ALRTA News – 4 August 2017

ALRTA-NHVR SAFETY AWARD FINALISTS 

The NHVR-ALRTA Safety Innovation Award is a joint Government-Industry initiative that recognises and rewards rural road transport operators who have identified Heavy Vehicle National Law related safety risks and implemented successful, innovative control measures.

ALRTA President Kevin Keenan said that the national award highlights the shared interest of government and industry in improving safety and compliance generally, and encourages a proactive approach to safety across the rural road transport sector.

“We have had applicants from NSW, WA, SA, QLD and VIC. The great national representation illustrates a culture shift around the country towards identifying and addressing particular safety risks in their business,” said Mr Keenan.

“These finalists have identified a safety risk in their business and have implemented an innovation measure to combat this risk. We have seen some impressive results from such innovations and significant improvements to safety overall.

“The ALRTA provides support to our members through our state associations to ensure they are kept informed of any new legal standards and industry best practice. It is encouraging to see that operators are proactively adjusting their approach to risk management as the standards change.”

NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto says that safety is paramount to the NHVR.

“We want to encourage all operators to be proactive and responsible in doing everything they can to have the appropriate safety procedures in place.

“We are delighted to see that ALRTA members and the industry in general is embracing this philosophy,” Mr Petroccitto said.

The winner will receive a $5,000 safety development fund to encourage both individual and organisational continuous improvement in relation to safety. They will also be nationally recognised as the first recipient of the award and a plaque will be awarded to both the winner and their transport business.

The award will be announced at the LRTAV Conference 11 August 2017 in Torquay, Victoria.

The finalists for the 2017 ALRTA/NHVR Safety Innovation Award:

Athol Carter, Frasers Transport, QLD
Undertook a complete organisational safety review and implemented processes and training to improve operations where safety improvement opportunities were identified.

Dean Clarke, Hopkins Transport, NSW
Instilled an emphasis on correctly and consistently performing safe operating procedures through the roll out of an organisation-wide program.

Graeme Hoare, Martin Group, NSW
Introduced lower speeds set in speed limiter and GPS based alert system for speeding. Achieved 90% less speed occurrence since introduction of new systems.

Marcus Watson, Marley’s Transport, WA
Installed seeing machines to fleet vehicles identified as high risk. This influenced safer driving behaviour and reduced driver fatigue and loss of concentration on the road.

Peter Callanan, Shanahan’s Livestock Transport, VIC
Improved carrier-customer communications and expectations to more safely and better manage livestock loads and driver rest.
Ron Harvey, Dennis Transport, SA
Undertook extensive review into safety risks to improve safety procedures. Introduced measures to counter identified risks such as live fatigue feeds, GPS vehicle tracking, speed controls and safety refresher training.

 

LIVESTOCK AND RURAL OPERATORS GROUP

The ALRTA-NHVR Livestock and Rural Industry Operators Group met in Brisbane this week.  The group meets twice annually and membership includes the ALRTA President, Vice President and Executive Director, plus the Presidents of each of our six State Associations.

The IOG meetings are our best opportunity to discuss important issues in the presence of NHVR senior management and operational staff.  The NHVR CEO was present for most of the meeting which really helps to drive outcomes.

Major topics of discussion included: effluent, fatigue, local access, permits, the NHVR portal and National Harmonisation Project.

 

ALRTA-NHVR FORMALISE USER-PAY DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

While ALRTA was in Brisbane meeting with NHVR we took the opportunity to formally sign the NHVR Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative Funding Agreement that will enable us to carry out our user-pay PAL frame project over 2017-18.



Above: ALRTA National President, Kevin Keenan, and NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, sign the grant contract and discuss loading frames

 

CHANGES TO FUEL TAX CREDITS

From 1 August 2017, fuel tax credit rates increased for fuel acquired in line with fuel excise duty rate changes. Rates also changed on 1 July 2017 due to a reduction in the road user charge and an annual increase to excise duty rates on biofuels.

You can find the new rates here.

There are tools to assist calculating and claiming fuel tax credits:

  • Use the fuel tax credit calculator online or in the ATO app to save time. It will be updated with the new rates for August once they are in effect.
  • For businesses that claim less than $10,000 in fuel tax credits each year, use simplified ways to calculate fuel tax credit claims and keep records.

