ALRTA News 21 April 2017

ALRTA HEADING TO NEW ZEALAND

The ALRTA is sending seven representatives to Waikato, NZ, next week to inspect effluent management infrastructure in the livestock production chain.  The delegation includes:

  • Mark Collins – LRTAQ
  • Lynley Miners – LBRCA
  • Raymond Sutton – LBRCA
  • Mick Debenham – LRTAV
  • Trevor Solly – LRTAV
  • Robert Hodge – LRTAV
  • Mathew Munro – ALRTA Secretariat

It is fair to say that the holistic approach to effluent management in Waikato is light years ahead of Australia.  There is one operational roadside facility already in place, 10 more in development, plus several others at saleyards and processors that are open for public use.

Capturing effluent in disposal facilities is only one part of the problem – what then do you do with it?  There is a variety of approaches in NZ including connection to urban sewage systems, irrigation and vermiculture – we will get to see this in practice.

The ultimate aim of the study tour is to develop a business case to establish managed roadside effluent disposal facilities in hotspots around Australia.

In NZ, we will be meeting with key stakeholders throughout the supply chain who can tell us about data generation, site selection, construction, funding, maintenance, management, decision making, responsibilities, and perhaps most importantly, what problems we might expect here in Australia and how these are dealt with in NZ.

MINISTERIAL COUNCIL TO MEET ON 19 MAY 2017

ALRTA National President Kevin Keenan has accepted an invitation to observe the 7th meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council in Brisbane on 19 May 2017.   ALRTA will participate in a briefing shortly before the meeting.

FATIGUE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AGREED

The NTC Heavy Vehicle Fatigue Data Research Project Steering Committee met via teleconference.

The $828,000 project is a collaborative effort between NTC, NHVR, Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity, universities and industry.  The aim of the research is to assess the current fatigue framework with a particular focus on the increased risk (if any) of nose-to-tail shifts.

ALRTA is a member of the steering committee.  We have raised serious concerns about the proposed methodology for examining nose-to-tail shifts.  With the support of ATA representatives, ALRTA has consulted with member operators and supplied the steering committee with a detailed ‘real world’ shift scenario, plus an alternative research option that controls key variables and is therefore far more ‘research friendly’ than the original research proposal.

The steering committee agreed this week to adopt the ALRTA’s proposed methodology, and further consideration will be given to extending the research scope to include a ‘real world’ scenario.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ABOLISHES 457 VISAS

The Federal Government has announced that 457 visas will be abolished and replaced with a new visa with increased security checking.  The decision has been made to improve employment opportunities for Australians and increase vetting of visa holders.

This decision will have minimal impact on road transport because truck driving was not included in the occupation list for 457 visas.  It remains possible to bring truck drivers into Australia under labour agreements – this was an important arrangement for relieving skill shortages in some regional areas during the mining boom.

WHO IS IN CONTROL OF AN AUTOMATED VEHICLE?

Interested parties have been asked to make submissions about how the concepts of control and proper control in the Australian Road Rules should apply to automated vehicles.

The NTC has released a discussion paper, Clarifying control of automated vehicles, calling for input on the development of national enforcement guidelines to clarify if the human driver or the automated driving system is in control at certain levels of driving automation.

Chief Executive of the NTC Paul Retter said agreement on a position about the definition of ‘proper control’ is a fundamental step in preparing Australia for the safe deployment of automated vehicles.

“Our existing road transport laws are based on the principle that the human driver is in control of the vehicle. Vehicles with an automated driving system that can perform parts of the driving task challenge these concepts of control,” Mr Retter said.

“We need to arrive at an agreed position early to provide certainty for police and enforcement agencies.

“Agreeing on a nationally-consistent approach is also expected to provide more certainty for consumers, automotive manufacturers and insurers around the question of who may be liable for damages following a crash or incident involving automated vehicles.

“National guidelines will help ensure drivers are treated consistently in different parts of the country.”

One proposal in the discussion paper considers allowing a driver to supervise automated driving without needing to have a hand on the wheel for certain levels of driving automation. This would include introducing new indicators related to alertness and readiness to intervene.

The discussion paper explores three key questions:

  1. Who is in control of an automated vehicle – the human driver or the entity responsible for the automated driving system?
  2. How should the proper control test apply to the human driver in vehicles at different levels of automation?
  3. How should the proper control test apply to the automated driving system when it is engaged?

Submissions for this discussion paper are open until 4pm Friday, 2 June 2017 via the NTC website.

Feedback from this consultation will inform the development of national enforcement guidelines which will be presented to transport ministers in November 2017.

DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR NATIONAL TRUCKING AWARDS

ATA has extended the deadline for the nominations to be made for the National Trucking Industry Awards 2017.  The new closing dates is now Friday, 5 May 2017.

The categories are:

  • Outstanding Contribution to the Trucking Industry
  • National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year
  • National Professional Driver of the Year
  • National Training Excellence Award

The awards will be presented at Trucking Australia 2017 21-23 June, at the Darwin Convention Centre during the Gala Dinner on the Foundation Sponsors Day.

Click here for more information.

ALRTA RECRUITMENT

ALRTA interviewed applicants for the National Marketing Officer position this week.  We have decided on a preferred applicant and hope to make an announcement soon.

MEETING NOTICE: ALRTA NATIONAL COUNCIL

Members are advised that the ALRTA will be holding a Council meeting in Brisbane on Wednesday, 24 May 2017.  Details are:

Start: 11:00am
Close: 5:00pm
Location: BP Australia, 572 Curtin Avenue East, EAGLE FARM QLD 4009

For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.

NO NEWSLETTER NEXT WEEK

I will be unable to write up a newsletter next week while on tour in NZ.  Look out for the ‘NZ Special’ News in the week following.

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