ALRTA News 14 April 2017

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY EASTER

The ALRTA National Council and Secretariat wish you all a safe and happy Easter.

It’s not the longest of holidays but still a good chance for a partial re-charge, so make sure you take the opportunity to spend some time with loved ones who support you while you are hard at work! Also, remember to be mindful of any travel restrictions or double demerits that apply in your state.

The ALRTA National Secretariat will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

MINISTERIAL SAFETY ROUNDTABLE

Hot on the heels of last week’s meeting between the ALRTA National President and the Federal Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, the Hon. Darren Chester MP, the ALRTA Executive Director was invited to a roundtable meeting of industry leaders hosted by Minister Chester in Melbourne.

The roundtable had a clear safety focus and was an excellent opportunity to discuss rest areas, amenities, education of light vehicle drivers, development of an industry master code and the two projects that ALRTA has proposed under the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative 2017-18.  On the side of the meeting, ALRTA briefly discussed the lack of roadside effluent management infrastructure directly with Minister Chester and his Advisor.  We have arranged to continue the discussion after the May Budget.

MEETING WITH NTC

While in Melbourne, the ALRTA Executive Director met with the NTC to discuss progress on clarifying the application of Chain of Responsibility Laws to persons preparing livestock for transport.  NTC has developed several options that will be put to the states for consideration.

NOTICE OF INTENTION TO DEVELOP INDUSTRY CODE

The ALRTA has formally lodged a notice of intention to ask NHVR to register an industry code of practice for ‘Managing Effluent in the Livestock Supply Chain’.  We have proposed that the code will cover:

  • Preparation of livestock prior to road transport.
  • Minimising risk of effluent escape in transit.
  • Roadside disposal facilities for vehicles in transit.
  • End of trip disposal facilities and truck washes.
  • Communication throughout the supply chain.

Development of a code is a significant process involving technical research, risk assessment, identification of appropriate controls and wide consultation across the supply chain.  We have proposed that the code would be operational by 1 January 2019.

ALRTA EXECUTIVE MEETS

The ALRTA National Executive met via teleconference this week to discuss operational issues including building management, recruiting and our National-State financial arrangements.

I am pleased to inform members that ALRTA has now formally agreed terms with ATA to move our National Headquarters into the ATA Building from 1 July 2017.   This move will bring our association closer to the beating heart of Canberra, including other transport associations and Parliament House.

FIX EXTENDED PAYMENT TIMES

Extended payment times are a growing problem for small trucking businesses and must be fixed, the Chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Geoff Crouch, said this week.

Mr Crouch made the comments following the release of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s Final Report into Payment Times and Practices. The ATA made a detailed submission to its inquiry.

“The ATA has been calling for extended payment times to be fixed and now the small business ombudsman has backed the need for the Government to act. In the trucking industry, some big business customers are demanding payment terms of up to 120 days,” Mr Crouch said.

“The report recommends that industry codes should include best payment practices, including set payment times. In the 2016 election campaign, the ATA called for a mandatory code covering payment terms for small trucking businesses and related issues.”

Mr Crouch said the ATA supported the ombudsman’s other recommendations to the Government, which would deliver shorter and more certain payment times and practices.

“The Government has made valuable reforms for small business – such as the introduction of the small business ombudsman and lower company taxes, but its small business agenda must also include fixing extended payment times,” he said.

“The Government must act, and introduce shorter payment times for its own procurement, require businesses who sign government contracts to pay their suppliers in line with these shorter payment times, and legislate maximum payment times for business to business transactions.”

The inquiry into payment times and practices was the first self-initiated inquiry conducted by the ombudsman, illustrating the importance of the ombudsman and its ability to start its own inquiries on issues impacting small businesses.

“The ability of the small business ombudsman to self-initiate an inquiry is critical to giving small business a louder voice,” Mr Crouch said.

“The ATA’s submission to the review of the ombudsman endorsed its ability to self-initiate inquiries and supports its approach to consulting with small business.”

“It is also important that recipient created tax invoices (RCTI) are not used to extend payment times. In our submission to the inquiry and also our submission to the review of the Victorian Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act, the ATA recommended against big businesses being able to use RCTIs to artificially extend their payment terms by delaying the issue of those invoices,” he said.

The trucking industry consists almost entirely of small businesses, 98 per cent of road freight transport businesses having 19 employees or fewer.

REMINDER: 2017 SAFETY INNOVATION AWARD

ALRTA and NHVR reminds members that nominations for the joint 2017 Safety Innovation Award are now open.

The Award recognises and rewards rural road transport operators who have identified HVNL related safety risks and implemented successful, innovative control measures.

Applications will close on June 30, 2017.  The winner will be announced at the LRTAV Conference 11-12 August, 2017.

Nominations are open to all livestock, bulk and rural carriers who are financial members of LRTAQ, LBRCA, LRTAV, LTAT, LRTASA or LRTAWA.

You can nominate yourself or a fellow carrier who takes a proactive approach to controlling safety risks!

Application forms are available here.

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