ALRTA News – 9 June 2017

APPLY NOW: SAFETY INNOVATION AWARD

ALRTA and NHVR remind members that nominations for $5,000 joint 2017 Safety Innovation Award will close on 30 June 2017.

More information and application forms are available here.

MORE POWERS FOR AUTHORISED OFFICERS

ALRTA is pleased to advise that Transport Ministers have agreed to strengthen investigation and enforcement powers for police and other authorised officers under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

Back in December 2016, ALRTA lodged a submission with the NTC that made 18 recommendations to make it easier for authorised officers to obtain information, ‘follow the chain’, prosecute across state borders, inspect suspect vehicle fleets, impose immediate injunctions (if required), share information across agencies, publish information about successful prosecutions and share information about driver offences with the owners of heavy vehicles.

Our position was developed after consideration of key issues at ATA Council, participation in an NTC workshop and input from ALRTA Executive and our State Associations.

In general, ALRTA favours stronger investigative and enforcement powers because of the impending shift to a new chain of responsibility regime in mid-2018.  This will establish new primary duties on all parties in the chain and a presumption of innocence, rather than simply deeming all parties in the chain guilty if a primary offence is detected on the road.

If we want chain of responsibility to work, then officers must have the right powers to make it work.

A draft bill be submitted to Ministers for consideration in November 2017.


BLACK SPOT FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Australian Government has been progressively announcing new road projects in various states under the $500m (over 5 years) Black Spots Programme.  On average, black spot projects reduce fatal and injury crashes by 30%.

The announcements include:

  • Western Australia: $6.68m for 34 projects.
  • South Australia: $5.47m for 24 projects.
  • New South Wales: $19.2m for 52 projects.
  • Northern Territory: $1.2m for 4 projects.
  • Queensland: $12m for 42 projects.
  • Victoria: $13.6m for 50 projects.

To find out about individual projects in your local area click here.

 

AUSTRALIAN SUPPLIER PAYMENT CODE

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has launched a voluntary Australian Supplier Payment Code that commits signatories to:

  1. Pay small business suppliers within 30 days (subject to conditions).
  2. Pay all suppliers on time.
  3. Provide clear guidance about payment procedures to suppliers.
  4. Work with suppliers to improve invoicing and payments practices.
  5. A process for resolving payment disputes and complaints.
  6. Basic reporting on company policies and practices in place to comply with the Code.

At this stage, the list of signatories to the code is limited and so the benefits to small trucking companies are also small.  However, in the absence of regulation requiring payment within 30 days, this is a commendable first step and we can only hope that more large companies will sign up.

 

CROSS-LOADING AT YORKEYS CROSSING

ALRTA welcomes the decision of the South Australian Government to upgrade the intersection at Yorkeys Crossing Road and the Stuart Highway north of Port Augusta.

The upgrade will include sealing of the road and the installation of purpose built livestock cross-loading infrastructure.  The cross-loading pods will provide a bridge between crates for both livestock and handlers so that cattle can be safety transferred from larger northern combinations to smaller combinations entering southern regions.

The SA Government is now seeking tenders to build the cross-loading pods.

 

$1M DONATION FOR HEART OF AUSTRALIA

ALRTA is pleased to report that the Heart of Australia mobile specialist clinic has received a $1m donation from a mystery donor.

Founder of the Heart of Australia service, Dr Rolf Gomes, was a special guest speaker at the joint ALRTA-LRTAQ National-State Conference held in Toowoomba earlier this year.  Dr Gomes delivered a moving address about how he turned his dream of providing cardiac services to patients in regional Queensland into a reality by establishing a 25m custom designed clinic-on-wheels pulled by a Kenworth K200 prime mover.

The donation will allow Dr Gomes to put a second mobile clinic on the road by January 2018.

You can help support the Heart of Australia service by clicking here.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

LRTASA Conference

The LRTASA Annual State Conference will be held 16-17 June 2017 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. The weekend kicks off with a Golf competition at Adelaide Golf Links on the fringe of the CBD followed by pre-dinner drinks and dinner at the Entertainment Centre.   The Conference Sessions are on Saturday followed by a Gala Dinner (with entertainment by the legendary Mick Meredith) and Auction.

Register here.

Trucking Australia Conference

The ATA’s premier annual event ‘Trucking Australia 2017’ will be held 21-23 June 2017 at the Darwin Convention Centre.  The program is a mix of entertainment and business activities featuring the Kenworth Legends Luncheon, chain of responsibility master class and the National Trucking Industry Awards.

Register here.

LRTAWA Conference

The LRTAWA Annual State Conference will be held 30 June – 1 July 2017 at the Light House Beach Resort in Bunbury.

For more information contact: admin@lrtawa.org.au

LRTAV Conference

The LRTAV Annual State Conference will be held 11-12 August 2017 at the RACV Resort in Torquay.

