ALRTA News – 4 November 2016

GET SERIOUS ABOUT EFFLUENT CONTROL

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has called on transport regulators to get serious about the application of chain of responsibility (CoR) to livestock preparation.

The call comes in response to a report delivered this week by the Queensland Parliamentary Transport and Utilities Committee which recommended that the Queensland Transport Minister work with other relevant Commonwealth and State Ministers to ask the National Transport Commission (NTC) to give further consideration within the next twelve months to means by which it can make more transparent, and more easily understood, the applicability of the relevant CoR provisions to pre-transport stock preparation.

ALRTA President Kevin Keenan said that the matter has remained unresolved for two decades and it is past time to get serious about the issue.

“The loss of effluent from a heavy vehicle is routinely treated as a load restraint breach under the HVNL.   It is widely known that the primary cause is inadequate preparation of livestock by chain parties prior to transport”, said President Keenan.

“While CoR laws have been in place since 1997 for the purpose of holding off-road chain parties to account when their actions or omissions result in on-road breaches, the provisions have been wholly ineffective in influencing stock preparation practices.  The law is not clear and there have been no known prosecutions of chain parties beyond the driver and operator in relation to effluent loss.”

“Poor effluent control can have implications for road safety, animal welfare, biosecurity, public amenity and the environment.  Trailer effluent tanks can only ever offer a partial solution because of their low capacity and the severe lack of managed dumping sites.”

“It is blatantly unfair to continue prosecuting drivers and operators for breaches caused by other parties in the chain.  Governments should either make the CoR provisions clear and effective, or just exempt effluent from the HVNL load restraint provisions altogether,” said President Keenan.

The ALRTA has previously obtained independent legal advice and made several detailed submissions to the NTC and to the Queensland Parliamentary Transport and Utilities Committee.

ALRTA TO MEET WITH TASMANIAN LIVESTOCK CARRIERS

The ALRTA and LTAT cordially invite all interested livestock carriers to attend a special meeting in Powranna, Tasmania, at 12:30pm, Thursday, 17 November 2016.

Attendees will have the opportunity to provide input into the construction and operation of a new state-of-the-art truckwash at the Powranna Selling Complex which is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments and will be operated by Northern Midlands Shire Council.

Establishment of the $500,000 facility was championed by the LTAT for the benefit of all rural carriers and to support continuing economic development in Tasmania.  The ALRTA provided support for the matching Commonwealth grant allocated via the National Stronger Regions Fund.

LTAT President (Spencer Griggs), ALRTA National President (Kevin Keenan) and Executive Director (Mathew Munro) will also advise attendees about a broad range of other important issues that our associations are progressing to improve the operating environment.

Thanks to our National Sponsors Beaurepaires, BP and PACCAR Parts, any operator who signs up to become a member of LTAT on the day will immediately receive a $350 reward pack which includes vouchers for tyres, fuel and parts.  LTAT will offer new memberships for a special reduced rate.

So, if you have an interest in livestock transport in Tasmania, please come along and listen to what we can do for your business.  If you like what you hear, we’d love to have you on board.  Joining our national grass-roots association of more than 800 rural carrier will give you a much bigger voice than you could have on your own.

For more information about timing, location and a more detailed programme, please contact Colleen in the ALRTA Secretariat on (02) 6247 5434 or office@alrta.org.au

MINISTERS MEET TO DISCUSS ROAD SAFETY

The Commonwealth Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Darren Chester MP, chaired an inaugural meeting of state and territory road safety ministers and their representatives this week to discuss ways all jurisdictions can increase efforts to reduce the unacceptable increase in road deaths and injuries.

Ministers agreed that the recent increase in road deaths across Australia and the lack of progress in reducing serious injuries is unacceptable and discussed ways that all jurisdictions can work together to achieve the 30 per cent reductions in death and serious injuries all jurisdictions have committed to under the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 (NRSS).

In addition to reconfirming their commitment to the NRSS and the NRSS Action Plan 2015-17, Ministers committed to pursue a range of new and enhanced actions.  These actions include:

  • greater emphasis on achieving road safety benefits from infrastructure investment programs at the Commonwealth, state and territory levels to reduce death and serious injury;
  • urgently investigate measures that will address the disproportionate number of deaths and injuries occurring on regional and remote roads, where two-thirds of road deaths occurred in 2015;
  • work more closely with local government to improve the effectiveness of road safety treatments on local roads;
  • investigate how we can reduce the cost of drug testing to enable more testing to be undertaken;
  • investigate the opportunity to support more cost effective testing of drug impaired drivers;
  • work together to improve community awareness about the risks of death and injury from mobile phone use while driving; and
  • increase sharing of data and analysis nationally, particularly regarding drug testing, regional casualties and mobile phone use including increased access to mobile phone data for accident investigation.

