ALRTA NEWS – 28 September 2018


Representatives from LRTAQ and ALRTA (Ian & Fiona Wild, Graeme Hoare, Mark Collins and Mathew Munro) met with Transport and Main Roads (TMR) in Brisbane last week to discuss our partnership for the construction of Australia’s first roadside effluent disposal facility.

Now that ALRTA has been awarded $400,000 for this project under the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative we have a lot more to talk about!

Photo: Stock Effluent Disposal sign in New Zealand

The main focus of all participants was to identify potential sites along the Warrego Highway that are convenient for heavy vehicles, enable efficient use of existing infrastructure and avoid potential problems such as close proximity to houses or waterways.  While we have identified a preferred location, we are also exploring several secondary sites to keep our options open.

ALRTA has since supplied a package of technical information to TMR so that potential site designs can be overlayed on network and land use maps.  We will marry this information with data from the CSIRO Transit Model before making a final decision.

Once again, ALRTA thanks Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack MP, for supporting this important pilot project with a significant funding allocation.


While we were in Brisbane, our LRTAQ and ALRTA representatives also met with 22 supply chain participants as part of an historic roundtable on animal welfare and efficiency.

Photo: Supply Chain meeting participants

Given that the debacle with live exports in the west is occurring against the background of a worsening drought on the east coast, it is abundantly clear that animal welfare is by far the top priority across entire supply chain.

The meeting was an excellent opportunity for the road transport sector to contribute to proposed improvements in fit to load arrangements while also making our own presentations on ramp standards and effluent control.  The level of understanding and cooperation was very high and participants have identified several other issues to discuss at a future meeting with even more stakeholders to be invited.


ALRTA representatives have been invited to join 30 industry experts at a two-day NHVR forum to develop an industry-focussed strategy to address fatigue and drowsiness.

The forum will be held in Sydney 2-3 October 2018 and will explore concerns, proposals, company-level systems and technology.  Outcomes of the forum will inform the review of the HVNL.  Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack MP, will be in attendance to listen to the issues first hand.

In preparation for the event, ALRTA has held our own mini-fatigue forum via teleconference and 1 on 1 discussions have been held with large and small operators across difference parts of rural and regional Australia.

Look out for an update in the next ALRTA Newsletter.


Meat and Livestock Australia is undertaking a review of the Fit to Load Guide.

In response to submissions received (including from ALRTA), there have been revisions to wording and photos as well as outdated links to codes and laws. ALRTA understands that there also other specific changes relating to:

  • New references to effluent and curfews;
  • Severity of animal conditions (a greater range is now shown);
  • Bobby calves;
  • Firearms;
  • Inclusion of a Q&A decision support tree; and
  • Inclusion of general duties of care.

We expect to receive a revised copy for comment in the next week.  An updated final guide will be available in the 3rd week of November.


Former NSW Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, will Chair the NHVR Board for a three-year term from next month.  Gay will take over retiring Bruce Baird, also a former NSW Roads Minister.

At the same time former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Ken Lay AO APM, will replace current NHVR Board Member Vincent Tremaine.

Peter Garske will remain as Deputy Chair along with board members Coral Taylor and Robin Stewart-Crompton.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has said that further changes will be staggered over 2018-2021.


The NHVR has advised that NHVAS fees with increase from 15 October 2018.

In summary:

  • BFM: from $84 to $88
  • AFM: from $127 to $134
  • Mass / Maintenance: from $27 to $32 per vehicle

NHVR is considering increasing fees in line with inflation from 1 July annually.


As per the ALRTA Constitution, the ALRTA Executive elected at the AGM on 16 August 2018 will take office for a one-year term from 1 October.
Your National Executive for 2018-19 is:

  • National President: Stephen Marley (LRTAWA)
  • Vice President: Scott McDonald (LBRCA)
  • Vice President: John Beer (LRTAV)
  • Treasurer: Fiona Wild (LRTAQ)
  • Secretary: Grant Robins (LRTAWA)
  • ATA Representative: David Smith (LRTASA)
  • Immediate Past President: Kevin Keenan (LRTAV)

ALRTA acknowledges the excellent service of outgoing President Kevin Keenan over the past three years and congratulates incoming President Stephen Marley.  Stephen has been an excellent contributor on the ALRTA Council over many years and is a former LRTAWA President and TruckSafe Chair.

ALRTA also thanks outgoing Treasurer Ron Pattel for his enormous contribution in overseeing our association’s structural and financial reform process over the past six years.


Chain of responsibility changes will come into force in HVNL states from 1 October 2018.

The changes will align the laws more closely with workplace health and safety laws.  All chain parties will have a general positive duty to identify risks and put reasonable controls in place.

The provisions that currently ‘deem’ all chain parties to be automatically guilty of offences committed by drivers will also be replaced with a fairer assumption of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.  Members should however be aware that authorised officers will have enhanced investigation powers to gather evidence prior to charges being laid.

There are several ways that you can prepare for the changes.

