ALRTA News – 14 September 2018

 

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ALRTA WELCOMES RENEWAL OF 160KM NOTICE

The ALRTA welcomes the NHVR’s decision to renew the National Primary Production Work Diary Exemption (Notice) 2015 (No.2).

The ALRTA wrote to NHVR asking for the Notice to be remade in July 2018.  The Notice was due to expire on 4 October 2018.

The purpose of the notice is to extend the record keeping obligations ordinarily applying to a driver undertaking 100km work to the driver of a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle transporting primary produce between a primary production facility and a point of sale, processing or distribution (including return journeys) within 160km of the driver’s base.

The generally applicable 100km work diary exemption was originally designed to reduce the disproportionately high regulatory burden on ‘local’ drivers who travel short distances with frequent breaks during which they load or unload. This works well in urban areas relieving low risk drivers from many hours of ‘small entry’ paperwork every week.

However, a ‘local’ area in a rural setting is somewhat larger than urban areas because congestion is lower, speed limits are higher and the economic base is spread more broadly.

There is no evidence that the Notice has compromised safety standards and discontinuation would have been be a backwards step for regulatory consistency and fairness.

Broader application of the Notice in 2015 (a similar notice previously applied in NSW and QLD) was a shining example of how the NHVR can reduce regulatory inconsistencies between HVNL jurisdictions and remove unnecessary red-tape where appropriate.

LIVE EXPORT BAN DEFEATED

Here is a turn of events you may find hard to believe.

Back in May ALRTA reported that a private members Bill to phase out live sheep exports to the Middle East over a five year period had been introduced into the House of Representatives by Federal Coalition backbencher Sussan Ley MP.

The Bill was supported by Labor, the Greens and another Coalition backbencher, Sarah Henderson MP.  The Bill was not supported by the Coalition Government.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since this time.

Federal Parliament became obsessed with tax relief legislation leading up to the Winter recess and did not finalise debate on the live export bill.  When Parliament resumed, there was a leadership crisis resulting in a new Prime Minister and changes throughout the Coalition Ministry.

Sussan Ley is now the Assistant Minister for Regional Development Territories.

Sarah Henderson is now the Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services.

By convention, members of the Government Ministry may not ‘cross the floor’ and vote with the opposition without also relinquishing their position.

Earlier this week, the live export bill passed the Senate and was referred back to the House of Representatives.  Both Minister Ley and Minister Henderson voted against the Bill they had previously introduced and it was defeated 70-72.

Minister Ley and Minister Henderson released a joint statement concerning the vote:

Labor’s actions today were a disingenuous attempt to disrupt Parliament masquerading behind the cause of animal welfare.

The Private Member’s Bill to phase out long haul live sheep export that we introduced on 21 May 2018 is currently being debated in the House of Representatives.

As members of the ministry, it is no longer open to us to support any Private Member’s Bill or the Bill passed by the Senate today.

Combined with the advocacy from so many thousands of Australians, we are pleased that our strong stand so far and the Minister for Agriculture’s determination to hold the regulator to account has resulted in the shutting down of the industry’s biggest offender.

The impending release of the Moss Review provides the government with a further opportunity to impose tough new rules relating to live exports.

Our personal conviction on this issue remains and we will continue to advocate for a change in Coalition policy and for a phase out of this awful trade.

Just another week in Canberra!

LOCATION-SPECIFIC CHARGING TRIALS

The Australian Government is seeking proposals for Location-Specific Heavy Vehicle Charging Trials.

As part of a trial, participants would pay a charge in addition to registration fees and fuel charges in return for a productivity benefit on a particular route or network.  For example, a road might be upgraded to cater for more productive heavy vehicles.  Eligible vehicles would then pay a usage fee (essentially a toll) to recover the investment.

The aim of the trials will be to determine whether or not this type of arrangement represents a value proposition for all stakeholders and will inform decisions about whether or not to progress to wider implementation.

Proposals can be made by industry or local / state road owners.  Proposals will only progress to business case development if there is strong industry and stakeholder support.

For more information including how to submit a proposal, click here.

The closing date for proposals is 12 October 2018.

COR REFORMS PASS QLD PARLIAMENT

The Queensland Parliament has now passed the laws necessary to bring the full suite of chain of responsibility changes into effect from 1 October 2018.