Check here for more information.

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ALRTA News -2 June 2017

APPLY NOW: SAFETY INNOVATION AWARD

ALRTA and NHVR remind member operators that nominations for the 2017 Safety Innovation Award will close on 30 June 2017.

ALRTA National President, Kevin Keenan, has encouraged applications saying that there are many safety-conscious rural transport businesses that deserve recognition.

“There are unique risks in rural transport that require unique solutions,” said President Keenan.

“We operate in unpredictable conditions, work in isolated areas and deal with a wide variety of very different agricultural materials.

“Over the years, I have seen practically-minded operators come up with just about as many solutions as there are problems.  They see a problem, fix it and just get on with the job.

“This award will recognise our operators and drivers who go out of their way to improve their own personal safety and that of their family, employees and other road users.

“I strongly encourage members to consider making an application on your own behalf, or to nominate someone who has helped keep you safe.”

Award Details

  1. The award is a joint initiative of the ALRTA and NHVR.
  2. Nominations are open to all livestock, bulk and rural financial members of ALRTA or affiliated State Associations.
  3. Only individuals can be nominated (the company will also be acknowledged).
  4. Applicants should demonstrate that:
    1. They have identified and controlled a safety risk in their road transport business or the supply chain relating to fatigue, speed, mass, dimension, load restraint, or vehicle maintenance.
    2. They have implemented an innovative control measure that has substantially lessened or eliminated the risk.
    3. They have a proactive approach to a safe work culture.
  5. Completed application form to be submitted to ALRTA by COB, 30 June 2017.
  6. Winner will be announced at LRTAV Conference on 11-12 August 2017.
  7. The prize will include a plaque, certificate and prize to the value of $5,000.

Application forms are available here.

HV CHARGES FROM 1 JULY 2017

Total heavy vehicle charges for 2017-18 will remain frozen at the current level.

Charges allocated to individual vehicles (and per litre of fuel) will decrease slightly because the total national charge is divided across a growing heavy vehicle fleet.

From 1 July 2017:

  • The Road User Charge (RUC) will decrease to 25.8 cpl (from 25.9 cpl).
  • Registration charges will decrease by around 1.5%.

Here are the 2017-18 registration charges for some common vehicles:

Vehicle 2016-17 2017-18
6 axle truck & dog (up to 42.5t) $3,128 $3,076
5 axle semi-trailer $6,334 $6,232
B-double $15,016 $14,776
Double Road Train $15,072 $14,832
Triple Road Train $16,868 $16,601

Table 1: Selection of HV Rego Charges for 2017-18.

INDEPENDENT PRICE REGULATION


The Australian Government has released a discussion paper on options for independent price regulation of heavy vehicle charges. ALRTA has argued strongly in favour of independent price setting for heavy vehicle charges as part of a previous submission on ‘Heavy Vehicle Charges – Options for improving the accuracy and stability of the PAYGO heavy vehicle charges methodology’.

To put this issue in perspective it is important for operators to be aware that:

  • The NTC independently reviewed the PAYGO system and recommended that governments decrease registration charges by 6.3% and the fuel levy by 1.14cpl from 1 July 2014;
  • Governments instead decided to freeze total charges; and
  • This decision has meant that governments are knowingly overcharging operators around $200m annually (a cumulative total now approaching $1bn).

The bottom line is that the current PAYGO cost-recovery system has been broken by the total lack of independence in the Ministerial decision-making process.

ALRTA will examine the options proposed in the discussion paper and put forward our views on behalf of livestock and rural carriers by the closing date of 14 July 2017.

You can find a copy of the discussion paper here.

REPORT: NATIONAL FLEET CONDITION

Australia’s first national heavy vehicle health check shows a sound performance by industry in maintaining vehicles, with some room for improvement.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the results of the National Roadworthiness Baseline Survey would provide further focus on inspection programs and help measure improvements in the mechanical condition of the heavy vehicle fleet.

“The survey covered 7,130 heavy vehicles between August and October last year. As a baseline of the fleet’s condition, the survey’s results will help the NHVR develop a national risk-based inspection approach to address high-risk components, systems, vehicles and operators. It will also help develop a consistent inspection approach,” Mr Chester said.

“We’re working in partnership with the NHVR, state governments, various state organisations and with the heavy vehicle industry to reduce road trauma. These survey results are a great tool for the NHVR to use to improve safety and efficiency in the heavy vehicle sector, which of course improves safety for all motorists.”

The report showed:

  • 7130 vehicles inspected, made up of 11,066 vehicle units
  • Younger vehicles were five times less likely to have a major non-conformity than vehicles 10-years and older, and 11 times less likely to have a major non-conformity than 13-year-old vehicles
  • 11 per cent of hauling units and about 14 per cent of trailers recorded a major non-conformity
  • 147 vehicle units were grounded, making up 1.3 per cent of the vehicles units inspected
  • brakes had the highest rate of major non-conformity, followed by steering and suspension, lights and reflectors, engines, drivelines and exhausts.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the survey results would allow operators to update programs to ensure they addressed high-risk components and systems that are regularly found to be an issue during on-road inspections.