TRUCKCARE REBRANDED

TruckSafe, which is managed by the Australian Trucking Association, is changing the name of the TruckCare module to the Animal Welfare Module. The new name is being celebrated at a launch in Yass, NSW, on Tuesday 15 August.  Operators, media and other interested persons are invited to attend.

“The new name reflects the focus of this module,” said TruckSafe National Manager, Justin Fleming. “This module is all about animal welfare and is a quality and safety management system for livestock transport businesses, big and small alike. Accreditation by operators shows their commitment to industry best practice and their clients in all aspects of their business”.

The Animal Welfare Module, which is unique to TruckSafe, is the voluntary sixth step in the process to gaining full accreditation. To gain accreditation, TruckSafe members must first become accredited in the first five standards. These standards are:

  • Management
  • Maintenance
  • Training
  • On-road Compliance
  • Fitness for Duty and Driver Health

“Operators who have Animal Welfare accreditation will adhere to the strictest conditions for transporting animals and are operating at the highest standard possible in Australia. These operators have gone the extra mile to adopt a management system that assures their clients that procedures for transporting livestock exceed national minimum standards,” said Mr Fleming.

David Rogers, owner of DT Rogers Bulk and Livestock Transport, has been Trucksafe accredited since 1998 and gained Animal Welfare accreditation four years ago.

“Trucksafe’s Animal Welfare module reflects the challenges facing the livestock transport industry and being accredited reflects my commitment to best practice,” said Mr Rogers.

Operators who produce TruckCare certification are not accredited, as these are no longer valid. New Animal Welfare Module certification must be produced to validate accreditation.

To attend the launch, please RSVP to Kevin Walsh by 10 August at kevin.walsh@truck.net.au.

 

ATA SLAMS EPIC ATO CONSULTATION FAIL

The Australian Trucking Association can today reveal the epic size of the tax office’s failure to consult about its decision to slash employee truck driver travel expenses.

During the 2017-18 income year, the tax office will allow employee truck drivers to claim just $55.30 per day in travel expenses (excluding accommodation) without detailed receipts. In 2016-17, the amount allowed was $97.40. In the same determination, the tax office increased the reasonable food and drink allowance for comparable employees in other industries from $106.90 per day to $109.35 per day.

ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said that a check of ATA member associations showed that none had received the consultation paper that the tax office says it issued on 30 September 2016.

“Even the tax office has now admitted that it did not receive a single response from trucking industry associations in response to the paper,” Mr Crouch said.

“The lack of responses should have been a red flag for the tax office that something had gone wrong with its consultation process.

“One of their highly paid staff, who all receive travel allowance without needing to lodge receipts, should have picked up the phone, sent a follow up email or called a meeting. But nobody bothered.

“By sifting through the tax office website, the ATA has now located the tax office’s copy of the consultation paper that we didn’t receive.

“The paper does not provide any evidence to support the decision to slash the reasonable amount for truck driver claims. There are no statistics, case studies or references to relevant court or AAT cases.

“There are just vague assertions and a question, completely unsupported by evidence, about whether the truck driver rate should be set as a percentage of what is called the ‘other country centre rate.’

“If the ATA had been asked, and we weren’t, we would have said the percentage should be 100 per cent.

“The tax office should reverse its determination, rewrite its consultation paper to include actual facts and consult again,” he said.

Mr Crouch said the ATA was particularly disappointed in this epic consultation fail because the tax office’s work with industry was generally of a very high quality.

“The ATA has long been a member of the tax office Fuel Schemes Stakeholder Group. Its consultation with industry through this group has been exemplary, and as a result we have got some great results for trucking operators,” he said.

Read the tax office consultation paper that they buried on their website

 

SUBSCRIBE TO INDUSTRY NEWS SOURCES

There are several free subscription services that can deliver timely news relevant to your road transport business. Here are a few suggestions:

NHVR ‘On the Road’ Newsletter

NTC E-Newsletter

ATA Friday Facts

AUSTROADS

ATO

 

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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