ALRTA News – 25 May 2018

BILL TO PHASE OUT LIVE EXPORTS

Liberal Member for Farrer, Susan Ley MP, has introduced a private members bill into the Federal Parliament that would ban live sheep exports in the northern summer from next year and phase out sheep and lambs to the Middle East (or via the Middle East) within five years.

The bill also has the support of Liberals Sarah Henderson MP and Jason Wood MP.

Federal Labor has declared support for the bill.

It is difficult to determine how the matter may proceed from here.  The ALP is currently down five votes with by-elections to be held for members who have recently resigned due to the dual citizenship issue.  Even if all five are returned, at least another 5 votes will need to come from the cross bench or rebel Liberal MPs.

The Coalition Government also remains in control of deciding which bills are debated in the Parliament and could essentially prevent a vote from occurring.  But considering the MPs behind the bill are from within it’s own ranks nothing can be certain.

The Liberal MPs have however indicated that they will not cross the floor to force a debate on the issue.  Rather, they will use the bill to build support for their position.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Lisa Chesters MP (Federal Labor Member for Bendigo) is now calling for greater scrutiny of the domestic road transport supply chain.  Victorian Minister for Agriculture the Hon Jaala Pulford MLC has stated that Victoria would participate in greater sharing of incident data at the national level.

ALRTA National Council will meet to discuss these developments on Saturday 26 May 2018.

 

COR CHANGES CONFIRMED FOR 1 OCT

Reforms to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws will be implemented from 1 October.

Timing for the changes was confirmed by Queensland Transport and Main Road Minister Mark Bailey.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the start date for the reforms follows lengthy consultation and information for heavy vehicle businesses over the past 18 months.

“The NHVR has been engaging with many of the 165,000 businesses which make up the heavy vehicle supply chain, and conducted more than 100 workshops,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“October 1 provides the additional time that some sectors were asking for to prepare for the changes, particularly the agricultural sector.

“This change to CoR laws is a significant leap forward in recognising everyone in the heavy vehicle supply chain has a role to play in ensuring safety.

“The reforms complement national workplace safety laws, and place a positive duty-of-care on supply chain parties.

“Duty holders who assess their risks and manage them will be complying with both the HVNL and workplace safety law.”

The NHVR has information available including CoR Gap Assessment tools, role-specific fact sheets, Safety Management System templates and tools, and videos and podcasts.

For more information click here

 

CHANGES COMING TO REGO PLATES

Changes to heavy vehicle registration are being progressively implemented to benefit industry by introducing common practices, processes and fees, with the aim of making it easier and cheaper to operate by reducing cross-border red tape and fleet-management administrative costs.

For more information click here.

 

TOILETS, LIGHTS AND WATER ARE NOT JUST ‘DESIRABLE’

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has called for major changes to the guidelines for building truck rest areas as access to toilets, lighting and water have been classified as ‘desirable’, not a requirement.

“Our roads and rest areas are a driver’s workplace and we have little chance of resolving fatigue if drivers are not provided with basic human rights to get the job done,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said today.

The ATA was responding to an Austroads research report on updating the guidelines for truck rest areas. Austroads is a research organisation funded by the Australian and state governments.

“Access to toilets, lighting and water are a basic human right, yet the highest proposed truck rest area classifications only list these as desirable,” Mr Maguire said.

“These amenities are a requirement. No other workplace would compromise on these facilities, so why should drivers have to?” he said.

“Having appropriate rest area facilities for heavy vehicles is not optional. It’s not nice to have: it is a fundamental requirement and obligation for road providers and government,” Mr Maguire said.

In its response to the report, the ATA has made a number of recommendations:

  • Governments should provide truck rest areas every 20 kilometres, allowing drivers to comply with work diary rules
  • There should be no general and caravan parking in the truck section of any rest area, and this must be enforced
  • Specific engagement of women drivers should be undertaken on the provision of toilet facilities at rest area locations, and on whether these should be unisex or gender specific, and
  • Guidelines must prevent road agencies from temporarily closing rest areas to store roadworks materials.

“The Austroads report does not go far enough to acknowledge the need to treat heavy vehicle operators with respect, nor the important link these basic amenities have on the safety and wellbeing of drivers,” Mr Maguire said.

“There should be a strong set of guidelines, an independent audit on the current state of rest areas, and then a funded national plan from governments to address the gaps,” he said.

Mr Maguire recently spent a night at the Partridge VC Rest Area in NSW to walk in the shoes of a truck driver and experience first-hand what managing fatigue is like in a ‘best practice’ truck rest area.

“Spending the night in a rest area was my chance to better understand life on the road and the shortcomings of Australia’s rest areas,” he said.

“The amount of noise was far louder than what is acceptable in a normal workplace and the bathroom facilities were poorly lit.

“If I were a lone female truck driver pulling up for a rest, I would not feel comfortable nor safe using these facilities,” he said.

 

NEW REPORT CALLS FOR 24HR PERMIT APPROVALS

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has welcomed the focus of an Australian Government inquiry into national freight and supply chain priorities.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, launched the report at today’s ministerial Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting in Darwin. The report’s key recommendations focus on boosting productivity, improving road access and streamlining the permit approval process.

“The ATA welcomes the report, which shows that Michael McCormack and the Australian Government understand the importance of trucking and the need to make the road freight transport regulations more efficient,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said.

“The report supports the ATA’s calls for an urgent, independent and agile review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law, including road access approvals.”

The report recommends:

  • the streamlining and review of permit approvals, with the aim of reducing the approval period on key freight routes to 24 hours
  • improving road access and targeting investment to key freight routes and last mile access
  • the expansion of infrastructure investment programs to improve road access for high productivity and oversize/overmass vehicles
  • the reinvestment of road charges revenue to road infrastructure investments
  • better consideration of freight in urban and land use planning
  • improving infrastructure for regional supply chains, including sealing roads and providing mobile phone coverage and broadband.

“The ATA welcomes the Government’s commitment to improving our national freight and supply chains. This expert report will pave the way toward significant reform,” Mr Maguire said.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

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.

LRTASA Conference
Registrations are open for the LRTASA Annual State Conference will be held 15-16 June 2018 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

The weekend kicks off with a Golf competition at Adelaide Golf Links on the fringe of the CBD followed by pre-dinner drinks and dinner at the Entertainment Centre.   The Conference Sessions are on Saturday followed by a Gala Dinner (with entertainment by magician Matt Tarrant) and Auction.

Delegates will also enjoy the free coffee cart and the legendary crumbed lamb chops (seriously you need to try these).

Click here for more information.

LRTAWA Conference
The LRTAWA Annual State Conference will be held 20-21 July 2018 at the Light House Beach Resort in Bunbury.

Click here for more information.

LRTAV Conference
The LRTAV Annual State Conference will be held 17-18 August 2018 in Bendigo.

Click here for more information.

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