“The NHVR wanted to understand the rate of major non-conformity. Where Authorised Officers found major non-conformities the majority were assessed as safe enough to continue their journey but required repair within a specified period of time,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“The rate of major non-conformities in the Australian fleet compared well to the UK which had a 35 per cent major non-conformity rate and to the US where about one-fifth of vehicles inspected are grounded.

“However, with the average age of the fleet at nine years, reducing the rate of major non-conformity in older vehicles will be an area of focus.

“Interestingly we saw a significant increase in the maintenance performance for vehicles in the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme.

“It is pleasing to see that the scheme is delivering and continuing to demonstrate the value it provides to fleet safety. It is evidence of the NHVR’s hard work in delivering improvements to the schemes operation.

“Another first was the use of the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual to provide nationally-consistent inspection standards. This consistency is something industry has asked for over many years and is a key objective of the Roadworthiness Program.

“I’d like to thank the 407 officers who worked 1049 shifts across 237 inspection sites throughout Australia to deliver this important national safety initiative.”

The survey will be used to develop programs using evidence and risk-based analysis of the survey data. Two such approaches will be a risk-based inspection and a consistent inspection framework.

There is also work being undertaken in the NHVR’s Roadworthiness Program to develop a national approach to the management and clearance of defects.

Further information about the survey results and the full report can be found here.


AUTOMATED VEHICLE TRIALS

The NTC and Austroads have jointly released National Guidelines for Automated Vehicle Trials.

The guidelines support state and territory road agencies in providing exemptions or permits for trials, and give greater certainty to industry on conditions for trials.

The guidelines aim to:

  • provide a more flexible mechanism than legislation to encourage innovation
  • provide certainty and clarity to industry regarding expectations when trialling in Australia
  • help agencies manage trials in their own jurisdictions as well as across states borders
  • establish minimum standards of safety
  • help assure the public that roads are being used safely
  • help raise awareness and acceptance of automated vehicles in the community

It is quite incredible how rapidly automated vehicle technology is coming along.  While I can’t see automated vehicles displacing drivers in the agricultural supply chain anytime soon (no computer can load livestock or yet navigate sketchy bush tracks), it won’t be long before you start seeing automated vehicles out there on the road with you.

Perhaps the day is not far off when you might load up, get yourself back to a main road and switch on the auto pilot?

Of course, that will then raise questions about whether cruising on auto pilot counts as work time or who is at fault in the event of an accident?  There are still lots of tricky questions to work though and trials are just the first step.

You can find a copy of the guidelines here.

FREIGHT AND SUPPLY CHAIN PRIORITIES

The Australian Government has commenced an Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities, releasing a discussion paper for comment by 28 July 2017.

The Inquiry, to be assisted by a four member expert panel, will examine regulatory and investment barriers as well as opportunities to improve freight capacity and reduce business costs.

The ALRTA Executive Director has recently met with the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to provide our preliminary views.  The scope of the Inquiry is extremely broad ranging, considering road, rail, air and sea and how all of these interact, plus how multi-modal freight can best co-exist with passenger movements.

ALRTA will consider the discussion paper and prepare a response that best promotes an efficient agricultural supply chain.

You can find the discussion paper here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

LRTASA Conference

The LRTASA Annual State Conference will be held 16-17 June 2017 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. The weekend kicks off with a Golf competition at Adelaide Golf Links on the fringe of the CBD followed by pre-dinner drinks and dinner at the Entertainment Centre.   The Conference Sessions are on Saturday followed by a Gala Dinner (with entertainment by the legendary Mick Meredith) and Auction.

Register here.

Trucking Australia Conference

The ATA’s premier annual event ‘Trucking Australia 2017’ will be held 21-23 June 2017 at the Darwin Convention Centre.  The program is a mix of entertainment and business activities featuring the Kenworth Legends Luncheon, chain of responsibility master class and the National Trucking Industry Awards.

Register here.

LRTAWA Conference

The LRTAWA Annual State Conference will be held 30 June – 1 July 2017 at the Light House Beach Resort in Bunbury.

For more information contact: admin@lrtawa.org.au

LRTAV Conference

The LRTAV Annual State Conference will be held 11-12 August 2017 at the RACV Resort in Torquay.

Check here for more information.

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ALRTA News – 26 May 2017

FUNDING FOR DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

ALRTA has welcomed the decision by the Transport and Infrastructure Council to provide funding under the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative 2017-18 to investigate the feasibility of user-pay loading and unloading infrastructure.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the program was one of 12 proposals approved for a share of the $3.9 million funding by the NHVR, supported by the Federal Government.

