ALRTA News – 10 November 2017

TRANSPORT & INFRASTRUCTURE COUNCIL

ALRTA National President Kevin Keenan observed the 8th meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Council (TIC) in Hobart today.

At the meeting, Federal and State Transport Ministers discussed a range of issues including road safety, national freight system, heavy vehicle regulation, automated vehicles, charges for 2018/19 & 2019/20 and longer-term charging reform.

Read the full communique here.

 

MINISTERS AGREE TO GOUGE $189M

Australian Transport Ministers have today agreed to over-charge the heavy vehicle sector by $189m in 2018/19 and 2019/20.  This comes in addition to $1bn in over-charging over the past four years.

The decision was made by the Transport and Infrastructure Council which meets twice annually.

ALRTA National President Kevin Keenan observed the meeting and afterwards said that he was bitterly disappointed by the decision.

“Today, Ministers have fully abandoned fair cost recovery principles in favour of yet another blatant opportunistic tax grab”, said President Keenan.

In 2014, the NTC discovered flaws in the PAYGO model and recommended that Ministers decrease registration charges by 6.3% and the fuel levy by 1.14cpl from 1 July 2014.  Instead, Ministers agreed to freeze total charges for the past four years to allow revenue and expenditure to realign.

“Now that a realignment of revenue and expenditure is finally within reach, Ministers have subtly changed the nature of the charging freeze to increase the amount of revenue over-recovered by $41m compared with a continuation of the current freeze”, said President Keenan.

“Given the very poor state of regional roads right across Australia it would make more sense for governments to even up the ledger by lifting expenditure on these vital freight corridors in the agricultural supply chain”.

“It should now be abundantly clear to every road transport operator, and the millions of businesses that rely on our services, that governments will choose revenue over fairness every time”.

“At this same meeting, governments have agreed to take the next steps towards implementing a forward-looking cost base.  This will now be a leap of faith too far for most operators who should be deeply suspicious of government’s underlying motivation”, he said.

 

NATIONAL RAMP STANDARD

The ALRTA National Council has agreed to submit a formal proposal to Standards Australia to develop a National Standard for the safe design of livestock loading ramps.


Photo: ALRTA Council meets in Canberra on 3 November 2017. 

In 2015, the ALRTA consulted with government regulators, the livestock supply chain and community representatives to develop and publish a national ‘Guide for Safe Design of Livestock Loading Ramps and Forcing Yards’.

While the guide has been referenced by several facilities and used by safe work authorities to better understand industry best-practice, drivers continue to report that avoidable safety hazards remain common place.

In June 2017, following an investigation into a ramp-related death, the Victorian Coroner has recommended:

  1. That Standards Australia consult with relevant stakeholders as to the feasibility and desirability of developing a single Australian Standard applicable to the construction, inspection and maintenance of livestock ramps and the induction to premises containing such ramps.

ALRTA strongly supports the Coroner’s recommendation as the logical next step for improving ramp safety and will submit a formal proposal to Standards Australia.  If the proposal is accepted, the ALRTA expects that Standards Australia will invite affected stakeholders to join a ramp standards committee.  The committee would consult broadly in developing a draft standard over the 18-27 months.

 

CHANGES TO PERMITS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) will process all heavy vehicle access permits in South Australia from 4 December 2017.

NHVR and the South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) have been working collaboratively for the return of heavy vehicle access permit processing to the NHVR.

DPTI currently process intrastate Class 1 heavy vehicle access permit applications and will transition this function to the NHVR on the 4 December 2017.

NHVR will then process all heavy vehicle access permit applications (oversize/overmass, agricultural vehicles and special purpose vehicles) that were previously processed by DPTI for travel within South Australia.

To apply for an access permit on or after 4 December 2017, operators need to lodge applications with the NHVR using the NHVR Portal.

NHVR will be assisting operators during the transition by providing training and information sessions on how to apply for a permit with the NHVR. To book to attend an information session or training session in South Australia, visit the NHVR website.

For more information click here.

 

NATIONAL MEMBER DATABASE

The ALRTA has commenced working with our state associations to develop a National Member Database.

Currently, each of our states operate their own separate database and will periodically supply certain information to ALRTA so we can communicate with you and understand your business.  While this manual process has served us well for the past 30+ years, we are a now living in the ‘information age’ and new technologies now exist to enable us to improve our data management.

Part of this process will require our national and state associations to agree on a common dataset. That means we need to collect the same information and make sure we all label it the same way.  Funnily enough, that is the very same process that the NHVR and state agencies are going through right now to develop a national registration system.

We are only in the early scoping phase so there are no changes that will affect you at this stage.

Down the track, you may notice some differences in the way our state associations collect information when you renew your membership.  Please be rest assured that your personal data will remain secure and used only for limited purposes to help us make your industry safe, sustainable and economically viable.

 

NTI ISSUES TRUCK SECURITY WARNING

Australia’s leading truck insurer, NTI, is urging operators to be extra mindful of vehicle and trailer security.

NTI’s data shows that November commonly sees an increase in reports of malicious damage, and theft from inside the vehicle.

“It’s unfortunate, but there are people out there looking to take advantage of hard-working Australians,” Mr Clark said.

“We urge all operators to be considerate of where they leave their vehicle unattended and of vehicle security in general.”

NTI recommends taking the following security precautions:

  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Try to plan your rest stops at designated, populated sites.
  • Lock doors and fully close windows whenever the vehicle is left unattended, eg. fuelling up or bathroom stop.
  • Store valuables and electronic devices away from being seen through windows.
  • Check the security of your load during every rest period to ensure nothing has been tampered with.

NHVR NEWS

The NHVR’s “On the Road” E-newsletter includes articles this week on:

  • Funding boost for heavy vehicle safety projects
  • Consultation on fatigue
  • Transporting loads safely
  • Oversize hay baler combinations
  • Truckie toolboxes
  • Chain of responsibility workshops

Click here for more information or to subscribe.

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