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ALRTA News – 2 March 2018

ALRTA MEETS DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

ALRTA has congratulated the Hon Michael McCormack MP on his election as Leader of the Federal Nationals and appointment to the positions of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.

ALRTA Executive Director, Mathew Munro, met with Deputy Prime Minister McCormack in Canberra this week to offer our support and cooperation on strategic safety and productivity issues.

Over two days this week, President Keenan and Mr Munro have met with eleven Federal Politicians as well as the Australian Livestock Marketers Association.  Our main topics of discussion were chain of responsibility, EWDs, mandatory ESC and effluent infrastructure.

Look out for a full report next week.

 

ENTER NOW! BP NATIONAL CONFERENCE PROMOTION: WIN $500 FUEL CARD

The ALRTA/LBRCA National Conference takes place over 23-24 March 2018 in Coffs Harbour.

This is your chance to attend Australia’s prime livestock and rural transporters conference. BP Australia wants you to get involved and are providing you with $500 worth of BP Fuel Vouchers to get you there. BP are supporting two ambassadorial spots for each member state to ensure that each state has the opportunity to attend and be heard.

To apply to be a conference ambassador, simply tell us in 25 words or less why you want to come to the conference.

Send your application to sponsors@alrta.org.au ASAP!

For more information about the conference please click here: http://lbrca.org.au/events/

Our Platinum Partner, BP is a long-time supporter of our industry and have played a critical role in helping us achieve ‘on the ground’ outcomes for our members. Please visit https://www.bp.com/en_au/australia.html to find out more about BP.

 

WORK BEGINS ON EFFLUENT CODE

The ALRTA met with the NHVR and ALC in Canberra this week to kick off our development of a registered industry code of practice for livestock effluent management.

Development of the ALRTA code has been funded by the NHVR and operator consultations will commence during a special session of the joint ALRTA-LBRCA National-State Conference in Coffs Harbour on 23 March 2018.  Wider industry consultation will occur over the remainder of 2018.

The Effluent Code will sit under the broader industry Master Code of Practice that is being developed jointly by ATA and ALC.  The meeting this week was an excellent opportunity to learn about how the Master Code has been developed and to ensure that it contains the necessary content to facilitate seamless integration with an Effluent Code.

 

CONSULTATION ON FUTURE CHARGING

The ALRTA met with the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities this week on plans for reform of heavy vehicle charges.

Australian Governments will conduct trials of an alternative charging system over the next few years, aiming to demonstrate that their intended ‘end state’ for direct user charging is feasible and has benefits for users and governments.

This was a rather enlightening meeting because it is now clear that governments have in fact decided upon a preferred charging system which ALRTA understands will almost certainly involve:

  • A mass-distance-location charging system for general road use;
  • A forward-looking cost-base so that charges are collected in advance;
  • Total heavy vehicle charges will be increased to build better road infrastructure that delivers improved safety and productivity;
  • Collected money must be spent on roads but with some level of cross-subsidisation to assist network building;
  • Lower tier rural and remote roads are unlikely to receive greater funding and will instead rely on ‘community service obligation’ payments to maintain a minimum standard;
  • An independent body will determine the total overall charge;
  • All participating vehicles will require a telematics system;
  • Supplementary local charging systems will also be in allowable. These will focus on payment for improved access.

ALRTA will participate in the first meeting of an Industry Advisory Committee on 20 March 2018 to shape the development of the National Heavy Vehicle Charging Pilot and Business Case Program for Location-Specific Trials.

 

PRIMARY PRODUCER REGISTRATION

ALRTA and NatRoad (with the support of LBRCA and LRTAV) recently wrote jointly to NHVR posing important questions about future enforcement of the conditions attached to Primary Producer Registration Schemes.   We also raised the matter at the NHVR Industry Operations Group and the top level NHVR Industry Reference Group.

NHVR are clearly taking the matter seriously and are investigating the current state-based approach to enforcement, including remedies that may be available once a national registration database is established and NHVR progressively takes on roadside enforcement across HVNL states.