“Landings used for loading and unloading livestock can greatly add to the safety of operators, reducing falls and giving better access to the trailer,” Mr Chester said.

“Livestock is unpredictable, particularly when loading or unloading, and any sudden movement is a risk to an operator who is usually working at heights.

“This trial, proposed by the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) will not only construct and trial a Stock Crate Pivot Access Landing frame at a livestock processer, but also look at innovative funding options and how it might be rolled out at other locations across Australia.

“The rate of falls, injuries and even fatalities among livestock operators is too high and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this trial to improve both operator safety and productivity in the heavy vehicle industry.”

Chair of the ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee, John Beer, said that the ‘proof of concept’ project had potential to greatly improve safety and productivity in the livestock supply chain.

“Transport operators have to rely on other parties in the supply chain to provide loading and unloading infrastructure, such as livestock ramps and pivot access unloading frames,” said Mr Beer.

“High quality infrastructure can greatly improve safety and productivity for heavy vehicle operators.  However, economic self-interest usually drives infrastructure owners to provide only the bare minimum to meet their own operational and legislative needs.

“As a result, safety and productivity improvements in the road transport supply chain can lag decades behind what would be otherwise be possible if the costs and benefits of infrastructure improvements were shared more equitably across all parties.

“This project will demonstrate an innovative new funding mechanism that overcomes these market failures and incentivises rapid infrastructure improvements throughout the road transport supply chain,” said Mr Beer.

Project Summary

The project will:

  • Fully fund the construction of a Stock Crate Pivoting Access Landing (PAL) frame at a major livestock processing facility in Australia.
  • Install a billing, reporting, monitoring and access control system on the PAL frame.
  • Promote the voluntary use of the PAL frame.
  • Collect data to enable productivity and safety comparisons.
  • Examine transport operator ‘willingness to pay’ to use the PAL frame.
  • Consider the ongoing cost of administration of the user-pay system and physical maintenance of the PAL frame.
  • Consider if the system should be based on ‘cost recovery’ or whether it is feasible to accumulate surplus funds to incentivise additional infrastructure investments.
  • Examine supporting decision making frameworks for setting usage fees, rectifying maintenance issues and general management of the infrastructure.

At the conclusion of the project, ALRTA will deliver a comprehensive written report to industry and governments examining the feasibility of various options including recommendations concerning any potential for broad scale application of a user-pay model.

BRAKING AND STABILITY GUIDE 

ALRTA is pleased to advise members that a new ‘Guide to Braking and Stability Performance for Heavy Vehicle Combinations’ is now available.

The Guide was launched a special media event at the Brisbane Truck Show.

It was jointly developed by industry partners including ALRTA, ATA, Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association, the Commercial Vehicle Industry Association Australia, the Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia and the Truck Industry Council.

Speaking at the launch, proprietor of Stockmaster Transport, Mr Robert Cavanagh, said that the guide will be of great assistance to trucking businesses that need to mix and match trucks and trailers with different braking systems.

“Braking technologies are continuing to evolve and governments regularly revise minimum standards for new vehicles,” said Mr Cavanagh.


Above: Robert Cavanagh speaking at the launch.

“While professional operators regularly upgrade prime movers, trailers can remain in the fleet for decades.  This can create challenges when mixing old and new braking technologies.

“Understanding how the different technologies are expected to interact will assist operators in optimising braking performance, stability and maintenance outcomes,” said Mr Cavanagh.

ATA Senior Adviser of Engineering, Mr Chris Loose, said that understanding the Guide’s brake and stability ratings for trucks and trailer combinations with varying brake technologies is key to achieving best practice.

“This guide is a product of many hours of hard work, and is based on the collective experience of operators, suppliers, regulators and industry groups. However, it does not replace, vary or modify existing laws and regulations,” said Mr Loose.

“The guide aims to assist anyone who couples a truck and trailer in the Australian road and freight industries, but specifically directed towards operators and suppliers of heavy vehicles.

“It details valuable information on heavy vehicle braking systems, braking and stability terminology, understanding the performance rating tables, trouble shooting, modification and settings for trailer braking – as well as a general background on braking and stability.

“There are a lot of different kinds of vehicles and brake combinations on the market on Australian roads, and understanding their technicalities and their limitations allows everyone to operate more safely and efficiently,” Mr Loose said.

The guide is now available here on the ATA website.  ALRTA will send a hard copy of the guide to member operators with larger fleets in the next few weeks.

ALRTA TO SUPPORT MANDATORY STABILITY CONTROL 

The ALRTA National Council has resolved to support mandatory electronic stability control for all new trucks and trailers.

The decision was made at a general meeting held in Brisbane on 24 May 2017.

