ALRTA News -1 March 2019

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CHAIN OF RESPONSIBILITY AT SALEYARDS

ALRTA has written to NHVR about the application of chain of responsibility laws at saleyards.

NHVR is conducting an internal review of the application of CoR laws at NSW saleyards.  The review was commenced in the wake of mass-related infringements issued to Forbes and Dubbo saleyards by NSW Roads and Maritime Service and changes to CoR laws that subsequently occurred on 1 October 2018.

The ALRTA has challenged the position of the Australian Livestock Markets Association (ALMA) that regulators should not apply the definition of ‘loading manager’ to saleyard owners (that do not also operate the facility).


Livestock saleyards are purpose-built facilities at which livestock are unloaded, sold and reloaded.   The infrastructure that comprises a saleyard is fundamentally designed to handle goods (in this case livestock) and accommodate heavy vehicles.

All professional livestock carriers would agree that the design, positioning, quality and availability (or absence) of livestock handling infrastructure at saleyards has a very significant influence on heavy vehicle unloading and loading tasks.   This includes direct on-site safety risks (such as slips, trips, falls, cuts, bruises etc) and on-road fatigue and mass risks (arising from slow loading, physical effort, frustration or poor precision).

In some cases, the installation of new infrastructure may be the best way to control known risks – particularly at major loading facilities where additional costs are reasonably proportionate to risk reduction.

It is important for NHVR (and other regulators) to understand that responsibility for the provision of saleyard infrastructure, including capital and maintenance budgets, rests solely with the owner of the facility (even when such decisions are made in consultation with the facility operator and/or users of the facility).

In our view, absolving saleyard owners from ‘loading manager’ CoR duties would have serious negative ramifications for the entire transport supply chain.

If this was to occur, it would be possible for unscrupulous entities to deliberately establish legal structures that separate the business of owning a facility from the business of operating a facility.

In other words, there would be a ‘safe harbour’ for parties who are more concerned about infrastructure cost than driver safety.  Transport operators could expect Infrastructure spending to decrease while safety risks increase – an outcome completely at odds with the ‘shared responsibility’ principle that underpins CoR laws.

The outcome of the NHVR review will have broad implications for the overall success of the long-awaited CoR reforms – not only at Australian saleyards, but at all distribution centres.

ALRTA trusts that NHVR will carefully consider these views as part of the review process.

INTRODUCING THE SHEEP COLLECTIVE

ALRTA is pleased to announce the formation of ‘The Sheep Collective’.

The sheep collective is a collaboration of exporters, importers, industry bodies and producers.  It’s about showing the care given to sheep in the live export process.

The care and consideration we have for our sheep doesn’t end when our sheep are sold.  That is why The Sheep Collective is so important. We are a team, we are a conduit and we are all responsible for making each stage of The Sheep Collective the best it can be.

There are many reasons why we export our live animals to other countries.  The Australian sheep industry has continued to grow since the first animals were exported more than 150 years ago.

The industry delivers an economic benefit to Australia and farming families averaging one billion dollars annually.  Today, nationally, our sheep industry employs more than 10,000 people, who in turn live in and contribute to the health of our country towns and communities.  Our own population simply is not large enough to sustain the sheep farming industry based solely on the local consumer market.

LRTAWA President Andy Jacob is proud to be part of the initiative.

Check out Andy’s video here.

WELCOME NEWS IN CRASH STATISTICS

The latest Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) heavy vehicle fatal crash statistics show that compared to 2017, there has been a 20.5 per cent decrease in fatal crashes involving heavy trucks, a 15.2 per cent decrease in fatal crashes involving articulated trucks and a 26.1 per cent decrease in fatal crashes involving heavy rigid trucks.

ALRTA National President Stephen Marley said that the significant decreases are welcome news.

“The Australian road freight task is continually growing.  There are more trucks on the road now than ever before,” said President Marley.

“Against this background, we continue to see a long-term downward trend in fatalities involving heavy vehicles.  This is a sure sign that industry and government road safety strategies are working.”

“While the latest statistics are welcome news, there is still more to do.  The ALRTA and our state associations will continue to push for better roads, sensible advances in vehicle technology, greater use of higher productivity vehicles, safety focused business systems, improved driver education and a shift to risk-based enforcement.”

LBRCA GAINS INDUSTRIAL SERVICE

The Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation NSW Branch and the Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association (LBRCA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding so that ARTIO NSW can provide industrial relations services to LBRCA and LBRCA Members.

Ms Coleman said the purpose of the MOU is for ARTIO NSW to provide industrial relations services to advance the interests of LBRCA through the provision of a broader range of services to its Members, to assist LBRCA in broadening its service offering to existing and potential Members and for LBRCA Members to view the services to be provided as a means of adding value to its LBRCA membership.

