ALRTA News – 15 December 2017

CALLING FUTURE LEADERS

The trucking industry faces great change. To deal with it, we need a new generation of industry leaders.

In conjunction with Daimler Truck and Bus and the Australian Trucking Association, the ALRTA will help deliver a career-defining professional development program to a hand-picked group of 18-40 year old trucking business owners and employees.

In 2018, the program will consist of:

  • Two days of intensive workshops in Canberra on 27-28 March 2018
  • A take-home leadership project
  • A digital check-in meeting
  • Participation in Trucking Australia 2018, to be held in Canberra from 18-20 April 2018.

Participants will:

  • Learn how government policy is developed and how businesses and industry associations can have an influence in an effective and ethical way
  • Learn how to handle media interviews
  • Develop a leadership project on a key industry issue with facilitation and mentoring from Wisdom Learning. Participants will present the results at Trucking Australia 2018.

Daimler Truck and Bus will pay the full cost of the program, including travel, accommodation, delegate fees and meals.

To apply for the ALRTA vacancy in the program, send an email office@alrta.org.auby 1 February 2017 with the following:

  • Your full contact details
  • Your age
  • The outline of a leadership project you would like to undertake.

Before applying, please check out the factsheet for details or visit www.truck.net.au/futureleaders

 

NATIONAL HEAVY VEHICLE CHARGING PILOT

The Australian Government has invited the heavy vehicle industry to participate in road reform trials.  Selected participants will be involved in a program to test a new charging system that would replace registration and fuel-based charges with a direct user charge.

The pilot will run until 2020 and enable operators to test and influence outcomes.

The first two stages of the pilot will be research-based, focussing on options development. It will not involve participants paying additional or alternative charges as part of the trial.

The Australian Government will also be establishing a business case program for location-based trials of distance charging for heavy vehicles.

Under this program, which will commence in 2018-19, the Australian Government would fund business cases for trials in specific geographical regions – where there may be an appetite by the heavy vehicle industry to agree to additional per kilometre charges, over and above what they are paying through the fuel excise system, where those charges are linked to specific benefits to the heavy vehicle industry.

The Australian Government has stated that reform of heavy vehicle user charging has the potential to deliver substantial net benefits for the Australian economy, estimated to be between $8 billion and $22 billion over 20 years. For more information visit https://infrastructure.gov.au/roads/heavy/charging-trials/index.aspx

 

EXECUTIVE ENDORSES GRANT TERMS

The ALRTA National Executive met via teleconference this week and agreed to apply for grant funding under the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).  Our application will propose that ALRTA, Queensland Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and the Australian Government will cooperate to build and operate a roadside effluent disposal facility on the Warrego Highway on the following terms:

  • TMR will contribute ‘in kind’ land and a ‘cash’ contribution towards road infrastructure
  • BBRF will contribute cash for specific infrastructure including grid, pipes, tanks, storm protection – and if feasible: de-watering plant & processed material holding areas
  • ALRTA will operate the site for a minimum of 3 years under an MOU with TMR
  • ALRTA will contract out effluent removal and maintenance services
  • An AVDATA system will be installed with costs recovered via a user-charge

The finer points of the application have been agreed after another round of meetings in South East QLD this week involving ALRTA, LRTAQ, TMR, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, civil contractors and five potential commercial partners.

ALRTA is now preparing the formal application for lodgement by Tuesday next week.  While the application is under consideration, ALRTA will continue to work with industry, governments and commercial partners to plan for the construction and operational phases.

 

LIGHTS ON THE HILL MEMORIAL

While in Gatton this week I stopped by the ‘Lights on the Hill’ Queensland Truck & Coach Drivers Memorial for drivers who have lost their lives while working.  I was the only one there and it was late in the day with various types of birds calling all around the nearby lake.

It was a moving experience being in the presence of the impressive monument and reading the stories and poems about the lives of individual drivers and the family businesses they often left behind.  Such things make me proud to be part of an association like the ALRTA that works so hard to improve safety both on and off the road.

 

CHANGES TO ROAD VEHICLE STANDARDS

The Australian Government has released exposure drafts of a package of legislation that will modernise the laws governing road vehicles when first supplied to the Australian market, along with a draft of the Rules to be made under the legislation.

This legislation will replace the existing Motor Vehicle Standards Act which has been in place for nearly thirty years and was written at a time when much of today’s vehicle technology was not available.