At the meeting, the Council considered predictions in road safety improvements, animal welfare, installation and maintenance costs, a large government survey of operators, expert opinions, operators testimonials and the ‘in depth’ discussions that took place during a special panel session held at the ALRTA National Conference in February.

While ALRTA has previously opposed mandatory ABS for heavy trailers as a stand-alone requirement, the case for mandatory stability control including EBS is overwhelming.  Put simply, the likely safety improvements will outweigh the additional costs associated with the technology – even in harsh and remote operating conditions.

The Council does however recognise that there are some circumstances in which stability control can be problematic.  For this reason, ALRTA’s support for mandatory electronic stability control is conditional on any new laws making provision for an ‘off switch’ that can temporarily disable the technology (e.g. to enable a low speed creek crossing) as well as an exemption for road train dollies (because of their natural tendency to move around) with ‘through wiring’ to enable power to reach other axle groups.

ALRTA is expecting the Federal Government to propose mandatory electronic stability control in a regulatory impact statement to be released for public comment in mid-2017.  If agreed by governments, the new requirements will be implemented around 2020 – 2021.

TRUCKCARE REVIEW WORKSHOP

The ATA hosted a workshop in Canberra this week to progress the comprehensive review of the TruckCare animal welfare accreditation system.

Participants included the TruckSafe Board, Dr Nick Hover (Woolworths), Ben Maguire (ATA CEO), Bill McKinley (ATA Chief of Staff), Justin Fleming (ATA TruckSafe Manager) and Greg Harmes (TruckSafe Auditor).  The livestock sector was well represented by Stephen Marley (TruckSafe Chair and LRTAWA President), Graeme Emery (Martins Group of Companies), Athol Carter (Frasers Livestock Transport) and Mathew Munro (ALRTA Executive Director).

Workshop participants considered the key learnings arising from recent meetings with welfare advocates, retailers and processors.  The TruckCare standards were systematically compared with regulatory requirements stipulated in the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Land Transport of Livestock, as well as international accreditation systems.

Upon completion of the review, a revised TruckCare system will be relaunched that better reflects contemporary consumer expectations.

NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETS IN BRISBANE 

ALRTA National Council met in Brisbane on 24 May 2017 at BP Australia.  All member states were represented with four members of the ALRTA National Member Chapter also attending. Special guests included: Simon Cook (BP), Geoff Casey (NHVR) and Chris Loose (ATA).

Issues discussed included operational management, electronic work diaries, effluent, user-pay infrastructure, heavy vehicle braking, fatigue research and the review of TruckCare.

The next National Council meeting and AGM will be in Torquay, 10 August 2017.

BRISBANE TRUCKSHOW

Many of the ALRTA National Council and state association members were in attendance at the Brisbane Truckshow this week.  The event brings together operators, suppliers, associations and regulators while displaying a dazzling array of new products and technologies.

Perhaps the best thing about the Truckshow is how it interfaces with the Brisbane community.  There are trucks displayed in prominent public areas around the Brisbane CBD (even on barges on the Brisbane River!) and you can observe plenty of families looking at the vehicles, talking to the operators and taking photos.


Above: Ross Fraser and Mike Fowler (Cummins).

ALRTA took the opportunity to pop in and see our National Sponsors displays to check out their new products and services.  Honestly, you can’t walk five meters without seeing something interesting or bumping into an industry acquaintance.  If you haven’t been before, make sure to put it on your bucket list.


Above: Craig McPherson (King Bars) and ALRTA VP Graeme Hoare. 

UPCOMING  EVENTS 

LRTASA Conference

The LRTASA Annual State Conference will be held 16-17 June 2017 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. The weekend kicks off with a Golf competition at Adelaide Golf Links on the fringe of the CBD followed by pre-dinner drinks and dinner at the Entertainment Centre.   The Conference Sessions are on Saturday followed by a Gala Dinner (with entertainment by the legendary Mick Meredith) and Auction.

Register here.

Trucking Australia Conference

The ATA’s premier annual event ‘Trucking Australia 2017’ will be held 21-23 June 2017 at the Darwin Convention Centre.  The program is a mix of entertainment and business activities featuring the Kenworth Legends Luncheon, chain of responsibility master class and the National Trucking Industry Awards.

Register here.

LRTAWA Conference

The LRTAWA Annual State Conference will be held 30 June – 1 July 2017 at the Light House Beach Resort in Bunbury.

For more information contact: admin@lrtawa.org.au

LRTAV Conference

The Joint LRTAV – National Conference will be held 11-12 August 2017 at the RACV Resort in Torquay.

Check here for more information.

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ALRTA News – 19 May 2017

TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE COUNCIL DECISIONS

ALRTA National President Kevin Keenan observed the 7th meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Council (TIC) in Brisbane today.

At the meeting, Federal and State Transport Ministers discussed a range of issues including rail investment, heavy vehicle road reform, automated vehicles, road safety and regulation.