The main thing to remember is that you should consider and document the safety risks in your business and implement controls to reduce these risks.  Once the new laws are in effect, it will no longer be acceptable to just take no action and hope you don’t have an accident – you can be held liable for not addressing your safety responsibilities even if an accident has not occurred!


Applications are now open for Round Three of the $641.6m Building Better Regions Fund.

During Round Three, $200m has been allocated with $45m earmarked for tourism initiatives.

There are two streams of funding available:

  • Infrastructure Projects: construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure that provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas.
  • Community Investments: community activities, new or expanded local events, strategic regional plans, and leadership and capability strengthening activities

During Round Two, $208m was offered to 136 new regional projects around Australia.  Some of the successful project applications were:

Upgrade and Redevelopment of the Inverell Livestock Exchange
The project will upgrade and redevelop the Inverell Livestock exchange to include a new amenities building for transport drivers, new undercover selling pens with soft flooring, upgraded weighing and animal handling facilities, new feed yards with feed bunks to improve animal welfare outcomes, expanded truck parking and decoupling area to improve heavy vehicle safety and driver fatigue and new truck wash down facilities.

Livestock Market Kiosk Upgrade
The project will refurbish the Singleton Regional Livestock Market’s Office/Kiosk building to improve the aesthetics of the building and make it more user friendly.

Roma Saleyard Multi-Purpose Facility
This project will build a multi-purpose facility including construction and fit-out of an interactive centre to showcase the livestock industry in the region of Roma.

Macedon Ranges Livestock Exchange and Truck Park – Stage 1
The project will upgrade the Macedon Ranges Livestock Exchange and Truck Park.

Applications Close on 15 November 2018.

Click here for more information.


The ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee met via teleconference this week.  Issues discussed included: ramp standards, effluent, codes of practice, live exports, under-pay infrastructure, NVDs and various issues at particular livestock depots.


ALRTA President Kevin Keenan and ALRTA President-elect Stephen Marley travelled to Canberra this week to transition leadership, meet with secretariat staff and plan activities leading into the next ALRTA Council Meeting in Canberra on 26 October 2018.


Members are advised that the ALRTA National Council will meet in Canberra on Friday, 26 October 2018.   For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.


The ALRTA is currently looking for a part-time Project Officer to join our team in Canberra.

The primary function of the role is to progress grant-funded projects relating to:

  • A user-pay unloading frame;
  • Development of an industry code of practice; and
  • Construction of a roadside effluent disposal facility.

The position will suit a highly organised individual with previous project management experience.

We are particularly looking for someone with knowledge of the road transport sector, agricultural supply chain, infrastructure construction/operation or government regulatory processes.

If you are interested, or know someone who might be interested, please click here for more information.

Applications close at 5pm, Friday, 19 October 2018.


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

ALRTA Council Meeting
When: 26 October 2018


There will be no ALRTA Newsletter next week due to planned staff leave arrangements.

The ALRTA Newsletter will recommence on Friday 12 October 2018.

Posted in ALRTA Council, ALRTA Weekly News, Animal Welfare, Chain of Responsibility, effluent, Fatigue, Fit to Load, NHVR | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on ALRTA NEWS – 28 September 2018

ALRTA News – 21 September 2018


From today, it will be easier for trucking operators to deliver hay and fodder to drought-affected farmers.

The Australian Government announced new rules for transporting hay and fodder today, which mean that hay and fodder trucks up to 2.83 metres wide and 4.6 metres high will no longer need permits on the state-controlled road network.

Trucking industry representatives joined the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in Royalla, NSW, this morning for the announcement of the new measures.

Photo: Prime Minister Morrison watches on as Deputy Prime Minister McCormack announces details of harmonised rules. 

The CEO of the Australian Trucking Association, Ben Maguire, said the existing rules for hay and fodder transport were all over the place.

“In NSW, the maximum allowed width for transporting baled or rolled hay to drought affected areas is 2.83 metres. In South Australia, it is 2.7 metres. In Queensland, it is 2.5 metres. Similarly, the maximum height allowed varies between 4.3 and 4.6 metres.

“The new rules will standardise the maximum dimensions for eligible vehicles at 2.83 metres wide and 4.6 metres high.

“The rules will remove the need for up to 6,000 consents per year and will save trucking operators and farmers the equivalent of 54,000 days per year applying and waiting for permits.

“It’s a great outcome that will make it easier for our members to deliver hay and fodder to Australia’s hard-pressed farmers.

“It was only possible, though, because the ATA and our member associations, and farm associations, worked closely together to pitch the case to governments for consistent rules.”

Photo: Prime Minister Morrison discusses the hay task with LBRCA Member Jeremy Taylor. 

The National President of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters’ Association, Kevin Keenan, said that removing regulatory barriers to the efficient movement of agricultural commodities by road must be a central tenet of improving Australia’s longer-term drought resilience.

“Australia is a diverse country that is highly reliant on road transport services,” Mr Keenan said.

