Weekly News – Ramps Guide consultation closes, NHVR Reference Forum

NATIONAL RAMPS GUIDE: PUBLIC CONSULTATION CLOSES

The four week public consultation period for the ALRTA’s draft National Guidelines for the Safe Design of Loading Ramps and Forcing Yards closed this week.  Fifteen formal submissions were received representing stakeholders as diverse as producers, saleyards, feedlots, transporters, safety experts and animal welfare advocates.

The industry-government ramps working party met this week to consider the feedback and revise the guidelines accordingly.

Separately, the revised draft of the proposed Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines – Livestock at Saleyards and Depots was also released this week.  The ALRTA is extremely pleased to note that this document now references the ALRTA Ramps Guide.  This is important for two reasons:

  1. Firstly, it is intended that the saleyard standards will be legislated in all States and Territories. This will assist in promoting the existence and availability of our ramps guide.
  2. Secondly, changes to the ramps guide can be made much more easily than if the detailed content was reproduced in the saleyard guidelines – all States and Territories would need to agree. We plan to keep the ramps guide as a ‘live document’ and review it periodically to ensure the content remains up to date.

We are still on track and aim to launch the final ramps guide at our National Conference in Bunbury WA on 3-4 July 2015.

NHVR INDUSTRY REFERENCE FORUM

The ALRTA Executive Director attended the second meeting of the NHVR Industry Reference Forum (IRF) in Melbourne this week. The IRF has a high level strategic focus with membership comprising NHVR, NTC and transport association CEOs. Discussions centred around the implications of the Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council meeting on 22 May 2015 (attended by ALRTA President Grant Robins) and the purpose / role of the evolving IRF.

It is quite clear that Ministers are intent on taking rapid steps to develop a package of measures to improve roadworthiness standards under current laws as well as pursuing a longer term harmonisation agenda – so look out for some changes later this year to things like:

  • Definitions of defects (i.e. minor v major);
  • Processes for rectifying defects;
  • Inspection types and procedures; and
  • Accreditation audits.

Sometime next year we will see even broader changes probably including:

  • Chain of responsibility extending to include vehicle maintenance;
  • Risk-based scheduled vehicle inspections; and
  • New NHVR powers for enforceable undertakings.

It is also notable that Ministers have passed responsibility for the ‘rapid response’ roadworthiness measures and the development of a national registration system from the NTC to the NHVR. This is the best sign yet that political confidence in the fledgling regulator is steadily improving.

The ALRTA was also very pleased to learn that the IRF will be holding a joint meeting with State and Territory Transport Department Deputy Director Generals in October this year. The ALRTA has been calling for such a meeting for the past two years and we applaud this decision – In my view, this is where the real action will be. It would be almost laughable if it wasn’t true, but it will actually be the first meeting of the service providers and the service users since the NHVR opened its doors on 10 February 2014.

ALRTA NATIONAL EXECUTIVE MEETS

The ALRTA Executive met via teleconference this week to discuss a range of matters concerning our National Headquarters, National Conference and several major projects we are progressing such as the National Ramps Guide, LivestockASSIST and the Livestock AFM template (fortnightly cycle).

Members are advised that the next face-to-face Council Meeting and AGM will be held on 3 July 2015 in conjunction with our National Conference in Bunbury WA. For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.

LRTASA CONFERENCE: 12-13 JUNE

The 30th Annual Livestock & Rural Transporters Association Conference will be held in the Theatre Room at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on 12-13 June, 2015.

This year’s program is excellent commencing with an official opening by the SA Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, the Hon. Stephen Mulligan MP.  There will also be very informative sessions featuring representatives from DPTI, PIRSA, NHVR, ALRTA, LRTAV, SAFEWORK SA and SAPOL.  The auction and gala dinner on Saturday night are always entertaining and very well attended.

For more information please visit: http://www.lrtasa.com.au/lrta_sa_2015_conference

NATIONAL CONFERENCE: 3-4 JULY

A reminder that registrations are now open for the ALRTA/LRTAWA joint National / State Conference to be held in Bunbury WA 3-4 July 2015.

For more information please visit: http://www.lrtawa.org.au/events

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