ALRTA News 6 July 2018

LIVE EXPORT FACTS

The National Farmers Federation, Sheep Producers Australia and WAFarmers have jointly launched a new web resource Live Export Facts which tells the stories of the people behind the industry.

Stories like that of Bindi Murray, a third generation sheep farmer from Woodanilling in Western Australia.  Bindi’s business is built on breeding healthy, content livestock.  Bindi is committed to working with Government and industry to ensure the animal welfare standards she deploys on-farm are guaranteed across the supply chain.

And the story of Andy Jacob, a Western Australian livestock carrier and LRTAWA committee member.  Eight five per cent of Andy’s business is generated through servicing the livestock export market.  He recently invested $400,000 in upgrading his fleet.  A ban on the industry would see his business model collapse and he believes, that of many other of the State’s carriers.


Photo: Andy Jacob – LRTAWA Committee Member 

While the uncertainty about the future of live exports continues we are seeing exporters like LSS voluntarily suspend Australian operations.  There have been no exports of sheep from WA for a month, animals are stranded near port, farmers income is reduced, work is drying up for carriers, new crates sets are being cancelled and there is sure to be broader ripple effects for rural communities.

Live Export Facts also explains the many important reasons why we export sheep, including for religious and cultural reasons but also to encourage the self-sustainability of our trading nations.

The new resources provide objective information about what Australia is doing to ensure animal welfare across the value chain including through the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL).  Australia is the only exporting nation whereby the entire export process from paddock to slaughter, is regulated.

It is hoped that the facts and information provided, will provide Australians with a more informed understanding of livestock exports; why the industry exists; its value to farmers and regional communities and the farm sector’s commitment to improving its operation into the future.

The industry remains committed to ensuring a future for sheep exports.  A future, that puts the welfare of animals first and that continues to contribute to the sustainability and prosperity of our farmers and regional communities.

LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY OPERATORS GROUP

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

The topics of discussion included:

  • NHVR position on effluent and load restraint;
  • HVNL review terms of reference;
  • QLD livestock loading scheme review;
  • Drought relief access for hay movements;
  • Off-road fatigue;
  • Safety management systems;
  • Heavy vehicle registration; and
  • Review of industry engagement models.

Discussions were lively and wide ranging.  There are many actions to follow up and we believe that both ALRTA and NHVR have a better appreciation of the fundamental flaws in the HVNL that should be addressed by the review.

NATIONAL ANIMAL WELFARE COMMITTEE

The ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee met via teleconference this week to discuss issues including:

  • ALRTA submission on effluent and load restraint;
  • National ramp standards;
  • Live exports;
  • User-pay infrastructure; and
  • Fit-to-load review.

The committee endorsed the ALRTA submission to NTC on effluent and load restraint which will be lodged today.  More detail about the submission will be in our newsletter next week.

NHVR TAKES CONTROL IN TASMANIA

From 1 July 2018, heavy vehicle on-road compliance and enforcement services across Tasmania will be undertaken by the NHVR.

As is already the case in South Australia, the NHVR’s Safety and Compliance Officers in Tasmania will have the authority to stop and check heavy vehicles, drivers and compliance with the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

They will be easily recognisable by their distinctive uniforms, badges and vehicles.

REGULATIONS, FEES & PENALTIES

A range of changes to regulations, fees and penalties came into effect on 1 July 2018.

Check out the NHVR On the Road Bulletin for details.

OSOM REVIEW

The trucking industry has welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement of a review into the process for issuing oversize/overmass (OSOM) truck permits.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael McCormack, announced the review last Friday.

The Chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Geoff Crouch, said the long delays in issuing OSOM permits were blocking growth and investment in the Australian economy, with trucks, goods and equipment tangled in red tape at the roadside.

“Trucking operators that move oversize and overmass loads – such as mining and construction equipment and material – need special permits to use the roads,” Mr Crouch said.

“But there are lengthy delays. We estimate that the trucking industry wastes 4.5 million days per year waiting for approvals.

“For example, it can take more than 80 days to get a permit to transport OSOM steel products on the Transurban tollways in Melbourne, because the Transurban and NHVR processes do not work in parallel.

“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 to Darwin by road and then barged it to Weipa.

“I want to thank Michael McCormack for recognising the importance of this issue and commissioning the review, which will be led by Pascal Felix, a former heavy vehicle regulator from Western Australia.

“It’s a great appointment. Pascal knows our industry and understands the government processes involved in issuing permits. He will be supported, as well, by an expert reference group that will include trucking industry representatives.”

Mr Crouch said the review showed the value of joining an ATA member association.

“The ATA and our associations, including the Western Roads Federation, NTRTAand the Tasmanian Transport Association, campaigned for this review because of the concerns raised by their member operators.

“If you want results, join an ATA association,” he said.

CONFIDENTIAL REPORTING LINE

The Australian Trucking Association has welcomed the establishment of a new reporting line that allows truck drivers and operators to confidentially report safety breaches.

Launched today by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), the hotline will receive and assess truck safety concerns to determine what action is required.

“This reporting line is welcome news for the trucking industry, as safety is everyone’s responsibility,” ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said today.

“Many employees and operators, if pressed to act illegally, are worried about losing their contract so they are afraid to report breaches,” he said.

Information and breaches that can be reported include:

  • an incident or situation that affects the safety of a heavy vehicle or its operation
  • a procedure, practice or condition that endangers the safety of a heavy vehicle driver, their passengers, other road users or the community
  • a procedure, practice or condition that leads to non-compliance with the Heavy Vehicle National Law

The Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting line is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and operated by Crime Stoppers Queensland.

“The knowledge that all reports will remain confidential should encourage more people to speak out and stand up for safety, without the fear of being punished,” Mr Crouch said.

“We know it happens. In 2012, for example, 17 per cent of trucking companies reported that their customers were likely to impose a financial penalty for late arrivals – a clear breach of the law.

“The first step businesses need to take if they are pressured to break the law is to talk to their customers about its requirements. The ATA/ALC master code of practice will provide customers and industry will clear guidance on how to comply,” he said.

Calls to the reporting line are free from any landline in Australia and some mobile providers.

To report a safety breach, phone 1800 931 785

NOTICE OF AGM & COUNCIL MEETING

Members are advised that the ALRTA will be holding a Council meeting and AGM on Thursday, 16 August 2018 at the Best Western, Airport Motel and Convention Centre, 33 Ardlie St, Victoria.

For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

The program and registration forms are now available.

Click here for more information.

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

Click here for a Delegate Brochure.

Click here for a Delegate Registration Form.

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