“While the current drought circumstances in New South Wales and parts of Victoria and Queensland are at the extreme end of the spectrum, it is not unusual for there to be a mix of good and bad seasonal conditions across rural Australia.

“Today’s announcement will immediately reduce the cost of moving hay to where it is needed most while also reducing the risk of fines for carriers.

“The next step is for local governments to get on board as well, because the new notice only applies to state controlled roads,” he said.

The CEO of NatRoad, Warren Clark, said: “NatRoad is pleased with the Prime Minister’s announcement to extend the drought exemption to all states. This is a positive and necessary response to this unprecedented humanitarian emergency with the livelihoods of many Australian farmers at risk.

“In the lead-up to today’s announcement, NatRoad has strongly advocated for a harmonised heavy vehicle law across all states. We would like to thank the Government for listening. The exemption will help road transport businesses ensure that help reaches those affected by the drought when most needed.

“The steps show the government recognises the importance of the road transport industry in helping the farming community and we look forward to working with the government.”

Photo (L-R): Mathew Munro (ALRTA Executive Director), DPM McCormack, Bec Coleman (LBRCA Chief Operating Officer) and Warren Clarke (NatRoad CEO). 

The Chief Operating Officer of the NSW Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers’ Association, Bec Coleman, said “Today’s announcement will significantly improve access impediments, and remove unnecessary enforcement, that prevented the efficient and productive movement of supplies and stock to drought affected communities across NSW.

“The common-sense decision by the Australian Government will safeguard the future of many rural businesses across NSW and is welcomed by the LBRCA”, she said.

Exemption notice details


The ALRTA has submitted a response to the Review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL).    

The review is being undertaken by a Technical Advisory Committee made up of an independent Chair and experts in animal health, welfare, regulatory design and the livestock industry.

The ALRTA recommends that ASEL be revised to:

  1. Require that registered premises must consult with road transport operators to establish reasonable receival arrangements which might involve longer opening hours or spreading receivals over more days;
  2. Require that, by default, registered premises remain open for at least 18 hours on all stipulated receival days, including until midnight, and that sufficient artificial lighting should be provided during unloading if required; and
  3. Refer to the ALRTA Guide for Safe Design of Livestock Loading Ramps and Forcing Yards.

It is expected that the review will be completed by the end of 2018.


In response to correspondence sent to key Federal Members and Senators concerning live exports, Senator David Leyonhjelm (Liberal Democratic Party) has clearly outlined his position on the matter.

Senator Leyonhjelm is a prominent member of the Senate cross-bench and previously voted to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

The Senator has an equally sensible position on live exports.

Click here to read the position or click here to watch a video.


This week the ALRTA Executive Director joined LRTAQ representatives in Brisbane for a landmark round table discussion with key players in the livestock supply chain about improving animal welfare and efficiency.

Our delegation also met with QLD Transport and Main Roads to map out the next steps for establishing Australia’s first roadside effluent disposal facility in SE QLD.

Look out for information on these discussions next week.


The trucking industry faces great change. To deal with it, we need a new generation of industry leaders.

In conjunction with Daimler Truck and Bus and the Australian Trucking Association, ALRTA is calling for nominations for the 2019 Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders’ Forum.

The Future Leaders’ Forum will deliver a career-defining professional development program to a hand-picked group of 18-40 year old trucking business owners and employees.

The first ever forum was held earlier this year and was highly successful.

The ALRTA’s 2018 representative was Wade Lewis who over the past 12 years has been a driver, logistics manager, intermodal manager and trainer, as well as LBRCA representative to the NHVR and a member of the NSW Freight Connectivity Committee.

Wade especially enjoyed the exposure to politics, media training, constitutional lecture, networking opportunities and ongoing mentoring from Wisdom Learning.

In 2019, the program will consist of:

  • Two days of intensive workshops in Canberra on 12-13 November 2018
  • A take-home leadership project
  • A digital check-in meeting
  • Participation in Trucking Australia 2019, to be held in Perth from 3-5 April 2019.

Participants will:

  • Learn how government policy is developed and how businesses and industry associations can have an influence in an effective and ethical way
  • Learn how to handle media interviews
  • Develop a leadership project on a key industry issue with facilitation and mentoring from Wisdom Learning. Participants will present the results at Trucking Australia 2019.

Daimler Truck and Bus will pay the full cost of the program, including travel, accommodation, delegate fees and meals.

To apply for the ALRTA vacancy in the program, send an email to your State Member Association (LRTAQ, LBRCA, LRTAV, LTAT, LRTASA or LRTAWA) by 3 October 2018 with the following:

  • Your full contact details
  • Your age
  • The outline of a leadership project you would like to undertake.

Visit for more details including a factsheet with eligibility requirements.


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.


ATA Technology and Maintenance Conference
When: 15-17 October 2018
Where: Docklands, Melbourne
More information

ALRTA Council Meeting
When: 26 October 2018

Posted in ALRTA Council, ALRTA Weekly News, Animal Welfare, ATA, Drought, Farmers, LBRCA, Live Exports | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on ALRTA News – 21 September 2018