While neither ALRTA or NatRoad are opposed to Primary Producer Registration Schemes when used as intended, both compliance and enforcement have been seriously lacking for many years.  Not only does this result in unfair competition with commercial carriers, but money that should be spent on rural roads is not collected and governments will eventually question whether or not the concessional schemes should continue (see article on FIRS below).

This week the ALRTA participated in a teleconference with AgForce (QLD) to discuss our position and consider how our associations can cooperate to improve compliance.  It was suggested that farmers would be more likely to comply if flexible registration options were available (e.g. being able to purchase 1 month rego via a mobile phone).  Queensland has recently removed a three month registration option and now requires a six month minimum.

Generally, compliance can be improved if regulated parties are given workable options such as that suggested by AgForce.  ALRTA and our state associations will continue to work with like-minded farming bodies to improve compliance and protect the concession for legitimate users.

 

GOVERNMENT TO CLOSE FIRS

The trucking industry will oppose the Government’s decision to increase the stamp duty burden on operators by closing the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme, the Chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Geoff Crouch, said today.

“The Government has today introduced legislation to parliament to abolish FIRS, which will remove stamp duty exemptions and increase the tax burden on the hardworking trucking operators who deliver Australia’s interstate trade,” Mr Crouch said.

“While the Government has proposed a one off stamp duty exemption for existing FIRS vehicles, the exemption will not address the ongoing annual costs for operators who would normally register new vehicles in FIRS.

“The Government has estimated that the current FIRS stamp duty exemption saves trucking operators $6.2 million annually.

“Abolishing FIRS amounts to a $6.2 million annual tax increase on new heavy vehicles. As the Prime Minister says, if you increase taxes on investment, you’ll get less investment.

“Stamp duty is a notoriously inefficient tax, and the Government is effectively proposing to increase Australia’s reliance on older heavy vehicles, utilising older safety technologies and older emissions standards.”

Mr Crouch called on the Senate to refer the provisions of the Interstate Road Transport Legislation (Repeal) Bill 2018 to an inquiry.

“The Government hasn’t done, or hasn’t released, any modelling of the economic impact of closing FIRS,” Mr Crouch said.

“They don’t know the impact on the linehaul fleet, which supports Australia’s interstate supply chains.

“The Senate should refer the provisions of the Bill to an inquiry.”

Mr Crouch said that instead of closing FIRS, the Government should boost productivity by using FIRS to set the pace on reforming heavy vehicle standards and road access for high productivity vehicles.

“In the 1990s, FIRS had an important role in boosting productivity and road access for B-doubles for interstate trade,” Mr Crouch said.

“Today, there’s an opportunity for the Government to use FIRS to set the pace on prescribing suitable road networks for high productivity vehicles, which are safer, more productive, and reduce the impacts of trucks on roads and the environment.”

Mr Crouch said the planned National Heavy Vehicle Registration System would not be an effective substitute for FIRS.

“Although it has some welcome features, such as the elimination of truck registration labels, the planned system would not be national and would not address important issues facing trucking operators, such as stamp duty. The time to replace FIRS would be when there is a proper national system that deals with all these issues,” he said.

The ATA made a detailed submission to Government on the need to retain and improve FIRS.

The Federal Government has this week introduced legislation that will:

  • Close FIRS to new entrants and re-registration by existing FIRS operators from 1 July 2018.
  • Preserve provisions required to facilitate the operation of FIRS for a 12 month transitional period after closure to new entrants and re-registrants.

Close FIRS to all operators by 30 June 2019.

 

WE NEED CERTAINTY FOR BUSINESS PLANS

The Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA) has expressed deep concern over the call by Labor’s left to remove all tax cuts for small business if they win government at the next election, as reported in recent media.

Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA, stated that “businesses cannot plan with confidence if they are not sure what the tax rules will be in twelve months time. These tax cuts are about employment, businesses have been able to plan to employ more people or have the confidence to make casual staff permanent or part time employees full time.  Unless Labor can come out and guarantee the tax cuts will remain then confidence in employing will drop.”

