ALRTA News – 7 October 2016

REGISTERED CODES OF PRACTICE UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT

The NHVR Industry Reference Forum met in Brisbane this week to discuss the NHVR’s guidelines for the development and registration of industry codes of practice.

A code of practice can provide guidance to operators and supply chain parties about how to identify the risks in their businesses and how those risks might be controlled.  The HVNL amendment bill that is currently before the QLD Parliament includes provisions that will compel courts to recognise codes of practice that have been registered with the NHVR.  So, by following a registered code of practice you will have a better chance of convincing a court that you have done ‘everything reasonably practicable’ to control risks in your business.

Early versions of the guidelines were highly controversial for some sectors of the industry – particularly those that are currently operating commercial accreditation systems such as TruckSafe and TruckCare.  The main points of contention related to ownership of registered codes, status of ‘master codes’, notice periods for changes and the level of detail that could be included.

It has been a rocky road at times, but the robust face-to-face discussions in Brisbane this week have largely resolved the issues to a point where we now need to ‘suck it and see’ how the system works.  As with any new regulatory system there will no doubt be problems to iron out, but the NHVR has again demonstrated a willingness to engage with industry in a frank and open manner to proactively address any issues that may arise.

LAND TRANSPORT REGULATION IN 2040

What will transport laws look like in the year 2040?  That was the key question posed at an NTC workshop attended by the ALRTA in Canberra this week.

Predicting the future is not the easiest thing to do.  We’d all be millionaires if we could do that right?  But one thing is certain – change.

Already we are seeing disruptive technologies such as self-driving vehicles that are advancing so rapidly that there is a very good chance we will see them on our roads well before 2040.  Right now in Australia there are drones in our skies, self-driving trains on the rails and autonomous heavy vehicles at mine sites.

This rapidly advancing technology poses challenging questions for regulators.  The workshop considered a range of scenarios and what the implications were for governments in terms of new laws, promoting innovation, infrastructure funding, liabilities, data privacy, personal freedoms and lifestyle.

A good example for you to think about is ‘what will happen to congestion in cities if we have self-driving cars’?  Ponder that for a moment before you read the next paragraph.

Firstly, if self-driving cars are so good that they have a very low crash rate, some protective technologies could be removed which could make them very cheap.  However, modelling shows that if everyone had a self-driving car, congestion would go through the roof because of all the ‘empty kms’ (i.e. cars would be zipping around the city with no passengers on the way to pick up or drop off someone).

Alternatively, if cars were not owned personally and you could just ‘dial one up’ to come and pick you up when you needed it, there might be 90% fewer cars on the road and our current level of infrastructure would be more than enough to handle the load – but will people be willing to give up the personal freedom of car ownership?

I think the scary part of all of this will be during the lengthy transition period when we will have both human-driven and self-driving cars sharing the roads together.  That will mean two sets of laws, two sets of infrastructure requirements and a complex interface in between.  So, whatever the long term outcome, things might just get worse before they get better.

LINK BETWEEN DIESEL WORK AND LUNG CANCER

We are all exposed to a multitude of different risks everyday – that’s life.  However, it pays to be aware of those risks so you can take steps to minimise your exposure.

The Cancer Council of Australia is now warning that regular exposure to diesel engine exhaust can cause a range of short-term and long-term health problems, including lung and bladder cancer.

There are things you can do to limit exposure such as working in a well ventilated area and using low-sulphur fuels.

Do yourself a favour and check out the information page here.

FEDERAL FUNDING FOR LIVESTOCK PROJECTS

The Federal Government has announced the list of projects that will receive funding under Round Three of the National Stronger Regions Fund.  Overall, 67 projects received a total of $126.m in new funding.

The ALRTA and LTAT supported an application for the construction of a new truckwash in Powranna, Tasmania.  We are very pleased that the application was successful with an additional $250,000 now allocated to the $247,000 already committed by the Tasmanian Government.

In addition, significant Federal funding has been provided for upgrades to two regional livestock exchanges.  The Central West Livestock Exchange in Forbes has received $1.5m towards a $3.4m project to lift capacity from 1,800 cattle a day to 2,600.  Swan Hill Regional Livestock Exchange has received and additional $0.9m towards a $1.7m project to promote faster and larger turnover that includes reference to minimising fatigue for transporters.
All of these projects are worthwhile in their own right, but it is especially pleasing that this fund, and the new fund that will replace it (the Building Better Regions Fund) can indeed be accessed to improve livestock and other rural infrastructure.

NOTICE OF NAME CHANGE FOR NSW ASSOCIATION

At a special general meeting of the Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association on 15 September 2016, members voted unanimously in favour of accepting a new name.

Effective 22 September 2016 the new name is the Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association or LBRCA.

TECHNICAL AND MAINTENANCE CONFERENCE 2016

TMC (Technical & Maintenance Conference), has nearly 25 years of history and is the biggest event in Australia focusing on heavy vehicle maintenance and technical issues.

In 2016, this unique event will bring the heavy vehicle community together over three interactive days from Monday 24 October to Wednesday 26 October at the Automotive Centre of Excellence in Melbourne.

This is no ordinary conference, with a strong practical focus and interactive program, there is something for everyone at TMC including:

Plenary sessions on key topics
  • National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) Agenda
  • New truck safety laws
  • Inspectors and Operators Panel
  • What is driving safety
Technical sessions and product training workshops
  • Coupling choice, installation and maintenance
  • Proposed new brake and emission ADRs
  • Hydraulic systems and maintenance
Exhibition areas
  • More than 20 booths displaying a range of products and services
Networking and honouring excellence
  • PACCAR Parts Fun Night
  • TMC Industry supplier Marketplace
  • Cummins Lunch
  • Castrol Vecton Awards Dinner

The dinner will celebrate excellence in the industry’s workshops with the presentation of the 2016 Craig Roseneder Award and the Castrol Vecton Industry Achievement Award.

After this year’s TMC, you will walk away knowing:

  1. How to make your fleet and operations safer
  2. Up to date truck safety laws, issues and challenges
  3. How to avoid breakdowns
  4. How to save thousands of dollars through better maintenance and purchasing.

Registration is only $495 (inc. GST).

Click here for more details.

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