ALRTA News – 11 May 2018

HAVE YOU REGISTERED YET? LTAT CONFERENCE HOBART 2018

The Livestock Transporters Association of Tasmania (LTAT) Conference on Saturday 26 May 2018 in Hobart will tackle some of the biggest issues livestock carriers are facing in the island state.

What: Livestock Transporters Association of Tasmania (LTAT) Conference
When: Saturday, 26 May 2018
Where: RACV/RACT Apartment Hotel, Hobart

Register for the conference here: 2018 LTAT Conference Registration Form

More Information: http://alrta.org.au/about/events/

Keep checking our web page for more information including a detailed program over the coming weeks.

 

ALRTA BACKS CALLS TO PROTECT LIVE EXPORTS

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has backed moves by the Federal Minister for Agriculture, the Hon David Littleproud MP, to instigate a comprehensive review of the capabilities, investigative capacity and culture of the Australian independent regulator for live exports and the establishment of a whistle-blower hotline.

Chair of the ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee John Beer said that Australian livestock carriers lead the world in protecting the welfare of live animals during road transport and there is no reason why international shippers shouldn’t be held to equally high standards.

“Caring for live cargos is a necessary part of the rural road transport task that is under constant scrutiny by markets, governments and the community,” said Mr Beer.

“The footage shown on 60 minutes last month demonstrated that current practices, monitoring, reporting and penalties applicable to live export vessels are not always delivering the animal welfare standards expected by the community and the livestock supply chain.

“While official statistics show that the mortality rate of 3.8% on the particular voyage in question was not typical, this is no excuse and more must be done to make sure similar incidents do not occur in future.

“As a first world nation with modern values and an enforceable rule of law, it is important for Australia to play a leading role in improving live export standards.

“Over 130 countries around the world export livestock, but in establishing the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock and requiring that all exported animals be slaughtered in approved premises, Australia has gone further than any other nation to protect animal welfare.

“Asian and Middle Eastern markets simply cannot afford to substitute live imports with chilled boxed meat, nor does Australia have the capacity to supply it.

“We already have some of the world’s best live exporters operating in Australia, so rather than surrendering the live export trade to less regulated competitors, we must take a hard look at this incident and do what is necessary to lift our standards further.

“Other nations rely on Australia to supply food to their growing populations and our domestic livestock supply chain benefits from international trade.

“In 2017, Australia exported 2.8 million cattle, sheep and goats valued at $1.4b.  Independent research has shown that saleyard prices for older sheep would be around 18% lower without an export market.

“Live exports support more than 13,000 jobs in Australia, with wages in excess of $1b annually, and the vast majority being in rural areas.

“Domestically, Australian livestock carriers are subject to legislated Land Transport Standards.  Even so, our National Animal Welfare Committee has scrutinised our role in the supply chain and championed several important animal welfare initiatives.

“For example, we have published national guidelines for the safe design of ramps and forcing yards, worked with regulators to establish more flexible driving hours to deal with any animal welfare risk that might arise in transit, merged our truckCare animal welfare accreditation system with the award winning truckSafe system, develop a national effluent control strategy and established LivestockASSIST – a 24hr national hotline dedicated to coordinating emergency responses.

“Our association now has a holistic approach to promoting positive animal welfare outcomes that commences with pre-transit livestock preparation, through loading, transport, unloading and emergency responses in the rare event that things go wrong.  We have published our approach in a National Animal Welfare Policy.

“The ALRTA supports the calls by Australian farmers and exporters to urgently improve animal welfare standards, monitoring, reporting and penalties applicable to live exports.

“We should not back away from this problem and leave it to other countries to resolve.  Australia must identify the root cause of the issue and lead the way by putting the right type of oversight in place as soon as possible,” said Mr Beer.

 

FEDERAL BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS

It is Federal Budget week and with an election just over the horizon it has been a tax cuts and infrastructure spending bonanza.

Some of the highlights:

  • A $1 billion Urban Congestion Fund;
  • $3.5 billion for Roads of Strategic Importance to upgrade key freight corridors in regional Australia;
  • Continued funding for the Black Spot and Roads to Recovery programs;
  • Extension of the $20,000 instant asset write off for businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million per year;
  • Extension of the Taxable Payments Reporting System (TPRS) to road freight transport;
  • Businesses will no longer be able to claim deductions for payments to their employees such as wages where they have not withheld PAYG; and
  • New reforms to combat illegal phoenixing activities.

The ATA has produced an excellent summary of the 2018-19 Federal Budget that includes economic forecasts and details about announcements that may affect your business.

Download it here

 

ADMINISTRATION OF FUEL TAX CREDITS

Have you experienced any problems with the administration or processes associated with claiming your fuel tax credits?

If so, please contact the ALRTA Secretariat and let us know by 17 May 2017.  We have an opportunity to feed your issues into an upcoming meeting of the ATO Fuel Schemes Stakeholder Group.

 

HEAVY VEHICLE SAFETY TOOLS LAUNCHED

The NHVR has launched a series of tools to help heavy vehicle operators boost the safety performance of their business.

Victorian Roads and Road Safety Minister Luke Donnellan told this week’s MegaTrans 2018 launch that NHVR’s Safety Management System guidance material and tools would drive a positive safety culture across the heavy vehicle industry and provide a similar systems-based approach used successfully in maritime, rail, aviation and other industries.

“There were 211 fatalities nationally involving a heavy vehicle or a bus last year, including 44 in Victoria, so heavy vehicle safety is a priority for all Australians,” Mr Donnellan said.

“I’d encourage the heavy vehicle industry to look at the free Safety Management System guidance materials and tools available and how they can be used to help meet safety obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

“Adopting and actively using these will reduce safety-related incidents.