Mr Strong continued “we have previously expressed concern about political parties playing games with the tax system. In the first Hockey budget in 2013 the government back dated tax changes for small business and we rightfully expressed deep concern about that type of practice, it did not engender confidence from our sector.  While the next few Hockey budgets were very good for small business it is a lesson that should not be forgotten by the Labor left.”

COSBOA believes that the whole tax system needs to be reviewed and that in particular the GST and its rate and application needs to be discussed.  There is an opportunity to make the tax system fairer and productive rather than one that is confusing and impedes growth.

Mr Strong added ‘the Australian economy is in good condition and we need to keep it that way, our high wages and relatively low employment rate are under threat if we create uncertainty for the great group of employers and innovators who are the small business community.  The left wing of the Labor Party need to stop trying to stop change and actually work with it, otherwise there will be more poor people in Australia, which may just suit there need?”

“Any discussion about removing the already legislated tax cuts for small business is a slap in the face for all small business owners”, said Mr Strong.

“We call on Mr Shorten to immediately rule out any retrospective roll back of the tax cuts that have already been put in place for small businesses earning less than $50M per year”, said Mr Strong.

To not immediately do so would be to put the interests of big business ahead of the more than 7.5M everyday Australians who make a living by working in small business” Mr Strong said.

 

MEETING NOTICE: ALRTA NATIONAL COUNCIL

Members are reminded that the ALRTA will be holding a Council meeting on Saturday, 24 March 2018.  Details are:

Start: 8:00am
Close: 1:00pm
Location: Opal Cove Resort, Coffs Harbor

For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.

 

NATIONAL-STATE CONFERENCE 2018

The LBRCA and ALRTA are delighted to invite you to Opal Cove Resort, Coffs Harbour on 23-24 March for our 2018 combined conference, which means that your voice will be heard louder than ever!

Register Today:

  1. Complete the registration form and return the LBRCA!
  2. Book your accommodation directly with Opal Cove Resort, quote LBRCA upon booking!

Further information is available from the LBRCA and ALRTA websites.

 

 

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BP 6 for 7 ALRTA Offer

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ALRTA News – 23 February 2018

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER TO RESIGN

The Hon Barnaby Joyce MP has announced that he will resign as Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Federal National Party and go to the back bench.

I am sure that you will read all about this in numerous other sources over the coming days, but from the ALRTA perspective, this will also mean that a new Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport will soon be appointed.

Stay tuned.

 

ALRTA SEEKS CHANGES TO NVD

ALRTA has written to Meat and Livestock Australia subsidiary ‘Integrity Systems Company Limited’ proposing important changes to the information included on NVDs to enable chain parties to meet the requirements of the Australian Animal Welfare Land Transport Standards and Guidelines (Land Transport Standards).

Throughout the Land Standards, various sections make it clear that all ‘persons in charge’ in the livestock supply chain share responsibility for ensuring that appropriate feed and water curfews are applied prior to transport, and that relevant information is communicated to ensure that maximum time off water limits are not exceeded.

Successful management of total time off feed or water is only possible when the consignor, transporter and consignee all have access to reliable information.  The current version of the PigPass NVD already caters for such information to be recorded.

Given that a Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) NVD is required for all movements of cattle, goats, sheep and lambs (including property to property, through saleyards, direct to processors, feedlots and the live export trade), this declaration is the obvious place to include curfew information for these species.

While the ALRTA acknowledges that the current NVD for Sheep and Lambs does already record ‘Hours off feed and water before transporting’, this current format is not sufficient.

Firstly, it does not separate feed and water, and secondly, chain parties cannot account for any delays that may have occurred during loading, transport or unloading when attempting to calculate total time off feed and water over a journey.

The ALRTA has recommended that all LPA NVDs adopt the same format for recording feed and water curfews as the equivalent PigPass NVD.

