ALRTA News 29 June 2018

REMINDER: EFFLUENT AND LOAD RESTRAINT

Comments on the NTC’s discussion paper on Effluent and Load Restraint close on Friday, 6 July 2018.

The paper proposes to:

  • Clarify the application of chain of responsibility duties for parties in the livestock supply chain; and
  • Allow for minor, incidental and unavoidable (in any practical sense) spills that do not compromise the overriding safety objectives of the load restraint options.

ALRTA is preparing a formal submission to the NTC and we also encourage members to write to the NTC in support of including off-road parties who prepare live animals for transport in the chain of responsibility and establishing a fairer enforcement environment for minor, incidental and unavoidable offences.

For more information click here.

Alternatively, just send a short email to NTC outlining your views to:  jthomas@ntc.gov.au

LIVE EXPORT LICENCE SUSPENDED

The Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has suspended the live export license of Australia’s largest live sheep exporter.

Last month, Emanuel Exports was served with a ‘show cause’ notice and responded with a 30 page statement.  The suspension was issued to Emanuel Exports pending a full review of the response and against the background of court action being undertaken against the Department by Animals Australia.

ALRTA understands that another large exporter has now also voluntarily discontinued operations due to the ongoing regulatory and legal uncertainties.

The immediate consequence is that 55,000 sheep that were due to be exported on 24 June have been left in limbo at Baldivis, WA.  The sheep are from more than 200 properties and cannot be returned due to biosecurity concerns.

A further 300,000 sheep that were expected to be exported over coming months may also be affected.

Other live export licence holders remain free to operate.

PROGRESS ON USER-PAY UNLOADING FRAME

A joint ALRTA-Processor-Designer working party met via teleconference this week to consider an innovative new design for a user-pay unloading platform.  The new design aims to overcome technical challenges at the host site that prevented the platform from pivoting outwards from a fixed point at the end of the ramp.

Participants considered a proposal to fully retract the entire length of the frame more than 5.5m from the truck and trailer.  The design includes sensors to auto-correct so that the frame remains parallel to the vehicle in both extended and retracted positions.

Agreement was reached to proceed with the new design with a target installation date in early September.  Stay tuned for more news in coming weeks.

LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY OPERATORS GROUP

The Livestock Industry Operations Group will meet with NHVR Executive in Brisbane next week.  The industry group comprises the Presidents of all ALRTA member states and meets twice annually.

Key among the discussions will be the recently announced review of the HVNL.  We will be exploring changes sought by the regulator and areas of common ground.  In particular, we are interested in:

  • Fatigue;
  • Access;
  • Accreditation;
  • Use of technology for regulatory purposes;
  • Enforcement approaches;
  • Penalties; and
  • Overall structure of the law and the hierarchy of sub-ordinate instruments.

Do you have any burning issue that you would like raised with NHVR?  Let us know before 5 July so we can raise it on your behalf.

ALRTA EXECUTIVE

The ALRTA Executive met via teleconference this week to discuss sponsorship arrangements, TruckSafe Board positions, a proposed copyright agreement with Standards Australia and property management issues.

The next ALRTA Council meeting will be held in Melbourne on Thursday, 16 August 2018.  Please contact the ALRTA Secretariat for details.

ATA OPPOSES WESTCONNEX ACQUISITION

The ACCC should not approve the sale of WestConnex to Sydney Transport Partners (STP), because in the long run it would push up truck tolls even further, the Chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Geoff Crouch said.

“Transurban is the majority interest holder in STP. It already holds, or has majority control of, 15 of the 19 toll road concessions in Australia,” Mr Crouch said.

In a submission to the ACCC, the ATA stated the proposed acquisition would reduce competition for the construction, ownership and operation of toll roads in NSW. The ATA said it would give Transurban an increased ability to secure new toll road concessions based on increasing the heavy vehicle multiplier on its existing toll road assets.

In Sydney, the NSW Government’s tolling principles require truck tolls to be at least three times higher than car tolls, and Transurban have demonstrated a willingness to use interstate truck toll multipliers as part of its case for increasing local multipliers.

“The 16,000 hardworking trucking businesses in New South Wales cannot afford the truck tolls they are charged now. The proposed sale would inevitably result in tolls becoming even higher,” Mr Crouch said.

“Motorists have the ability to hop on the train or catch the bus if they wish to avoid toll roads, but a freight transporter can’t strap their load to the back of a bicycle and hope for the best,” he said.

Mr Crouch dismissed the argument that high truck tolls simply reflected the increased road maintenance cost caused by heavy vehicle use.

“For a fully laden, six-axle articulated truck, the estimated marginal cost of road wear on an urban toll road is 16 cents per kilometre. On the M7, for example, the truck toll of $1.19 per kilometre is more than seven times the actual cost,” he said.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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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