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, has made it very clear over the past several years that he strongly supports the live export trade.  While the Minister takes animal welfare violations seriously and addresses them immediately as they arise, he is opposed to knee-jerk blanket market closures.

On the other hand, Labor have previously closed export markets.  In a recent policy announcement, Labor have committed to:

  • Establish an independent Office of Animal Welfare;
  • Appoint an independent Inspector-General of Animal Welfare;
  • Renew the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy; and
  • Review the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme.

The Labor policy is strongly endorsed by animal activist groups who oppose industrial animal production and the live export trade.

The Labor policy has been rejected by the NFF and the Institute of Public Affairs on the basis that it increases red-tape without recognising that good welfare outcomes are already a fundamental part of well-designed livestock production systems.

The ALRTA is supportive of a national approach to animal welfare issues, however we believe that this can be achieved via the Federal Department of Agriculture coordinating a national strategy, rather than establishing an new ‘RSRT style’ authority for animal welfare.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The ALRTA is an apolitical national association.  We work with political parties of all persuasions.

We will not tell you how to vote.

However, we are of the opinion that the overall policy mix offered by the Liberal-National Coalition, if delivered, would result in a superior operating environment for rural transport operators, particularly if you are:

  • An owner driver;
  • A businesses with a turnover between $2m – $10m; or
  • A businesses involved in the live export supply chain.

There are of course many other issues such as: health; education; communications; environment; defense and the state of the Federal Budget.

We expect that you will take all of these issues into account when you are allocating your vote on or before 2 July 2016.

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Weekly News – 17 June 2016

LABOR CLARIFIES FUTURE OF RSRT

Next week, the ALRTA will bring you our ‘Federal Election Special Edition’ newsletter in which we will provide you with an overview of the important policy positions of major parties vying to form government after the Federal Election on 2 July 2016.

As you already know, it has been broadly reported that a Shorten Labor Government will bring back the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

The ALRTA has focused our efforts on writing to all Labor, Greens and Independent candidates, and meeting directly with key Labor decision makers on the RSRT issue.

This week, ALRTA received a formal letter for response from the Information Services Unit of the Australian Labor Campaign Headquarters.

We thought you might like to read it for yourself ahead of our analysis in next week’s newsletter.

You can download it here

LET YOUR LOCAL CANDIDATES KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE POSSIBLE RETURN OF THE RSRT

Labor has made their formal policy on the RSRT clear in their formal correspondence to ALRTA.

However, there are a lot of individuals that make up the Federal Parliament and we may yet finish up with yet another minority government after the election.  Remember that there is both a double dissolution AND new voting rules – so nothing is a certainty.

That is why it is important for you to make your views about the possible return of the RSRT known to your local candidates now – before any possible negotiations to form a government begin.

If you can spare 15 minutes of your time you can help make a difference.

The ALRTA encourages you, and those who depend on your business, to send an email to your local Labor, Greens or Independent candidates in the next two critical weeks outlining the impact that the RSRT had on your business and why you don’t want it back again.

Some key points you may consider covering include (where applicable):

  • You are an owner driver or a hirer that was affected by the 2016 RSRT Order (or that you were unsure if you were affected);
  • You do not believe that minimum rates and more red tape will improve safety;
  • The Order meant that you could no longer compete on an equal footing with larger companies with employee drivers;
  • You were told that you would no longer have work when the Order commenced;
  • You were no longer able to use affected sub-contractors when the order commenced;
  • You had trouble accessing finance or selling used vehicles;
  • You had pre-existing equipment finance or other loan commitments that needed to be serviced and you did not have enough time to make necessary adjustments.

If you have a little more time to spend on the letter, you might also consider these points:

  • Outline the specific impacts that the Order had on your business;
  • Independent businesses should be free to set their own rates;
  • The Order was too complex to fully understand and you found it difficult to find information on the Fair Work Ombudsman website;
  • The 2016 Payments Order did not account for common situations such as part loads; multiple-hirers; or back loading;
  • The Tribunal did not attempt to consult with operators in regional areas;
  • The RSRT commissioners treated owner drivers with contempt and did not listen to their legitimate concerns;
  • The RSRT was more inclined to listen to unions and big business about what was best for owner drivers;
  • The rate of fatal articulated truck crashes fell by 80% between 1982 and 2015;
  • Crash rates have continued to improve even while real freight charges have been declining;
  • There is no significant difference in crash rates for owner drivers vs employee drivers;
  • The truck driver is not at fault in 84% of crashes involving a truck and another vehicle.

Here is how to find the email address of your local candidates:

You will need to investigate independent candidates individually, but if they are already a sitting member or senator you can find their details here: http://www.aph.gov.au/

CHANGES TO NHVR FEES

From 1 July 2016 most fees administered by the NHVR will remain the same. However, operators should be aware of the following two changes.

