ALRTA News – 11 November 2016

ALRTA RELEASES NATIONAL ANIMAL WELFARE POLICY

The ALRTA has today released a National Animal Welfare Policy for livestock carriers.

The policy statement lays out thirteen key principles for best practice in livestock transport and has been agreed by all six of the ALRTA’s state associations.

ALRTA President Kevin Keenan said that the association has taken a proactive approach to safeguarding animal welfare and it was important to articulate agreed national policies to all key stakeholders.

“Caring for live cargos is a unique part of the rural road transport task that is under constant scrutiny by markets, governments and the community,” said President Keenan.

“The interaction of animal welfare laws, workplace safety laws and road transport laws creates complex challenges in balancing the equally important elements of driver welfare and animal welfare”.

“Over the past three years, our National Animal Welfare Committee has examined our role in the supply chain and championed several important new initiatives.  For example, we have published national guidelines for the safe design of ramps and forcing yards, merged truckCare with the award winning truckSafe accreditation system and established LivestockASSIST – a 24hr national hotline dedicated to coordinating emergency responses.”

“Our association now has a holistic approach to promoting positive animal welfare outcomes that commences with pre-transit livestock preparation, through loading, transport, unloading and emergency responses in the rare event that things go wrong.”

“We are proud of who we are and what we do.  We expect our member operators to uphold the highest possible animal welfare standards at all times.  Publication of the ALRTA National Animal Welfare Policy will help to inform all stakeholders about our efforts to protect our animals, markets and reputation,” said President Keenan.

The ALRTA National Animal Welfare Policy can be downloaded from the ALRTA website, www.alrta.org.au.

The policy will be updated over time as community expectations evolve and new policies are adopted.

MINISTERIAL COUNCIL MEETS IN PERTH

The ALRTA National Vice President Stephen Marley was invited to observe the 6thmeeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council held in Perth on Friday, 4 November 2017.

Here are some of the notable outcomes:

  • Road Safety: recognised the need to address the disproportionate amount of trauma in regional and remote areas.
  • Charging: All governments will work together to produce a potential road map of full market reform for COAG consideration in early 2017, including the costs and benefits of road user charging for light vehicles.  For heavy vehicles, NTC will develop a forward-looking life cycle cost base model (i.e. estimating future costs over time, rather than just recovering the amount spent in previous years) and consider options for independent price setting.
  • National Registration Scheme: ‘Officially’, reaffirmed commitment to a national registration scheme by 1 July 2018.  We are hearing conflicting reports about this one however….stay tuned.
  • Chain of Responsibility: further amendments will be made to the HVNL to extend positive due diligence duties to executive officers (much like WH&S laws).
  • Vehicle Automation: the introduction of autonomous vehicles will be fast-tracked wherever possible.  ‘Herbie the love bug’, ‘K.I.T.’ and ‘Johnny Cabs’ may be on the road sooner than you think.

AMERICA ELECTS PRESIDENT TRUMP

You would have heard it all by now, but WOW, there you go!

Some say it was the ‘real America talking’, but that doesn’t explain why there has also been a significant shift to the right in Australia, the UK and across western Europe.  Whatever your personal views, one thing is certain – the world is changing!

For starters, we may no longer be able to take for granted free and open international markets.  Increasingly, much of the western world is beginning to look inwards at the needs of their own disaffected populations rather than blindly holding to a global free trade ideal.  First there was ‘stop the boats’, then ‘Brexit’, now Trump is going to build a Mexican wall, ban Muslim immigrants, tax Chinese imports at 45% and tear up the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement.

You only have to look at the chaos on the ‘forward looking’ stock market this week to see that the business sector is factoring in highly uncertain times ahead.

LOOK UP AND LIVE

Here is short article recently published by Worksafe Health and Safety Queensland that serves as a reminder for all sectors of our diverse industry to be conscious about your surroundings at all times, especially in unfamiliar territory:

A cattle truck driver recently came into contact with overhead high voltage powerlines when he climbed on top of his trailer to check on the cattle.

The driver parked his truck on a quiet and flat roadway, but it was dark and he did not realise that he was directly below powerlines.  When he climbed on top of the truck, he contacted the 22,000 volt powerlines and received severe burns to his head and feet.  The electrical shock caused him to fall into the cattle crate rather than 4.6 metres to the ground and he survived the incident.

Always check your surroundings and park your vehicle well clear of powerlines.  Plan your route before you start and only stop at places where it is safe to check on the cattle. If there are designated truck stops and rest areas on the route, use them.

NATIONAL ANIMAL WELFARE COMMITTEE

The ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee met this week to discuss several important issues including:  effluent strategy; crate safety; flexibility in driving hours for animal welfare purposes; and fast-tracking the installation of optional user-pay unloading frames at certain premises.

ATA SUPPORTS FAIRER SMALL BUSINESS CONTRACTS WITH MEMBER EXCLUSIVE INFORMATION

ATA Chair Noelene Watson today urged trucking businesses to contact their ATA member associations to get information on the unfair contract terms legislation before it comes into force tomorrow.

Designed to protect small businesses from unfair terms in standard form contracts, this new law will apply to contracts entered into or renewed on or after 12 November 2016.

The protections will apply to businesses with fewer than 20 employees that agree to standard contracts where the upfront price is no more than either $300,000, or $1 million if the contract is for more than 12 months.

Mrs Watson said the protections would apply to almost 98 per cent of trucking businesses.
“These protections have the potential to be extremely important for the trucking industry,” Mrs Watson said.

“Every small business in our industry and every larger business that uses standard form contracts needs to understand the impact of the law.

“The ATA released a contract checklist and comprehensive general information in September 2016 about the new protections.

“The contract checklist and the information are available exclusively from the ATA’s member associations.

“The ACCC has published excellent general information about the protections, including a review of unfair terms in selected industries, but the information released by the ATA focuses on the terms that are commonly found in trucking industry contracts.

“I urge every trucking business to contact their ATA member association to get this vital information, and if you are not a member, I urge you to join one of our associations now,” she said.

About ATA contract checklist and unfair contract terms information
The contract checklist released by the ATA in September 2016 provides trucking businesses and their legal advisers with information about the contract issues they should consider before they sign.

The ATA has also released information about the unfair contract terms protections. This information is essential for any small trucking businesses that is considering signing a standard form contract; and for larger trucking businesses that are looking to review their standard form contracts to comply with the new requirements.

The contract checklist and unfair contract terms information were prepared by Cooper Grace Ward exclusively for the ATA and the members of its member associations.

You can contact the ALRTA to get a copy.

REMINDER: LTAT FORUM

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 strong 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 carriers 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.

REMINDER: 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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