Weekly News – Advanced Fatigue Management Scheme, LivestockASSIST, Outcomes of Ministerial Council

LIVESTOCK AFM WORKSHOP

ALRTA representatives travelled to Brisbane this week to participate in an NHVR Workshop to consider the finer points of the proposed Livestock Advanced Fatigue Management Scheme.  The scheme will allow accredited operators to work up to 14hrs each day on a fortnightly cycle with ‘risk off-setting’ restrictions around driving between midnight and 4am.

The parameters of the scheme were developed in consultation with our National Council and have since been considered by the NHVR’s Fatigue Expert Reference Group. We are now revising the proposed Operator Implementation Guide and Policy and Procedures Manuals to make sure that the system is understandable and workable for large and small operators.

As they say ‘the devil is in the detail’. While the workshop identified many improvements that need to be made, we expect that the changes can be incorporated relatively easily and the template should be launched in a matter of weeks.

If you are already running BFM or AFM there will only be a minor hurdle to accessing the fortnightly work cycle. New entrants will have the benefit of using a pre-approved template (which means you will not have to present a safety case to the NHVR) and will find a wealth of supporting resources in the package including ‘model’ policies and procedures. Stay tuned for an announcement soon!

LivestockASSIST DISCUSSED WITH KEY STAKEHOLDERS

Representatives from the ALRTA (Graeme Hoare & Mathew Munro) and NTI (Owen Driscoll and Rob Waas) met with RSPCA and Animal Health Australia in Canberra this week to discuss the development of LivestockASSIST and our National Guidelines for the Safe Design of Loading Ramps and Forcing Yards.

Both the RSPCA and AHA were impressed by these initiatives and more generally our recent efforts to improve safety and welfare outcomes for the domestic livestock transport task. Some of the initiatives that we have been pushing strongly over the past year include:

  • Pre-transit: Improved opening hours at export receival feedlots and better stock preparation to limit effluent production.
  • Loading: National ramp guidelines.
  • In-transit: Merger of TruckCare and TruckSafe. 24hr national emergency hotline (LivestockASSIST).
  • Post-transit: Mandatory provision of truck washes and effluent dumping points at livestock handling facilities.

So while our export operators are again in the spotlight due to offshore animal welfare incidents, the ALRTA really is getting on the front foot to protect the land transport task right across Australia.

RSPCA and AHA are committed to working with us to finalise and launch LivestockASSIST and the ramps guide at our National Conference in Bunbury WA, 3-4 July 2015.  

OUTCOMES OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE MINISTERIAL COUNCIL

Last week, the ALRTA National President attended the 3rd meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Council held in Sydney. Some of the key meeting outcomes were:

  • Infrastructure and Planning and Investment: agreement to release the National Infrastructure Audit and continue reform to the way infrastructure projects are proposed, selected and funded.
  • Chain of Responsibility: agreement to include vehicle maintenance and ‘in-principle’ agreement to consider legislative package for changes to duties and for executive officers.
  • Roadworthiness: agreement to release a final regulatory impact statement and to expedite measures to improve national consistency in areas such as scheduled inspections.
  • National Remote and Regional Transport Strategy: agreement to release the draft strategy for public consultation in May – June 2015.
  • NHVR Corporate Plan: approval of the NHVR Corporate Plan and budget for the next 12 months.

The ALRTA welcomes these decisions and in particular the ‘visionary’ agreement to expedite improvements to Australia’s system of heavy vehicle scheduled inspections. This was one area in which the ALRTA had a different view from other transport associations.

We are pleased to see that Ministers share our concern that some heavy vehicles are allowed to operate on public roads without being regularly inspected or being part of a recognised maintenance accreditation program.

It is important to note that there has not yet been an announcement on the charging determination that will apply from 1 July 2015. I’d be betting that rego will be automatically indexed, but I remain hopeful that the RUC will be frozen at the current rate pending changes to address overcharging next year.

NTC REVIEWING LOAD RESTRAINT GUIDE

The NTC has formally commenced a review of the National Load Restraint Guide. The guide is referenced under the Heavy Vehicle National Law and is used by transport operators to improve compliance, by police and inspectors to enforce the law, and by courts in determining what is reasonable in different circumstances. So, for a ‘non-compulsory’ guide it really is an important document for all industry stakeholders.

One of glaring omissions in the guide is the containment of effluent.  While there are steps that operators can take to reduce spillage, we have always argued that the process needs to start with the consignor responsible for preparing the animals for transport.  The review offers us a chance to carefully examine these issues and very clearly lay out the responsibilities of all parties in the chain.

We have also expressed an interest in contributing to improving the sections on live loads, bulk commodities and compressible items such as hay, wool and cotton.  In the near future we will be seeking grass-roots member views on these issues.

MORE TRUCKCARE MEMBERS EMBRACE TRUCKSAFE

The TruckSafe accreditation program is proud to welcome two more TruckCare members into the safety and maintenance program.

Transedel Pty Ltd was established by Ian Einsiedel in 1994 as an owner-driver operation. Today, the fleet includes four B-doubles and two truck and dog combinations, and provides cattle transport services across Victoria and New South Wales.

“I’m happy to be part of TruckSafe, and I think it’s a great thing to have it include TruckCare going forward,” Mr Einsiedel said.

“It ticks a lot of boxes, particularly with chain of responsibility for your customers. I hope this shows the little companies like us that TruckSafe is not just for the big boys – it can really help you out, particularly with getting procedures in place.”

Lillyvale Livestock Carriers provides transport services for the Lillyvale feedlot in Condamine, Queensland, and has been TruckCare accredited since 2012.

TruckSafe Chairman Stephen Marley congratulated the new members on becoming some of Australia’s safest road transport businesses. “I’m delighted to welcome Transedel Pty Ltd and Lillyvale Livestock Carriers to the TruckSafe family,” Mr Marley said. “When a business is TruckSafe accredited, you know they’ve committed themselves to putting safety first – safety in their fleet, for their staff, and for their community.

“We’re proud of our TruckSafe operators, and that’s why you can find the full list of accredited operators on the TruckSafe website.”

REMINDER: RAMPS CONSULTATION CLOSES 3 JUNE 2015

All interested stakeholders are reminded that the public consultation phase on the ALRTA’s draft National Guidelines for the Safe Design of Loading Ramps and Forcing Yards closes on 3 June 2015. More information is available on our website and we encourage all views to be expressed.

NATIONAL CONFERENCE: REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN

The ALRTA and LRTAWA are pleased to announce that registrations are now open for our joint National / State Conference to be held in Bunbury WA 3-4 July 2015.

This year is the ALRTA’s 30th anniversary and we are planning a special ‘trip down memory lane’ that I’m sure all delegates will find very interesting.  If that’s not enough, don’t forget we will also be launching or outlining several new initiatives including LivestockASSIST, National Ramps Guide and a fortnightly AFM template for livestock operators.

Unfortunately, we have recently been advised that the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Warren Truss MP, is unable to attend the conference.  We are however pleased to inform you that the DPM will be represented by WA Senator the Hon. Chris Back – A well-known and passionate West Australian.

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