Weekly News – Work Diary exemption, Livestock AFM Template

ALRTA WELCOMES NATIONAL APPROACH TO WORK DIARY EXEMPTION

The ALRTA has welcomed the announcement by the NHVR that the work diary rules for carriers of primary produce will be extended into Victoria and harmonised across all participating jurisdictions.

The revised NATIONAL PRIMARY PRODUCTION WORK DIARY EXEMPTION (NOTICE) 2015 (No.2) will come into effect in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria from 5 October 2015.

ALRTA President Grant Robins said that the decision demonstrates the capacity of the NHVR to work with industry and governments to deliver safe, productive and harmonised reforms.

“Over the past year, the ALRTA has been working with the NHVR and jurisdictional governments to nationalise what was a sensible state-based reform.  The NHVR has shown great leadership to broker a harmonised outcome without having to resort to a lowest common denominator approach”, said National President Robins.

This outcome bodes well for the capacity of the NHVR to deliver nationally consistent reforms on other issues in future”, he said.

LRTAV President John Beer said that the extension of the Notice into Victoria will benefit local operators and those travelling short distances over the borders with NSW and SA.

“The work diary exemption reduces the unnecessary red tape burden on low-risk rural carriers and allows them focus on the job at hand”, said LRTAV President Beer.

“Victoria is not an island.  These is no reason why our rules should be different from adjoining states and I am very pleased that a common sense outcome has prevailed”, he said.

Carriers can find a copy of the notice here: https://www.nhvr.gov.au/files/c2015g01429-national-primary-production-work-diary-exemption-no2.pdf

FIRST APPROVAL UNDER THE LIVESTOCK AFM TEMPLATE

I am very happy to advise members that the NHVR has issued the first approval under the Livestock AFM Template that allows a 14 day work cycle.

The first successful applicant is an owner-driver from SE QLD.   This development is most welcome for a number of reasons:

  1. Our hard work has now been turned into reality;
  2. The template approval process has proven to be much faster and lower cost than other types of AFM applications;
  3. It confirms that the template is attractive for livestock carriers; and
  4. We know that the supporting documentation is clear enough for smaller operators to make successful applications.

The NHVR has issued a media statement on the approval which you can find here: https://www.nhvr.gov.au/news/2015/09/11/first-livestock-fatigue-template-gets-green-light

The ALRTA is now actively working on the next two templates in the series which will allow longer-runs and even greater flexibility.  We hope to finalise these before the end of 2015.

ALRTA PARTICIPATES IN KEY NHVR FORUMS

This week I participated in two important NHVR consultation forums:

  1. Industry Reference Group; and
  2. National Compliance and Enforcement Operational Forum.

The Industry Reference Group brings together peak industry bodies to discuss high level strategic issues such as the prioritisation and resourcing of the NHVR’s annual work program. The Compliance and Enforcement Operational Forum brings together all of the Federal and State and Territory enforcement bodies (including police) to discuss and progress a national approach to common issues.

While both meetings were excellent opportunities to engage with government stakeholders, the Compliance and Enforcement Operational Forum was historic in that it was the first time that industry stakeholders were invited to give our perspective on priority issues and overall strategic direction.  Each industry representative, including the ALRTA, made a short presentation to the group followed by an open discussion on the issues raised.

I am pleased to say that key State enforcement agencies are strongly supportive of our push to clarify chain of responsibility law so that we can get serious about the effluent issue. It is most definitely seen as a priority national issue and I will continue to liaise closely with senior government officials so we can make the most of the opportunity that comes with the NTC’s current review of chain of responsibility duties. Watch this space.

AGRICULTURAL EXPORT REGULATION REVIEW

This week I attended a briefing from the Federal Department of Agriculture about the impending Agricultural Export Regulation Review. Most aspects of export legislation will be subject to review with the aim of moving to best practice regulation that:

  • Facilitates cooperation between government and industry;
  • Supports exporters to quickly access market opportunities;
  • Reduces the regulatory burden;
  • Continues to give assurance to our trading partners about the quality of Australian agricultural products.

It’s early days, but reckon that this broad review will be a good opportunity to revisit some of our long standing issues around the opening hours of licenced receival feedlots near port and unpredictable loading delays between the feedlot and vessel.

FACT SHEET ON PROSTATE CANCER

The ALRTA has today released an exclusive member fact sheet addressing a condition that kills 3,000 men each year – prostate cancer.

Developed in partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia to coincide with the Big Aussie Barbie this month, ALRTA National President Grant Robins said the fact sheet was intended to provide lifesaving information on a topic that’s often ignored.

“Despite the lack of publicity, prostate cancer is a bigger killer of men than breast cancer is of women,” President Robins said.

“Prostate cancer is generally a slow growing disease. The majority of men with low grade prostate cancer live for many years without symptoms, and without it becoming life-threatening.

“But ignoring this problem won’t make it go away. The fact sheet outlines some of the symptoms to pay attention to, and recommends that all men over the age of 50 talk to their doctor about having a blood test to see if they are at risk.”

Please contact the ALRTA or your State Association Secretariat for a copy of the fact sheet.

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