MEETING NOTICE: ALRTA NATIONAL COUNCIL

Members are advised that the ALRTA will be holding a Council meeting on Saturday, 24 March 2018.  Details are:

Start: 8:00am
Close: 1:00pm
Location: Opal Cove Resort, Coffs Harbor

For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.

 

ATA COUNCIL

The ATA Council held the first meeting of 2018 in Canberra this week. The livestock and rural sector had strong representation at the meeting via:

  • ATA Vice Chair – David Smith (LRTASA);
  • Small Fleet Representative – Lynley Miners (LBRCA);
  • Owner Driver Representative – John Beer (LRTAV); and
  • ALRTA Executive Director – Mathew Munro.

Photo (L-R): John Beer, David Smith & Lynley Miners.

It is only early in 2018 but already there are multiple highly charged issues on the agenda.

The recent spike in fatalities involving trucks in NSW has provoked an enormous level of discussion across industry, government and the community.  The ATA Council meeting was no exception with plenty of opinions on causes and solutions expressed.

The CEO of the NHVR, Sal Petroccitto, addressed the ATA Council and was involved in robust discussions about the proposed framework for recognising EWDs as a voluntary alternative to a written work diary. It is fair to say that there are polarised opinions on this issue as well.

The meeting also considered charging reform, the draft report on national supply chain priorities and the draft Master Code of Practice.

All in all, this was one of most important meetings of the ATA Council since the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal crisis.

 

ANIMAL WELFARE COMMITTEE

The ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee met via teleconference to discuss progress on our four major projects plus several other issues such as working dogs, RSPCA approved farming standards and saleyard conditions.  Here is a brief update on our major projects:

  1. National Ramp Standards: In response to our letter proposing to establish a national standard, we have received written support from key stakeholders representing equipment suppliers, supply chain parties, community and government.  We have now submitted a formal application to Standards Australia and hope to see work commence in 2018.
  2. User-Pay PAL Frame Trial: A large processor has agreed to host the trial.  We have inspected the site, agreed an action plan, locked in timeframes and paid a deposit to manufacture and deliver a ProWay Pivot Access Landing Frame to the site.  We look forward to revealing to site location soon.
  3. Roadside Effluent Disposal: ALRTA submitted a grant application to the Australian Government Building Better Regions Fund in December 2017 which has now been accepted and will progress to merits review.  This week we made a similar application under the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative 2018-19.

Code of Practice: ALRTA formally commenced development of an industry code of practice for effluent management last week.  Next week we will meet with the NHVR and the Project Manager for the industry Master Code which is currently under development. Member consultation will commence at the joint ALRTA-LBRCA State-National Conference in Coffs Harbor on 23 March 2018.  Why not register to attend and have your say?

 

AUSTROADS FREIGHT TASK FORCE

ALRTA attended a meeting of the AustRoads Freight Taskforce in Canberra.

Austroads is the peak organisation of Australasian road transport and traffic agencies. Austroads members are collectively responsible for the management of over 900,000 kilometres of roads valued at more than $200 billion representing the single largest community asset in Australia and New Zealand.

The various members of Austroads are working on a wide variety of projects which are relevant to the livestock and rural sector including:

  • Community Service Obligations Framework for the Roads Sector
  • National Guidelines on Rest Areas for Heavy Vehicles
  • Local Roads and High Productivity Freight Vehicles Access
  • Operations of Automated Heavy Vehicles in Remote and Regional Areas

The meeting was a good opportunity to have input into the scope and direction of these projects so that they better meet the needs of industry and reflect the ‘real world’ operating environment.

 

ENTER NOW! BP NATIONAL CONFERENCE PROMOTION: WIN $500 FUEL CARD

The ALRTA/LBRCA National Conference takes place over 23-24 March 2018 in Coffs Harbour.

This is your chance to attend Australia’s prime livestock and rural transporters conference. BP Australia wants you to get involved and are providing you with $500 worth of BP Fuel Vouchers to get you there. BP are supporting two ambassadorial spots for each member state to ensure that each state has the opportunity to attend and be heard.