The first set of amendments introduced the concept of a positive primary safety duty on all chain parties, removed the reverse onus of proof that presumed guilt rather than innocence and extended CoR to vehicle maintenance.  The bill that passed this week balances the overall package so that enforcement officers have the powers necessary to conduct investigations.

For more information on the changes click here.

RMS DROUGHT WEBSITE AND HELPLINE

NSW RMS has launched a dedicated website and helpline to assist operators comply with the changed rules for servicing drought affected communities.  Check out the links and number below:

GRAIN TRUCK MASS LIMITS

The Grain Transport Safety Network (GTSN) has published a truck chart to help growers, trucking operators and grain handlers understand mass limits.

The chart covers more than 95% of harvest and non-harvest truck movement types and can be edited so that individual operators can customise it to their specific requirements.

Download the chart here.

To provide feedback on the chart contact: enquiry@gtsn.com.au

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES IN RURAL AREAS

Do you ever wish your truck would drive itself for a bit?  Maybe just that last 30min home?

At 1pm, Tuesday, 25 September 2018, AustRoads is conducting a free webinar on Operations of Automated Heavy Vehicles in Remote and Regional Areas.

This webinar will consider challenges around the introduction of automated heavy vehicles to remote and regional areas and the opportunities for future use in Australia and New Zealand.

You will hear from international experts on:

  • cellular connectivity and digital infrastructure requirements
  • geofencing and managing access
  • physical infrastructure impact and requirements
  • platooning operations and technology advancement

Plus, you can join in a live Q&A with the presenters.

Participation is free, but you will need to register here.

KEY POINTS FROM SAFETY SUMMIT

The ATA and ALC have released a summary of the major issues and areas for further action arising from last week’s 2018 Supply Chain Safety & Compliance Summit.

These are as follows:

1.    End-to-end supply chain collaboration on safety is vital. More needs to be done to demonstrate that an effective approach to managing safety risks not only delivers better safety outcomes, but also greater efficiencies for operators and for customers.

2.    The Master Code is relevant to all parts of the industry, including smaller operators. ALC and the ATA should continue working to demonstrate how the Master Code embodies a practical approach to the management of safety risks, which will help demystify many of these issues for smaller operators.

3.    Increasing duplication throughout the auditing system for heavy vehicles is having a detrimental impact and must be addressed. Industry, customers and the wider community will be better served by a system that is less focussed on ‘box ticking’, and instead does more to embrace the practical, real-world experience of drivers in managing safety risks.

4.    Jurisdictional inconsistencies in the enforcement of CoR and the HVNL remain a significant frustration. Leading industry bodies such as ALC and the ATA should lead efforts to ensure compliance authorities understand how consignors and consignees are managing risks – and ensure those efforts are being recognised when it comes to enforcement.

5.    Executive level recognition of the importance of CoR will drive better safety. When a company’s leadership shows they ‘get it’, it drives cultural change throughout an organisation. ALC and the ATA can play a role in helping executives understand that demonstrating compliance with their safety obligations is not merely a legal requirement, but offers tangible business benefits.

6.    Statistics on heavy vehicle safety need to be presented more effectively. The tendency to assume that the heavy vehicle is at fault in every incident has a bearing on the industry’s social licence. Industry should work with authorities to ensure the statistics present a more accurate picture, and develop strategies to ensure passenger vehicles share the road with heavy vehicles more safely.

7.    There needs to be far more honest conversation about mental health in the industry. Driving is a solitary activity that necessitates a lot of time away from homes and families. Industry organisations need to work collaboratively on initiatives that remove the stigma around talking about mental health challenges. Developing programs that equip the industry’s workforce with tools needed to deal with mental health issues effectively must be a top priority.

8.    Improving technology should be embraced by all in the effort to save lives on our roads. This includes promoting much greater uptake of telematics, in-vehicle cameras and the development of consistent data standards that will promote enhanced safety right though the supply chain, assist with business management and promote better infrastructure investment (including rest stops).

UPCOMING EVENTS

ATA Technology and Maintenance Conference
When: 15-17 October 2018
Where: TBC
More information

ALRTA Council Meeting
When: 26 October 2018
Where: CANBERRA ACT

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