Here is a summary of several important decisions.

Heavy Vehicle Road Reform
Ministers agreed to:

  • work towards implementing independent price regulation for heavy vehicles;
  • design and consider a forward-looking cost base;
  • undertake charging trials;
  • examine revenue impacts for Governments;
  • assess community service obligations;
  • assess governance and institutional arrangements;
  • develop charging and rebate options for operators; and
  • develop low cost technologies for data capture purposes.

Road Safety
Ministers agreed to convene an independent reference group to inquire into progress under the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020.  ALRTA has recently written to all Ministers recommending representation from the rural and remote heavy vehicle sector.

Heavy Vehicle Regulation
Ministers agreed to:

  • implement a national registration scheme for heavy vehicles, including funding agreements, a national number plate, removal of rego sticker requirements, improved transactions and seamless interstate transfer capability;
  • A raft of new safety measures under the Heavy Vehicle Road Safety Initiative 2017-18;
  • Increase allowable volumetric load capacity where mass is not a constraint, including improved access for PBS level 1 vehicles and 4.6m high vehicles that meet prescribed conditions; and
  • Increase the accountability of road managers to the NHVR for road access requests.

ALRTA understands that the projects approved under the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative 2017-18 includes our proposal to investigate the feasibility of user-pay loading and unloading infrastructure.  More news on this next week.

ALRTA MEETS PROCESSORS

Last week Mark Collins (LRTAQ), Justin Fleming (ATA TruckSafe) and Mathew Munro (ALRTA Executive Director) met with six meat processors in south east Queensland to progress our holistic review of the TruckCare animal welfare accreditation system.


Above: Mark Collins, Justin Fleming, Craig Price (Kilcoy Pastoral Company) & Mathew Munro.

The processors included:

  • JBS
  • Swickers
  • Kilkoy Pastoral Company
  • Highchester Meats
  • Teys Australia
  • Australian Country Choice

We have previously met with RSPCA, Fletchers International and retailers including Coles, Woolworths, ALDI, CostCo, Metcash and Superbarn.

So far, our consultations have indicated that there is an increasing and unmet need for TruckCare, especially for exported meat and products destined for sale in more socially responsible retailers such as Coles, Woolworths and McDonalds.  Customers are more frequently asking questions about the transport phase of the livestock supply chain and they want assurance that all relevant legislated standards are being met from paddock to plate.

The TruckCare system can provide this assurance.

To be relevant to all consumers, TruckCare must reflect both domestic and international animal welfare standards.  It needs to meet the minimum standards, but also continually evolve to meet changing market expectations.

There can be no doubt that processors will embrace TruckCare if it is demanded by their customers.  In the USA and Europe this is already happening – there is enormous amount of information on meat packaging and penalties apply for misleading statements.

However, it is becoming very clear that the supply chain is not willing to pay a premium for the services of TruckCare accredited operators.  Rather, TruckCare is just seen as requirement that will give you a ‘licence to play’ in same way that others in the supply chain must demonstrate to customers and authorities that they are meeting minimum health, quality and labor standards.

So, where does that leave us?

There is a cost in becoming TruckCare accredited and in maintaining that accreditation.  A revised TruckCare system will need to broaden its appeal by becoming more relevant to consumers, while at the same time lowering costs by removing unnecessary requirements.

There is also a question of ‘critical mass’.  Processors are concerned that they would not currently be able to source enough TruckCare accredited operators if it was to become a mandatory requirement…….but there is little incentive to become TruckCare accredited unless it is demanded by your customers.  It is the classic ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario.

Another important factor is the naming of the system.  The term ‘TruckCare’ does not mean much to consumers unless it is accompanied by some explanation.  On the surface, it would seem that accredited operators are just looking after their truck.

Next week, the ATA is hosting a workshop in Canberra to consider all of the feedback we have gathered from the review so far and to plan the next phase.  Look out for more news as the review progresses towards a re-launch of a revised accreditation system.

ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL

ALRTA participated in an industry-government meeting to discuss draft Australian Design Rules (ADR35 and ADR38) that propose to mandate electronic stability control for new prime movers and trailers.

As always, there are several technical issues that must be worked though, but the elephant in the room for ALRTA members is of course whether or not ESC should be mandated for all trailers, or whether there is a good case to exempt trailers operating in harsh and remote environments.

The National Policy Session at this year’s joint ALRTA-LRTAQ National-State Conference brought together operators, technology suppliers, trailer manufacturers, engineering experts and government representatives to present their perspectives on the issue.  It is fair to say that there is a diversity of opinions.

There really is no doubt about whether ESC technology will improve safety on sealed roads – the evidence is quite overwhelming.

