ALRTA News – 28 July 2017

NATIONAL HARMONISATION PROGRAM

The NHVR has met with industry representatives in Canberra to provide a briefing on the National Harmonisation Program (NHP) which aims to minimise the compliance burden by reducing duplication and inconsistencies across state and territory borders.

Industry associations present included ALRTA, LBRCA, ATA, NatRoad and ALC.

The first phase of the NHP is aiming to develop:

1.    National HML Declaration
2.    Class 2 B-double Notice
3.    Class 2 Road Train Notice
4.    Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Notice

Currently, there is a range of different notices established across the HVNL States and Territories that include inconsistent definitions and conditions for routes, days, hours and vehicles.

Ideally, your vehicle should be able to enter a stated network type (e.g. B-double) in South Australia and then travel through each state all the way to the top of Queensland under the exact same conditions.

While this will be of benefit, it will remain the case that once your vehicle turns off the notice network, you will be straight back into the ‘last mile’ permit system and all of the inconsistencies that still persist across the various state and local authorities.

The NHVR has established a government-industry working group to consider options for sensible harmonisation.   ALRTA is represented by LRTASA President David Smith and LRTAQ member Mark Collins.

During the briefing, NHVR presented the preliminary results of the project.

There are many proposed changes in each notice category that will help to improve consistency.  However, it does appear that the application of IAP to HML is likely to remain at the discretion of each state.  While we have put many strong arguments to the NHVR to remove the IAP requirement, there is one jurisdiction that just refuses to listen.

The NHVR will be consulting on the final recommendations in the near future.

Click here to find out more about the National Harmonisation Program.

You may also be interested in checking out the NHVR’s new chart detailing 39 common heavy vehicle combinations with information about weight, length and class.

 

TRAVEL EXPENSES

Under Australian tax law, employee truck drivers who receive a travel allowance are entitled to claim a ‘reasonable amount’ on food and drink they consume while travelling – without having to keep receipts (Note: owner-drivers must keep receipts for all claims).

The ATO has recently issued a Taxation Determination (TD 2017/19) that substantially reduces the ‘reasonable amount’ from $97.40 per day to just $55.30 per day – a 43% reduction!

While the ATO has stated that stakeholders were invited to comment on the proposal, industry associations and unions are adamant that no consultation was offered.  The ALRTA is expecting the ATA and its level state associations to take up this issue on behalf of the broader road transport industry.

 

NATIONAL FREIGHT SUPPLY CHAIN PRIORITIES

The ALRTA has tendered a submission in response to the Australian Government Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities.

The Inquiry, to be assisted by a four member expert panel, will examine regulatory and investment barriers as well as opportunities to improve freight capacity and reduce business costs. The scope of the Inquiry is extremely broad ranging, considering road, rail, air and sea and how all of these interact, plus how multi-modal freight can best co-exist with passenger movements.

The ALRTA has recommended that the Australian Government should progress three priorities:

  1. Heavy vehicle charging and investment reform – including discontinuing overcharging and moving to independent charging decision making;
  2. Improving road service level standards – including establishing a special fund to immediately commence work on upgrading important regional freight and tourism routes and considering the need for managed effluent disposal sites; and
  3. Improving road access for high productivity vehicles.

USER-PAY DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

Following on from our meeting with JBS at Brooklyn last week, ALRTA representatives met with AVDATA this this week to discuss the technical feasibility of installing a billing and data collection system on a pivot access unloading frame.

In short, there will be some minor challenges to ensure correct installation on the new equipment type, but these can be overcome with a little creativity.  We are confident that the AVDATA billing system is technically feasible and will collect sufficient data to analyse productivity outcomes.

 

PACCAR PARTS COMES TO TOWN

ALRTA was pleased to welcome PACCAR Parts representatives John Everett, Trevor Dickson and David Soemali to our new office to discuss ways that we can further enhance our national partnership.

Over the course of the meeting and the dinner that followed, we talked about the innovative new communication strategies being explored by PACCAR Parts to engage with their customers.  Member-based associations like the ALRTA can learn a lot from what ‘big business’ is doing in the digital space.

PACCAR Parts is committed to continuing their support for our family of associations and we hope to announce exciting new benefits for our grass-roots members in the near future.

LEASING OF ALRTA BUILDING

Following the recent re-location of our National Secretariat to the ATA Building in Forrest ACT, we are pleased to advise that ALRTA has agreed terms to lease our previous office to a new tenant for three years from August 2017.  The agreement requires ALRTA to provide new carpet, new lighting and some basic furniture.  All upgrades were completed this week.

Income generated from the leasing arrangement will substantially offset the cost of our new office.

 

NOTICE OF ALRTA COUNCIL AND AGM

Members are advised that the ALRTA will be holding a Council meeting and AGM on Thursday, 10 August 2017.  Details are:

Start: 2:00pm
Close: 9:00pm
Location: RACV Torquay Resort, 1 Great Ocean Road, Torquay, Victoria.

For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

LRTAV Conference

The LRTAV Annual State Conference will be held 11-12 August 2017 at the RACV Resort in Torquay.

Check here for more information

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