“The tools are free for all businesses in the heavy vehicle supply chain and provide a systematic, comprehensive and proactive process to manage operational safety risks.”

The resources include 10 guides and templates, fact sheets and an information book. Further guidance material will be released later this year.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the tools were essential components of a Safety Management System, including safety policy and documentation and most importantly safety risk management.

“A Safety Management System is also an effective way for an organisation to comply with the additional responsibilities under Chain of Responsibility laws in the coming months,” he said.

“Templates can be downloaded from the NHVR’s website to assist businesses to develop their own safety policy, risk management or incident reporting processes, as well as other essential activities.

“We know that heavy vehicle businesses are very diverse so one-size doesn’t fit all. The tools we are launching today and in the future are scalable and can be adapted to any size business.

“Simple low costs steps like appropriate safety training for employees – regardless of their role in the business – makes them part of a business’s safety goals and objectives.”

For more information on the NHVR’s Safety Management Systems visit www.nhvr.gov.au/sms

 

ATA SLAMS UNDER SPENDING ON REST AREAS

The Australian Government only expects to spend $46.4 million of its $60 million budget for truck rest areas and other productivity projects in 2017-18, the Australian Trucking Association can reveal tonight.

ATA CEO Ben Maguire said the figures, buried on page 30 of the Treasury portfolio budget statement, showed the Government needed to focus on delivering its budget commitments as well as announcing them.

“The fatigue laws require truck drivers to take regular breaks, but there still aren’t enough truck rest areas in the right places,” Mr Maguire said.

“When rest areas are available, they are, all too often, filled up with caravans. Their condition can be shocking.

“Over the weekend, I travelled from Dubbo to Melbourne with well-known drivers’ advocate Rod Hannifey. Rod pointed out the many areas where rest areas could have been built at low cost in conjunction with road upgrades. These opportunities were not taken.

“Rod also pointed out that too many rest areas do not include basic amenities like toilets, lighting, water and shade.

“Access to toilets, lighting and water are basic rights. Office workplaces, including for the ATA and government agencies, do not compromise on the provision of these basic rights.

“Our roads and rest areas are a driver’s workplace, and we have little chance of resolving fatigue if we do not provide drivers with the basics they need to do their job of moving Australia’s freight to homes and businesses.

“The Government’s own budget documents show that it expects to be $13.6 million behind on rest area spending in 2017-18.

“The Government needs to focus on delivering its budget commitments and fixing the real problems that Australia’s truck drivers face on the roads whenever they need to take a break,” Mr Maguire said.

 

PRIORITISE SAFETY & ROAD ACCESS IN $24.5B SPEND

The Australian Government should prioritise safety and road access as it rolls out the $24.5 billion in new infrastructure spending announced in the budget, the Chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Geoff Crouch, said this evening.

“The Government’s $24.5 billion infrastructure boost is great news for all Australians. It will build safer roads and deliver greater efficiencies through our supply chains,” Mr Crouch said.

“Whether it’s spending on road or rail, in urban or regional Australia, the projects will involve an enormous increase in construction truck traffic. These truck movements all need to happen safely.

“The Government announced this evening that businesses tendering for Commonwealth contracts of more than $4 million will be required to show they have a satisfactory tax record.

“The Government needs to go further. Businesses that work on Commonwealth funded projects should not just be required to have satisfactory tax records: they should be required to have good safety records and systems as well.

“Through our TruckSafe program, the ATA is working with the National Road Safety Partnership Program, the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority and others to develop accreditation standards for construction truck operators. These include side under-run protection, alert systems and mirrors to cover the front, rear and side blind spots of trucks, and better driver training.

“The Australian Government should mandate these standards for any major infrastructure project that it helps fund,” he said.

Mr Crouch said the Government should make road access for high productivity and oversize/overmass (OSOM) vehicles a key condition of its road funding to the states and local government, including under its new Roads of Strategic Importance (RoSI) initiative.

“Trucking operators that move oversize/overmass freight are in crisis because of the long delays involved in getting permits,” he said.

“It can take more than 80 days to get a permit to transport OSOM steel products on the Transurban tollways in Melbourne.

“A company seeking to move OSOM mining equipment from the Pilbara to Weipa waited more than 100 days for a permit to move the equipment by road through Queensland. In the end, the company transported the equipment by road to Darwin and put it on a barge.

“In total, trucking operators spend 4.5 million days per year waiting for approvals to move freight.

“The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is responsible for issuing these permits in the eastern states and South Australia, but it faces the same problem as our members. It has to wait endlessly for local authorities and other road managers to sign off on the permits. They can take as long as they want and there are no external appeals against their decisions.

“The Australian Government needs to attach conditions on its infrastructure funding to require local councils and the states to get their act together and issue permits in a timely way.

“The industry can’t wait any longer for this crisis to be fixed. The ATA’s members have raised it with us as a key concern; we have listened to their views; the Government needs to act,” he said.

 

AUTOMATED VEHICLES IN AUSTRALIA

If you have 5mins spare you might like to check out the short animation produced by NTC that lays out the steps being taken to prepare Australia for the introduction automated vehicles.

You can find the video here

TRUCK IMPACT CHART

The ATA has updated its Truck Impact Chart with the addition of a short 26 metre Type 1 Road Train (a potential PBS combination) in a A122T22 configuration (five axle semi-trailer towing a four-axle dog trailer).

The TAP continues to be the reference of choice when debating heavy vehicle access.

 

REGISTRATIONS OPEN: LRTAQ CONFERENCE

Registrations are now open for the 2018 LRTAQ Annual Conference to be held 1-3 June 2018 in Charters Towers, Queensland.

The event includes a welcome reception, transport forum, community breakfast, AGM, partners program and the legendary Bull Carter’s Ball.  There will even be pig racing (including a Calcutta) and a classic car display!

Click here for more information.

 

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