ALRTA News – 8 March 2019

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CONSULTATION ON EFFLUENT CODE  

ALRTA will host a workshop in Canberra on 28 March 2019 to progress the development of a Registered Industry Code of Practice (RICP) for ‘Managing effluent in the livestock supply chain’.

The project has been funded by the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative and will link with the already published Master Code.

ALRTA National President Stephen Marley said that the workshop is an important step in establishing a registered code.

“Management of livestock effluent on public roadways is important for protecting road safety, animal welfare, biosecurity, amenity, environment and business interests,” said President Marley.

“For example, livestock effluent is a primary vector for the spread of damaging pests and diseases such as parthenium, giant rats tail grass and foot and mouth disease.  An Australian FMD outbreak is estimated to cost more than $50b”.

“Last year, ALRTA consulted with hundreds of member operators at our annual conferences across six states and it is now time to consult with other parties in the livestock supply chain.”

“The primary focus of the RICP workshop will be to identify risks and controls that influence effluent loss from a heavy vehicle in transit,” he said.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said that industry codes can assist in identifying effluent control measures that are reasonably practicable.

“An RICP establishes standards and procedures for parties in the chain of responsibility to identify, analyse, evaluate and mitigate general risks associated with meeting obligations under the HVNL,” said Mr Petroccitto.

“When an individual, group or corporation adopts an RICP, they are proactively addressing their chain of responsibility obligations under the HVNL and creating the standards under which their risk management process should operate.”

“I understand that management of effluent in the livestock supply chain has been a difficult issue for many years. With the introduction of chain of responsibility primary duties on 1 October 2018 it is timely for industry to consider the extent to which each party can influence the risk of effluent loss from heavy vehicles on public roads, and importantly, identify practical controls that can minimise this risk,” he said.

Following the workshop, ALRTA will invite stakeholders to participate in an ongoing consultative process to further assist in RICP development.

ALRTA will shortly issue invitations to stakeholders from across the livestock supply chain.

For more information please contact ALRTA Project Officer, Sue Davies, on (02) 6247 5434 or project@alrta.org.au

REGISTRATION ENFORCEMENT

ALRTA and NatRoad have jointly written to NHVR to seek further clarification concerning the NHVR’s current and future role in enforcing compliance with heavy vehicle registration laws.

Our associations are concerned about persistent non-compliance with the conditions prescribed under primary producer vehicle registration schemes.  We are seeking the introduction of a nationally consistent enforcement strategy including guidelines for NHVR Authorised Officers.

The NHVR has previously advised that:

  • NHVR Authorised Officers are (and will be) empowered to enforce state based registration laws including applicable concession schemes and conditions related to those laws.
  • Registration concession codes will be recorded in the NHVR national registration database and Authorised Officers will have access to the database.
  • NHVR will develop training and guidelines for Authorised Officers that include guidance for registration concession and conditions.

However recent meetings with NHVR have indicated that some very senior staff believe that NHVR should have no role registration enforcement because it is a non-HVNL and non-safety matter.

In our view, the heavy vehicle registration system is at the core of NHVR’s enforcement function.  Registration information underpins the vehicle identification system which in turn supports permits, defect tracking, compliance history, risk-based enforcement, PBS, NHVAS – plus many other functions.

There are numerous references to heavy vehicle registration within the HVNL.  The HVNL confers powers on Authorised Officers to check registration (s520), suspend/cancel registration (s527), seize number plates (s551) and require information from registration authorities (s686).  Further, the Heavy Vehicle (Registration) National Regulation 2018 compels registration authorities to provide NHVR with registration codes and information about conditional registrations.

The heavy vehicle registration system is also an essential part of efforts by all Australian Governments to improve road safety.  Under the PAYGO model, the heavy vehicle registration system is expressed to be used to cost-recover spending on roads and regulatory services – two of the most important factors influencing road safety outcomes.

There is a timetable for enforcement services to be transferred to NHVR over the next few years.  This has already occurred in SA and TAS.

If NHVR will not be enforcing registration – then who is?  Industry and governments require certainty about responsibilities for registration after services are transitioned.  Maintaining the integrity of the heavy vehicle registration system is simply far too important to just slip through the cracks.

NHVR SEEKS AGREEMENT TO AG NOTICE

The NHVR has completed work on a new National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Notice and is now seeking agreement from local councils.

The Notice will harmonise state-based notices into a single national notice and update standards to make life easier for farmers, enabling them to move the majority of their equipment between farms and ensuring they can do business more efficiently.

It will provide farmers with mass and dimension exemptions, reduce the current number of designated agricultural zones to allow travel for larger equipment such as grain harvesters, simplify cross-border movements and improve operations across farms.

The NHVR will be seeking approval from around 430 road managers and conducting workshops to provide information and help key stakeholders to understand the changes.

Consultations will be held from 8 March to 5 April 2019.

The NHVR will be contacting all local government and road managers to inform them about the Notice and the approval process.

For further information, please visit: www.nhvr.gov.au/road-access/national-harmonisation-program/national-class-1-agricultural-vehicle-and-combination-notice

ROAD MANAGER HEAT MAPS

Have you ever wondered about the performance of NHVR and road managers in processing permit applications?  Well now you can check it out for yourself.

NHVR has published ‘heat maps’ for over 400 road mangers, utility providers and rail authorities showing the number of applications, number of days to respond and overdue consents.

Check it out here.

PRINCES HIGHWAY CORRIDOR STRATEGY 

Consultation is now underway on a ‘whole-of-corridor’ approach to the future role of the Princes Highway, including economic, social and environmental factors.


ALRTA understands that there are more permit applications for access to the Princes Highway than any other road in Australia.  That’s a pretty strong indicator that things can be improved.

An issues paper is available here.

Submissions are open until 12 April 2019.

REMINDER: ALRTA COUNCIL

Members are advised that the ALRTA National Council will meet in Canberra on Friday, 29 March 2019.

For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.

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