The new legislation, to come into effect from 2019.  The government has stated that the new laws will provide a modern, strong regulatory platform for vehicle standards that will better protect the community, provide more choice for specialist and enthusiast vehicles and be responsive to emerging technologies.

It is anticipated that the reforms will save businesses more than $68 million a year in regulatory compliance costs—a significant saving on annual regulatory costs under the current framework which stand at around $250 million per year.

It will provide increased consumer choice through expanding and improving the pathways for importing specialist and enthusiast vehicles—including performance, low emissions, and mobility access vehicles.

The Bills will also give the responsible Minister strong powers to mandate the recall of vehicles if serious safety issues arise. The powers will apply to all road vehicles supplied in Australia, whether for private or commercial use, providing the Commonwealth Government with the necessary powers to uphold national safety standards.

The Road Vehicle Standards package of Bills and information on the consultation process can be found on the Department’s website at infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/mv_standards_act.

 

WA REGIONAL ROAD SAFETY PACKAGE

The Australian Government has signed off on its $44.2 million contribution to Western Australia’s Regional Road Safety Package, to be rolled out over the next four years in partnership with the state government.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the funding was part of the Australian Government’s $1.6 billion contribution to a $2.3 billion road and rail infrastructure package that would improve safety, ease congestion and keep the state’s economy moving.

“The 16 individual projects will include improvements to major regional routes such as the South West Highway, Boyanup-Capel Road, Indian Ocean Drive, Brand Highway, the Great Northern Highway and the North West Coastal Highway,” Mr Chester said.

“Through this package, we are committed to tackling dangerous roads across the state by investing in road widening, shoulder sealing, new overtaking lanes, intersection improvements and other safety upgrades.”

“The projects included in the package have been prioritised based on factors such as economy of scale, deliverability and cost effectiveness, with the Western Australia Government committing $11.05 million towards them.

“The various projects are progressing well, with a contract recently awarded to deliver the $11 million Albany Lake Grace (Chester Pass Road)—Amelup Curves project, which will improve safety and make life easier for heavy vehicle operators, benefitting the entire Great Southern regional economy.”

Project values range from $1.5 million toward the Goldfields Highway and the Great Northern Highway, to $11 million for curve improvements, intersection upgrades and two new bridges on Albany Lake Grace (Chester Pass Road)—Amelup Curves.

The various upgrades will be undertaken between 2017–18 and 2019–20. The Australian Government has committed a total of $44.2 million and the Western Australian Government a total of $11.05 million to fund the package.

 

SHARE THE ROAD THIS CHRISTMAS

Australia’s leading transport and logistics insurer, NTI, is urging truck drivers to stay safe by sharing the road and being aware of less experienced drivers this Christmas period.

NTI Chief Executive Officer Tony Clark said the company has seen a 3.7 per cent increase in the number of serious truck accidents over the past 12 months, as well as a 7.3 per cent rise in the total cost of accidents.

“The lead-up to Christmas is a very busy time with cars often travelling on roads the driver isn’t necessarily familiar with,” Mr Clark said.

“At the same time, transport operators are working hard to ensure shelves are stocked – this is a peak time for them.

“Fatigue, inappropriate overtaking, and underestimating the road conditions can all be a recipe for disaster. All drivers must be mindful of other road users and do their part to ensure everyone reaches their destination safely.”

Mr Clark also urged the trucking industry to step up over this busy time. “With greater congestion on our roads over Christmas, NTI urges our professional drivers to remain acutely aware of road conditions and the threat of less experienced road users as they deliver supplies for the Christmas holidays,” he said

NTI recommends motorists keep in mind four tips when sharing the road with trucks this Christmas:

  • Don’t cut in: Trucks are heavier than cars, so need more space when stopping. At 100km/hr a truck needs an extra 30m to come to a stop compared to a car travelling at the same speed.
  • Give trucks room to turn: Some trucks need extra room at corners, intersections and roundabouts. Trucks over 7.5m must carry a sign saying “Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle”. This means the truck can legally use two lanes to make their turn, and may need to turn left across your path to turn left.
  • Be aware of blind spots: Remember – if you can’t see the driver’s mirrors, he/she can’t see you!
  • Overtake with care: It takes about 25 seconds to overtake a large truck on the open road – a long time if you’re on the wrong side of the road. Make sure you have the time and clear visibility.
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