But some operators who have trialled ESC in harsh and remote environments have concluded that it brings more trouble than it is worth.  Their experience suggests that the technology is very difficult to maintain in good working order (and even more difficult to fix when on the road for weeks at a time), is not compatible with rugged spring suspension and can intervene at inappropriate times.

ALRTA understands that the Federal Government will release a regulatory impact statement for public comment in the middle of 2017.  ALRTA Council will carefully consider this very important issue on 24 May 2017.

NHVAS VEHICLE CHECKS NOW ONLINE

Almost 6500 National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) members can now track their current nominated vehicles in the mass and maintenance management modules on-line through the NHVR’s website.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto has released the NHVAS Active Vehicle Module (AVM) search tool which will allow operators to check the status of a vehicle by entering either the vehicle registration, VIN or chassis number, or accreditation label number.

“This will be a big step forward for the operators of almost 100,000 vehicles nominated under the scheme’s Maintenance Module and 36,000 vehicles nominated under the Mass Module,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“Owners and operators with multiple vehicles can now check the module status and ensure it is current.

“In the past operators have told us that they want to do the right thing and ensure their nominated vehicles are current, but a lack of visibility of a vehicle’s status is often raised as an issue.

“Importantly those responsible for safety in other heavy vehicle supply chain roles such as weighbridge operators, consignees and consignors can also check that a vehicle’s accreditation nomination is current.

“With Chain of Responsibility laws coming in mid 2018, this is another tool to support the industry to better apply risk management processes to focus on safety outcomes.”

Operators accredited under the scheme can now log on to www.nhvr.gov.au/avm-search to check their NHVAS nominated vehicle status.

The NHVAS provides flexibility in managing fatigue and concessions for mass and maintenance for operators that have robust and compliant management systems.

There are 6481 heavy vehicle operators in NHVAS with 97,537 vehicles nominated in maintenance and 35,173 in mass.

The NHVAS has been operating since 1999 and was brought under the NHVR in 2014. Heavy vehicle operators can apply for accreditation under Mass, Maintenance, Basic Fatigue Management or Advanced Fatigue Management modules.

ALRTA OFFICE & STAFFING

The ALRTA Office is undergoing some major changes.

Firstly, we will be moving our National Office into the ATA Building from 1 July 2017.  The move will bring the ALRTA closer to the political and transport industry association heart of Canberra.  We are currently negotiating with potential tenants for our current premises.

Secondly, Kiki Josifovski has joined the team in the role of National Marketing Manager.

Kiki has over 12 years’ experience in high profile senior PR management roles and has consulted to a wide variety of organisations on high profile issues in the transport, infrastructure and animal welfare space.

He has a strong familiarity of both the public and private sectors and has been intimately involved in the work of Minister’s offices across a range of portfolios.  His work has received many accolades and has achieved milestone profile building and sponsorship generation outcomes.

He is keen to understand the challenges our members face and is determined to progress the objectives of the ALRTA by building on established accomplishments and seeking innovative ways to engage with ALRTA stakeholders.

You may also have heard a rumour that our National Officer Colleen Mays is leaving.  I am pleased to advise that Colleen will be staying with the ALRTA to continue her great work supporting our administrative, committee, research and project activities.

ALRTA COUNCIL – 24 MAY 2017

Members are reminded that the ALRTA will be holding a Council meeting in Brisbane on Wednesday, 24 May 2017.  Details are:

Start: 11:00am
Close: 5:00pm
Location: BP Australia, 572 Curtin Avenue East, EAGLE FARM QLD 4009

For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.

UPCOMING EVENTS

There are several important events coming up in the next two months, including:

LRTASA Conference

The LRTASA Annual State Conference will be held 16-17 June 2017 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. The weekend kicks off with a Golf competition at Adelaide Golf Links on the fringe of the CBD followed by pre-dinner drinks and dinner at the Entertainment Centre.   The Conference Sessions are on Saturday followed by a Gala Dinner (with entertainment by the legendary Mick Meredith) and Auction.

Register here: http://lrtasa.com.au/lrtasa-conference-2/

Trucking Australia Conference

The ATA’s premier annual event ‘Trucking Australia 2017’ will be held 21-23 June 2017 at the Darwin Convention Centre.  The program is a mix of entertainment and business activities featuring the Kenworth Legends Luncheon, chain of responsibility master class and the National Trucking Industry Awards.

Register here: http://events.truck.net.au/

LRTAWA Conference

The LRTAWA Annual State Conference will be held 30 June – 1 July 2017 at the Light House Beach Resort in Bunbury.

For more information contact: admin@lrtawa.org.au

LRTAV Conference

The Joint LRTAV – National Conference will be held 11-12 August 2017 at the RACV Resort in Torquay.

