Weekly News – NHVR proposes changes to 160km radius work diary, NSW Biosecurity Bill

NHVR PROPOSES CHANGES TO THE 160KM RADIUS WORK DIARY EXEMPTION

The NHVR has proposed three changes to the National Primary Production Work Diary Exemption (Notice) 2015, which include:

  1. Replacing the phrase “carrying out primary production work” with “working on a journey to or from a farm gate”;
  2. Removing the definition of ‘primary production’ and replacing it with a definition of ‘farm’; and
  3. Adding a new clause that the notice will commence in Victoria on 5 October 2015.We will make a comprehensive submission to the NHVR by the closing date of 22 August 2015.

The ALRTA is working closely with all of our states and the NHVR to develop a workable alternative that reduces red tape, maintains safety standards and addresses concerns about the risk of misuse of the exemption.

NSW BIOSECURITY BILL 2015

The NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Land and Water, the Hon Niall Blair MLC, has introduced a comprehensive Biosecurity Bill 2015 into the NSW Legislative Council which, if passed, has the potential to impact on the road transport of agricultural produce in NSW.

The Bill is modelled on Workplace Health and Safety Laws. It establishes new duties, investigative powers, emergency response measures and penalties.  The movement of some materials will be prohibited while others will be regulated.

While it appears that the movement of agricultural produce will be largely unaffected, the Bill does however include a new duty that will require transport operators to:

  • assess biosecurity risks and put measures in place to control them; and
  • report biosecurity risks when spotted.

The idea behind the new duty is that protecting biosecurity is a shared responsibility. While the ALRTA generally agrees with the concept, there is some potential for unnecessary red tape and unwarranted petty enforcement activity to arise depending upon how the law is interpreted.

The ALRTA is working closely with the LBCA to analyse the Bill and to seek more information from the Minster and his Department concerning the scope and intent of the proposed law.  From a national perspective, the law will affect all operators travelling through NSW and will establish a legislative model that other States may follow.

FECHNER’S TRANSPORT, CAVANAGH’S TRANSPORT JOIN TRUCKSAFE

The TruckSafe accreditation program is proud to welcome Fechner’s Transport (VIC) and Cavanagh’s Transport (NSW) as its newest accredited members.

Established more than 80 years ago, Fechner’s Transport provides livestock transport, general freight, and water and milk cartage services to the Gippsland community.

Current Managing Director Kevin Fechner is the third generation of the Fechner family to be involved with the business, and also the former Chair of the TruckCare livestock accreditation program.

“I’ve been a supporter of TruckCare all the way through – I felt that we, livestock transporters, really needed something to make us better than the average Joe Blow. There was a need for our industry to work together to raise our profile, and I think that’s been successful,” Mr Fechner said.

“Joining TruckCare with TruckSafe is a real plus, and a great opportunity for our industry to link arms and better ourselves.

“Having now implemented TruckSafe in our own business, I particularly think the driver health and medicals are great – our drivers are very important to us.

“I would urge those operators out there who think that ‘it’s too hard’ to reconsider. We’re only a small business, and we only have four employees. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility to be accredited, whatever your size.”

Inverell-based Cavanagh’s Transport has also gained TruckSafe accreditation. TruckCare accredited since 2004, Cavanagh’s provides livestock transport services across north-west NSW.

TruckSafe Chairman Stephen Marley welcomed both businesses to the program.

“Both Fechner’s Transport and RJ & JM Cavanagh have long been dedicated to doing transport right through their accreditation with TruckCare. With the programs coming together, we’re proud to welcome these professional, passionate operators to the TruckSafe family as well,” Mr Marley said.

“TruckSafe operators are some of Australia’s safest operators, because they go above and beyond the requirements of the law to meet TruckSafe’s driver health, maintenance, management and training standards.”

You can find out more about the TruckSafe accreditation program, including a full list of accredited operators, at www.trucksafe.com.au.

INDONESIA CONSIDERS LIFTING CATTLE IMPORT QUOTA

Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has welcomed the news that Indonesia’s new Trade Minister Thomas Lembong is considering issuing up to an additional 300,000 head in cattle import quotas in the remainder of 2015.

In July, the previous Indonesian Trade Minister had reduced the quarterly import quota to just 50,000, down from 250,000 in the previous quarter.

As a result, the beef price has skyrocketed in Indonesia and meat processors are working at 50% capacity. There has been a domestic consumer backlash against the Government including a butcher’s strike.

The prospect of a return to normal export levels is good news for Australian producers, transporters and Indonesian consumers alike.

STAY ON TRACK OUTBACK

If you have a spare 3 minutes today, check out the ‘Stay on Track in the Outback’ music video produced by Queensland Police Service aimed at educating travellers, tourists and motorists in general about the unique natural and unnatural hazards that may be encountered when travelling in outback areas. It’s quite catchy and it’s great to see the local community having a ball making the clip!
https://youtu.be/7fuTjyrT3oA

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