To apply to be a conference ambassador, simply tell us in 25 words or less why you want to come to the conference.

Send your application to sponsors@alrta.org.au by 28 February 2018.

For more information about the conference please click here: http://lbrca.org.au/events/

Our Platinum Partner, BP is a long-time supporter of our industry and have played a critical role in helping us achieve ‘on the ground’ outcomes for our members. Please visit https://www.bp.com/en_au/australia.html to find out more about BP.

 

 

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ALRTA News – 18 February 2018

THE BYRNE STAINLESS STEEL STORY 

 

Byrne Trailers have been at the forefront of livestock trailer development for over four decades.  Their innovative approach has been well received by the livestock transport industry.  Most livestock trailers today are either built by Byrne Trailers, or they look like a Byrne trailer.

But true to form, Byrne Trailers have not stood still, they have continued to listen to customers and their current offerings address one of the biggest enemies of livestock trailers – corrosion.

Byrne Trailers General Manager, David Byrne tells the Byrne Stainless story, “My first real job was in the steel industry.  One of the first things you learn is that all steels aren’t the same, and you need to be very careful to use the right steel for the job.  We have always known that customers need trailers that are more resistant to rusting out, and we were aware of previous unsuccessful attempts by other trailer builders to use stainless steel.  So we searched the world for a material that we could stand behind when we used it to build our trailers.  We found a Stainless Steel alloy that is as strong and ductile as the carbon steel we had been using for decades, but is 250 times more corrosion resistant.  That means it rusts 250 times slower.”

Byrne Trailers have been offering Stainless Steel trailers since early 2016, and most of the livestock trailers they have built since then have been with this latest material.  David continued, “Because we purchase the stainless steel from a first world country, the quality is spot on.  It complements the Byrne Trailers brand very well.”

Find out more about Byrne Trailers and their products here: https://byrnetrailers.com.au/

 

NHVR INDUSTRY REFERENCE GROUP

The ALRTA Executive Director attended the NHVR Industry Reference Group (IRG) in Brisbane this week.  This IRG provides top level strategic and operational advice to senior NHVR management.

The meeting discussed issues including EWDs, roadworthiness, chain of responsibility, recent truck crashes and enforcement responses.

The IRG also met jointly with the National Operational Strategy and Policy Advisory Group which comprises senior representatives from road agencies.

 

EFFLUENT AND ENERGY PRODUCTION

The ALRTA Executive Director and National Officer met with experts this week to discuss the possibility of using effluent captured at roadside facilities for energy production.

Our association is currently exploring all options for disposing of up to 2.5ML of effluent that we expect could be captured at our proposed site on the Warrego Highway  in southern Queensland.  We have applied for funding the build the site via a partnership between Queensland Transport and Main Roads and the Federal Building Better Regions Fund.

The site would need to be operated on a cost-recovery basis – so finding productive uses of the captured material will help reduce usage costs for operators.

Our initial discussions have indicated that the liquid component of the material should be suitable as biogas feed stock. Provided that this can be confirmed by testing, and if regulations do not prevent mixing of effluent sources, we are hopeful that we can further explore mutually beneficial arrangements with an existing energy producer.

 

NEW ROLLER BRAKE TEST

New roller brake testing procedures have commenced across Australia following industry-wide consultation into brake testing methods and actual vehicle brake testing studies.

NHVR Chief Engineer Les Bruzsa said the new procedure followed extensive consultation with manufacturers, Australian Trucking Association, Truck Industry Council, Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia and NSW Roads and Maritime Services.

“The national brake testing standard of 45%g, or 4.4kN/t, was released as part of the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual in 2016,” Mr Bruzsa said.

“The NHVR has worked closely with Roads and Maritime Services and the heavy vehicle industry to look at why some roller brake testing methods deliver differing results, when compared to other in-service brake testing methods.

“The working group has now developed the National roller brake testing procedure with machines used by state jurisdictions to be updated over the next 12 months.