GETTING OUT OF CANBERRA

One of the best things about working with the ALRTA is being able to stay in touch with rural and regional Australia.  I grew up on a mixed pig and grain farm on the Newell Highway near Dubbo NSW and studied a bit further north Armidale – so moving to Canberra to live among the career public servants was initially a bit of a shock to the system.

At the end of last week I took some of my Canberra mates up to the Warwick Rodeo and Campdraft in Southern QLD.  We were welcomed to town by the team from Frasers Livestock Transport (major sponsor of the Gold Cup Campdraft) and we also took a tour of the Frasers depot.

Apart from a couple of localised thunderstorms (which I am told are a bit of a tradition) the two days in the very tidy town of Warwick were thoroughly enjoyable.  We saw some great skills and bravery on display during the events, a lot of families getting together during the day, and of course a heap of friendly young folk enjoying the combination of music, mud and bars during the night.  Put it on your calendar for next year!

BEAUREPAIRES IPAD AUCTION

Congratulations to Joe Sepos who had the winning bid on the Beaurepaires Ipad.

The auction raised $500 (plus GST) which will go toward the Livestock Transport Association of Tasmania.

WA LEADS THE WAY ON HARVEST MASS MANAGEMENT

The WA Harvest Mass Management Scheme (HMMS) provides a 10% mass allowance for the transport of grain off a paddock to a registered grain receival operator.

For the 2016/17 harvest period, new access arrangements have been approved. From 3 October 2016 to 28 February 2017, RAV operators may use roads that have not been assessed by WA Main Roads for RAV access provided:

  • The road/s are being used to transport grain from paddock to a grain receiver or return;
  • The road/s are the most direct route from the paddock to the nearest road approved for RAV access; and
  • The operator / driver complies with all conditions outlined in the HMMS Business Rules.

Conditions of operation include a 40km/h speed limit, an amber flashing light on the prime mover, and additional checks to ensure safety risks are mitigated with regard to steep gradients, rail crossings, narrower roads and intersections.

Bridges on roads that are not already approved for the particular RAV combination must not be driven over without first contacting HVS.  A bridge assessment will be required prior to access being approved and a permit will be issued if suitable.

Interested parties can obtain more information at: https://www.mainroads.wa.gov.au/UsingRoads/HeavyVehicles/Pages/HMMS.aspx

Road managers at all levels right around Australia could learn and thing or two from this innovative approach.

SA FORUMS FOCUS ON BETTER ROAD ACCESS

Road access will be the centrepiece in a series of forums to be rolled out across six regional councils for the South Australia grain transport industry from October this year.

NHVR Industry and Stakeholder Manager John Gilbert said the forums would assist regional councils to streamline route assessments for their freight task, and in particular the upcoming grain harvest next month.

“Increasing awareness and understanding of road access issues through collaboration among councils is a win-win situation for both the freight industry and local economies,” Mr Gilbert said.

“The productivity gains and reduction in truck movements for the local community will be the ultimate result.

Grain Producers South Australia (GPSA) Chief Executive Officer Darren Arney says improved road access is the result of collaboration between all stakeholders, and all partners in the project deserved commendation.

“Our members have raised transport and supply chain costs as one of their top priorities to address, Mr Arney said.

“Streamlining routes will likely see a reduction in these costs which will flow back to grain producers’ profitability while improving safety with less truck movements and contributing to reducing wear and tear on road infrastructure.

“This work follows the excellent progress made on the 90-Day Change @ SA Improving Road Transport for the Agriculture Industry Project between industry and government.

“GPSA acknowledges the support shown for improving freight efficiency by Minister for Transport Stephen Mullighan, Minister for Agriculture Leon Bignell and Minister for Regional Development Geoff Brock, along with their departments.”

The forums will be jointly conducted with GPSA and the NHVR, with facilitation by Regional Operations Groups from each council area, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and other industry groups.

HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE LOAD RESTRAINT GUIDE

The NTC is working closely with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to review the current edition of the Load Restraint Guide and we are seeking your feedback on how the guide can be improved.

The Load Restraint Guide provides transport drivers, operators, and other participants in the transport chain of responsibility with basic safety principles which should be followed for the safe carriage of loads on road vehicles.

This project aims to ensure the guide:

  • is easy to access and understand
  • meets the needs of the people who use it
  • is accurate, up to date and reflects the practices that have developed since the last edition of the Guide was published in 2004.

You can have your say about the format and structure of the new guide by completing a short survey .

Find out more about the Load Restraint Guide

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