Weekly News – 30th anniversary, ALRTA and LRTAWA election results, CoR

ALRTA CELEBRATES 30 YEAR ANNIVERSARY IN STYLE

The ALRTA/LRTAWA joint National / State Conference was held in Bunbury WA 3-4 July 2015. The conference was very well attended with more than 200 guests joining us over the weekend.

Among our special guests were: Federal Senator for WA, Dr Chris Back; President of the WA Legislative Council, the Hon Barry House MLC; NTC CEO & Commissioner, Paul Retter; and NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto.

Friday night was a very special night for the ALRTA. The evening included a keynote address by Senator Back; the official launch of the ALRTA’s national ramps guide; a ‘trip down memory lane’ and the inaugural presentation of the ALRTA’s McIver Award.

To help us walk the 30 year road down memory lane, our current National President Grant Robins was joined on stage by our first National President, Bruce McIver (1985-1990), and past National President Ross Fraser (1999-2001) for an insightful discussion and slide show about the creation and evolution of the ALRTA. Along the way we remembered the challenges, achievements and most importantly the people who made the association what it is today.

The ALRTA also thanks our national sponsors PACCAR, Cummins, NTI, Beaurepaires and BP for supporting our National Conference with representatives on the ground and for very kindly donating auction items.

JOHN BEER WINS INAUGURAL MCIVER AWARD

A new national award was established this year to commemorate the ALRTA’s 30 year anniversary: the McIver Award – for outstanding service to the livestock and rural transport industry.

The award was presented by the ALRTA’s first National President Bruce McIver to winner John Beer (LRTAV) for his efforts in developing the ALRTA National Ramps Guide.

As far back as 2004, John was working with members and government bodies to develop safer ramp designs. John has been the driving force behind the process right from the beginning and he has kept up the fight despite early opposition from others in the supply chain and through changes of government and their commitments.

John eventually gained the strong support of livestock producers; saleyards; feedlots; government safety authorities and welfare advocates – which is vital for the guide to be a success. After many years of passion, John ultimately turned his vision into reality with the launch of a practical and well supported tool that will undoubtedly prevent injuries, save lives and improve animal welfare outcomes.

ELECTION RESULTS: ALRTA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Over 3-4 July 2015, the ALRTA held several important meetings including:

  • National Council Meeting;
  • Member Chapter Meeting;
  • Special General Meeting; and
  • Annual General Meeting.

Members are advised that the ALRTA has resolved by a 75% majority to update our constitution to improve internal consistency and to better reflect modern governance standards. One of the key changes has been to move to fixed 12 month terms for all officer holders which commence on 1 October each year. The ALRTA’s National Executive that will assume office on 1 October 2015 is:

  • National President: Kevin Keenan (LRTAV)
  • Vice President: Graeme Hoare (LBCA)
  • Vice President: Stephen Marley (LRTAWA)
  • Treasurer: Ron Pattel (LRTAQ)
  • Secretary: John Beer (LRTAV)
  • ATA Representative: David Smith (LRTASA)
  • Immediate Past President: Grant Robins (LRTAWA)

ELECTION RESULTS: LRTAWA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The ALRTA congratulates the following office bearers re-elected at the LRTAWA AGM on 3 July 2015:

  •  President: Stephen Marley
  • Bulk Vice President: Darren Power
  • Livestock Vice President: Shannon Dawson
  • Treasurer: Mark Sullivan

NTC RELEASES CHAIN OF RESPONSIBILITY DISCUSSION PAPER

This week the National Transport Commission Released a discussion paper on Primary Duties for Chain of Responsibility Parties and Executive Officer Liability.   The paper is part of a longer-term reform process that received ‘in-principle’ support from Ministers in May this year.Specifically, the paper is looking at options for:

  • how a primary duty on operators, prime contractors and employers could be structured to ensure the safety of their transport operations;
  • how role specific duties of other parties could be structured;
  • the standard of care to be applied;
  • the relationship of primary duties to existing chain of responsibility offences;
  • penalties; and
  • how the reforms could be applied to executive officers of corporations.

Generally, Ministers have supported a more outcomes based approach focused on primary duties that is better aligned with Australian workplace health and safety laws to reduce duplication and inconsistencies. The ALRTA will be consulting with members in the preparation of a submission by 7 August 2015. We will be seeking to ensure that chain of responsibility laws are not watered down – particularly with regard to parties further up the chain such as consignors.

AGRICULTURE WHITE PAPER RELEASED

This week the Federal Minister for Agriculture, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, released the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. The paper outlines the Federal Government’s plan to invest $4b in growing the agricultural sector.

The plan primarily focusses on reforms that will directly benefit the farming community, with announcements including:

  • A new ACCC commissioner for the agricultural sector;
  • Research into new business models;
  • Streamlines chemical approval processes;
  • Productivity review into reducing red-tape for agriculture industries;
  • Improved country of origin labelling;
  • Tax reforms (income averaging, FMD limits, using FMDs as assets, deduction of water management and fodder storage assets);
  • Establishment of a National Water Infrastructure Fund;
  • Improvements to drought and risk management (insurance advice, weather forecasting, concessional loans);
  • Boosting R&D Programs;
  • New skills programs;
  • Environmental projects; and
  • Improving access to premium markets.

Road transport is a key element that underpins agricultural competitiveness in Australia with the paper noting that transport costs make up around one fifth of farm gate value.

While it is clear that the Federal Government is strongly committed to improving transport infrastructure, most of the measures outlined in the White Paper have already been announced under existing programs such as the Infrastructure Investment Program; National Stronger Regions Fund or the recently released White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.

Possibly the best news is that a further $1m will be allocated to the CSIRO’s Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool which has been developed to determine the best way to fix last mile access issues in the beef cattle industry. The funding allocation will enable the model to be expanded to include a broader range of agricultural commodities.

Also, regional transport operators will be pleased that an additional $60m has been allocated to the $100m Mobile Phone Black Spot Program specifically to improve coverage across regional Australia.

For more information about the White Paper please visit: http://agwhitepaper.agriculture.gov.au/

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