  1. Access amendment applications – Applications for access permit amendments will attract a $70 fee. This brings the NHVR in line with the policies and charges of states and territories. An applicant will need to pay a $70 fee and submit a new application for assessment to:
  • amend areas or routes
  • amend road or travel conditions (time/date)
  • change mass/dimension.

The only amendments that will not attract a fee are to add/remove a registration number (for the same vehicle specification) or to change a company trading name/details.

  1. National Driver Work Diary – Transport Ministers from across Australia approved a new nationally agreed price of $25 for work diaries in order to move to full cost recovery for the 2016-17 financial year.

The new price for work diaries will cover the nationwide cost of printing and distribution for all states and territories. The price increase does not affect any other aspect of the purchase process or the locations a driver can purchase a work diary.

More information on the National Driver Work Diary, including locations to purchase can be found at www.nhvr.gov.au/workdiary

HVNL PENALTIES TO INCREASE WITH CPI

The Heavy Vehicle National Law contains provisions for mandatory annual indexation of penalties linked to national CPI, which occurs automatically on 1 July each year.

A summary of the new penalty and infringement amounts for 2016/17 can be found at www.nhvr.gov.au/penalties

NHVR CONSULTING ON OSOM EXEMPTION NOTICES

The NHVR is seeking feedback from affected operators on proposed new Multi-State Class 1 Load Carrying Vehicles Mass and Dimension Exemption Notices.

These Dimension and Mass Exemption Notices are intended to replace the existing annual permits for Class 1 Load Carrying Oversize and Over Mass (OSOM) vehicles in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.

Once implemented, the Notices allow will OSOM operators instant access to the network that was afforded under the annual permit schemes, without having to wait for a permit. www.nhvr.gov.au/news/2016/06/10/nhvr-seeks-feedback-on-new-notices

Before these notices are finalised the NHVR is seeking feedback from all operators who may be affected. Feedback can be provided until Friday 24 June 2016 at nhvr.news@nhvr.gov.au

You can find the notices here:

NHVR ACCESS CONNECT TRIAL

NHVR has commenced a staged rollout of the AccessCONNECT online permit application system.

Once an account has been set up, the system will streamline the permit application process and provide increased flexibility, transparency and traceability.

NHVR is currently seeking additional participants for the first stage rollout.  If you are interested, please contact the ALRTA office and we will assist you to sign up.

QUAD BIKE SAFETY

Quad bikes are a lot of fun and for many in rural Australia they are an essential working vehicle.  Luckily, the farm I grew up on was relatively flat so we never had a major incident.  Two years ago though on a trip to NZ, I hired a more powerful version for ride along the beach and a bit of a sneaky up the sand hills behind.  Suffice to say a bit of grassy ground gave way unexpectedly and I rolled it down the side of a dune into a ditch – but jumped clear and had a lucky escape.

Others are not so lucky.  Safe Work Australia keeps tabs on quad bike fatalities on their ‘quad watch’ page.  There were 22 fatalities last year, with ages ranging from 6yo to 85yo.

My parents never stopped going on about being careful on the quad bike.  If you need to make someone in your life take notice then perhaps send them to this website:  http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/whs-information/agriculture/quad-watch/pages/quad-bike-fatalities#2016

Something that jumps out at you immediately is that most of the fatalities were not wearing helmets.

The NSW Government has launched a $2m package with $500 individual rebates to encourage riders to replace quad bikes with safer vehicles like side-by-side vehicles, fit them with operator protective devices, buy helmets or undertake training courses. More information here: http://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/

REMINDER: UPCOMING EVENTS

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

Trucking Australia Conference

The ATA’s premier annual event ‘Trucking Australia 2016’ will be held 23-25 June 2016 at the new Sea World Resort Conference Centre, Gold Coast, QLD.  The program is a mix of entertainment and business activities featuring a keynote address by the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Kenworth Legends Luncheon, contracts master class and the National Trucking Industry Awards.

Register here

The LRTAWA Annual State Conference will be held 1-2 July 2016 at the Light House Beach Resort in Bunbury. On Friday there will be a demonstration of drug and alcohol testing equipment and a ‘sundowner’ meal including mini-auction.  The Conference Sessions are on Saturday followed by a Gala Dinner and Auction.

Register here

Joint LRTAV / National Conference

The Joint LRTAV – National Conference will be held 5-6 August 2016 at the RACV Resort in Torquay. Friday kicks off with golf in the morning, followed by three short information sessions and a longer session on the RSRT.  Friday night dinner is a special 80s themed event including presentation of Young Driver and Outstanding Industry Contribution Awards.  The main Conference Sessions are on Saturday followed by a Gala Dinner and Auction.

Register here

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