Mr McMaster said the MOU has an additional purpose of broadening ARTIO NSW’s service offering to a greater number of road transport operators conducting business in NSW.

Mr McMaster said services to be provided by ARTIO NSW to LBRCA include circulars, newsletters and the provision of editorial on an as needs basis.

“LBRCA Members will also have access to advice on any industrial relations matter and be entitled to attend ARTIO NSW events at ARTIO NSW Member rates” Mr McMaster said.

Ms Coleman said LBRCA will provide ARTIO NSW with a range of opportunities to promote its services, including a stand-alone page on the LBRCA website advertising ARTIO NSW’s services and a link to ARTIO NSW’s website.

“At LBRCA’s discretion, ARTIO NSW also has the opportunity to deliver a presentation at our annual conference or participate as a host at an industry roundtable session”, Ms Coleman said.

Ms Coleman and Mr McMaster said it is intended that the MOU will be reviewed to ensure it works in the best interests of both organisations.

The MOU also provides the opportunity for ARTIO NSW and LBRCA to work together where appropriate for the mutual benefit of the Members of both ARTIO NSW and LBRCA while also preserving the right of each organisation to advocate its own policy position on any issue where it believes it best represents its Members’ interests.

ATA ELECTION RESULTS

The winners of the 2019 ATA election are Frank Black (Arcidiaco) from Albert Park in South Australia and Angela Welsh from Blaxland East in NSW.

ATA returning officer Phil Potterton declared the results of the election today, following a 21 day voting period.

Frank Black (Arcidiaco) was elected as the owner driver representative on the ATA General Council. Angela Welsh was elected as the small fleet representative. They will each have direct input on Council matters and are eligible to join ATA policy committees.

The new representatives will take up their roles at the ATA’s 2019 Annual General Meeting, to be held in Perth on Wednesday 3 April in conjunction with Trucking Australia 2019.

ALRTA thanks outgoing ATA Council members John Beer (Owner Driver) and Lynley Miners (Small Fleet) for their passion and commitment in representing transport operators for the past two years.

FUEL RESERVE PLAN

Labor’s commitment to boost Australia’s fuel security would help protect the economy from international risks and uncertainty, the Chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Geoff Crouch, said today.

The ATA represents the 50,000 businesses and 211,500 people in the Australian trucking industry.

“Fuel security is critical to trucking and keeping the Australian economy moving,” Mr Crouch said.

“Over 75 per cent of non-bulk domestic freight is carried by road, making fuel security vital to local supply chains and the ability of businesses and consumers to buy and sell goods.

“Last year, the International Energy Agency reported that Australia is vulnerable to unexpected changes in regional demand and disruptions in supply.

“The IEA reported that our stocks are at an all-time low, do not meet our international obligations and limit Australia’s options for addressing a disruption in supply.”

Mr Crouch welcomed Labor’s commitment that it would, if elected, commence detailed consultation around the design of a government-owned National Fuel Reserve to boost Australia’s fuel stocks of emergency reserves.

“The ATA has been an advocate for returning Australia’s stock levels to international compliance, and we welcome Labor’s commitment,” Mr Crouch said.

“In the United States, Japan and Germany the government holds enough stock to meet their international stockholding obligation, and government action would be a big boost to securing Australia’s fuel security.”

Mr Crouch said the fuel emergency legislation also needed to be reviewed.

“The ATA has long argued that the fuel emergency legislation and guidelines should be reviewed to ensure that trucking businesses cannot be sued for prioritising customers in line with government policy during a fuel security emergency,” he said.

NATIONAL TRUCKING AWARDS

Don’t wait – it’s time to recognise those who have gone above and beyond to improve their workplace and contribute to the trucking industry.

The nomination process is simple and only takes a few moments.

Award winners will be announced at Trucking Australia 2019, with great prizes available, including international trips and cash prizes.

Nominate now: Outstanding Contribution to the Trucking Industry

Nominate now: National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year

Nominate now: National Professional Driver of the Year

Nominate now: National Training Excellence Award 

Nominations close on 8 March 2019, finalists will be announced 15 March 2019.

ALRTA is happy to assist with applications – Just tell us the name and we will do the rest!  Please contact Sue Davies on (02) 6247 5434 or project@alrta.org.au

REMINDER: NHVR COR SESSIONS

NHVR will hold another round of free CoR Information sessions between 27 Feb – 28 March. Sessions will be held in Goondiwindi, Melbourne, Cairns, Taree, Emerald, Bega, Swan Hill, Riverland, Portland, Sydney, Port Augusta and Tamworth.

Click here for more information.

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