“The working group has focused on identifying issues and delivering a robust procedure that will be effective for all vehicle types using current roller brake testing infrastructure.”

The new National roller brake test procedure will require software updates to roller brake test machines, with initial updates to occur over the next 12 months.

An initial three-month start-up period including information, training and minor equipment changes for state jurisdictions is underway.

Heavy vehicle inspections will continue under the current arrangements until May 1 after which all tests will be performed using either the National roller brake testing procedure or the Alternative phase in procedure.

For roller brake testing machines operated by accredited third party examiners (commonly known as Authorised Inspection Stations) machines will be updated as part of routine servicing over the next 12 months and the new national procedure adopted once the machine is updated.

The NHVR will continue to consult with relevant parties on the effectiveness of the new procedures. Additionally, the NHVR will assess new developments in technology as they become available to determine if further improvements can be made. For more information visit www.nhvr.gov.au/nrbt

 

 

NATIONAL TRUCKING AWARDS 2018

The ATA is now calling for nominations for the 2018 National Trucking Industry Awards.

These prestigious awards acknowledge individuals and organisations who have gone above and beyond in all fields of endeavour throughout the trucking industry.

Nominations are now open for:

  • Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry
  • National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year
  • National Professional Driver of the Year
  • National Training Excellence Award

The awards will be presented at Trucking Australia 2018, to be held from 18-20 April at the National Convention Centre, Canberra during the ATA Foundation Sponsors Gala Awards Dinner. The Don Watson Memorial Award and the TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award will also be presented on the evening.

Nominations close on 16 March 2018.

Nominate someone great

You can also join others from ALRTA and register for Trucking Australia 2018.

BP NATIONAL CONFERENCE PROMOTION

The ALRTA/LBRCA National Conference takes place over 23-24 March 2018 in Coffs Harbour.

This is your chance to attend Australia’s prime livestock and rural transporters conference. BP Australia wants you to get involved and are providing you with $500 worth of BP Fuel Vouchers to get you there. BP are supporting two ambassadorial spots for each member state to ensure that each state has the opportunity to attend and be heard.

To apply to be a conference ambassador, simply tell us in 25 words or less why you want to come to the conference.

Send your application to sponsors@alrta.org.au by 28 February 2018.

For more information about the conference please click here: http://lbrca.org.au/events/

Our Platinum Partner, BP is a long-time supporter of our industry and have played a critical role in helping us achieve ‘on the ground’ outcomes for our members. Please visit https://www.bp.com/en_au/australia.html to find out more about BP.

 

NTI ENCOURAGES PREPARATIONS FOR SEVERE WEATHER

While much of Australia is experiencing enduring sweltering heat and severe weather warnings, NTI is urging transport and logistics owners and operators to be proactive during this period by revisiting emergency plans.

NTI Chief Executive Officer Tony Clark says extreme weather can escalate quickly, so it’s imperative to have an action plan and to be familiar with it.

“Have a plan and make sure it’s communicated well across your people, so that when it comes time for action, it can be implemented without hesitation,” said Mr Clark.
“We see severe weather interrupt business productivity through destruction of transport infrastructure, vehicles, loss of freight and vehicles or whole businesses flooded.”

“Staying abreast of severe weather warnings like storm conditions and fire hazards, across areas of operation, can make all the difference,” he said.

“There are some great online tools and resources for keeping informed during weather events.”

For those on the road or in transit, NTI suggest keeping your radio on for the latest warnings and ensuring you have a safe action plan if driving or working in high risk areas. This may include, but not be limited to: broken-up roads, bushfires, sever rain and flooding.

In the event of continuing to operate in uncertain weather conditions, NTI recommends:

  • Arranging for regular, up to date emergency reports from a reliable source.
  • Making an alternative drive/travel plan which includes at least one detour to your destination.
  • Accounting for additional travel time if transporting time sensitive goods.
  • Devising an evacuation strategy for your people, equipment and stock.

NTI encourage talking to your broker regularly to ensure you have adequate cover.

From all at NTI and ALRTA, get home safe.

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