Check here for more information: http://lrtav.com.au/category/whats-on/

Posted in ALRTA Weekly News | Comments Off on ALRTA News – 19 May 2017

ALRTA News – 10 May 2017

KEY ANNOUNCEMENTS IN THE 2017-2018 FEDERAL BUDGET

Key points

  • Economic growth forecast to increase to 3 per cent in 2018-19
  • Instant asset write-off to be extended for eligible small businesses to 30 June 2018
  • Key road safety programs extended to 2020-21.

Economic Forecasts

Outcomes Forecasts
2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
(% change) (% change) (% change) (% change)
Household consumption 2.9 3
Private investment
   Dwellings 10.6 -4
Total business investment -10.3 -6 0 3
Mining investment -27.5 -21 -12 -3
Non-mining investment 1.4
Exports of goods and services 6.7 5 4
Imports of goods and services -0.3 3 3 3
Real gross domestic product 2.6 3
Unemployment rate (per cent) 5.7
Consumer price index 1.0 2 2

The Budget forecasts the Australian economy will grow by 2¾ per cent in 2017-18, before increasing to 3 per cent in 2018-19 as the fall in mining investment finally tapers off and household consumption increases.

Mining investment is expected to fall 12 per cent in 2017-18 but only 3 per cent in 2018-19, with the adjustment away from the heights of the mining boom now almost over.

Non-mining investment is expected to increase 4½ per cent in 2017-18 and the same again in 2018-19. Treasury has conceded that the low level of investment growth is ‘something of a puzzle’ given that business borrowing costs are low, business confidence is solid and existing capital assets are being used at above average levels.

This low level of investment growth highlights the importance of the infrastructure spending in the Budget.

Household spending is expected to increase 2¾ per cent in 2017-18 and 3 per cent in 2018-19, underpinned by a decline in the amount of money that households are saving.

Housing investment is forecast to tail off in 2017-18 (1½ per cent growth) before declining in 2018-19 (-4 per cent growth), as work in progress is finished. Treasury reports significant falls in approvals for medium-to-high density dwellings.

Total exports are forecast to increase 5 per cent in 2017-18 and 4 per cent in 2018-19, driven by strong resource exports and favourable farm conditions. The export increase is also driven by robust growth in service exports, primarily inbound tourism and education.

Imports are forecast to grow 3 per cent in 2017-18 and 3 per cent in 2018-19.

The unemployment rate, which was 5.9 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms in March 2017, is expected to come in at 5¾ per cent in 2017-18 and 5½ per cent in 2018-19, consistent with the rebound in economic growth.

Key budget announcements for trucking businesses
Extension of the instant asset write-off
The Government will extend the immediate tax deductibility of asset purchases costing less than $20,000 for eligible businesses until 30 June 2018.

Infrastructure spending
In line with its election commitment, the Government will extend the following infrastructure programs to 2020-21:

  • Roads to Recovery ($400 million per year)
  • Black Spot ($60 million per year)
  • Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity ($40 million per year)
  • Bridges Renewal ($60 million per year)

The Government will also establish a new $472m Regional Growth Fund which includes $200m for an additional round of the Building Better Regions Fund.

Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail has received $8.4b, with construction to commence in 2017-18.

Click on the link below for a detailed breakdown showing the key projects that the Government will fund in each state.
2017-18 budget infrastructure projects

Disclaimer
The Australian Trucking Association has prepared this fact sheet with due care, but our understanding of the Budget measures may change as more information becomes available. In addition, many Budget measures need to be passed by Parliament. The fact sheet is intended for general information only and may not apply to your business circumstances. You should get appropriate professional advice before acting on the information in this sheet.

ALRTA ACTIVITIES THIS WEEK

TruckCare Review
This week the ALRTA Executive Director is joining Mark Collins (LRTAQ) and Justin Fleming (ATA TruckSafe Manager) for two days of meetings with livestock processors in South East Queensland.

The meetings are part of our comprehensive review of the TruckCare system. We will be calling in on Kilcoy Pastoral Company, Highchester Meats, JBS, Swickers, Teys and Australian Country Choice.

The meetings will also be an excellent opportunity to raise other important issues such as effluent management and unloading infrastructure.

Ministerial Council Briefing
President Keenan and the ALRTA Executive Director will participate in a departmental briefing on issues to be discussed at the Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council in Brisbane next week.

Mandatory ESC 
ALRTA and other industry stakeholders are meeting this week to consider draft Australian Design Rules that propose to mandate electronic stability control on new prime movers and trailers. This was a hot topic of discussion at the joint ALRTA/LRTAQ National Conference and will be considered at the ALRTA Council meeting on 24 May 2017.

NHVR COR FORUMS

The NHVR is delivering a number of information sessions across the country to discuss amendments to Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws that are coming in mid 2018.

The latest sessions added are:

NEW SOUTH WALES

10 May – Blacktown – Blacktown RSL

11 May – Newcastle – West Bowling Club, New Lambton

QUEENSLAND

16 May – Townsville – Mercure Hotel

25 – 28 May – Brisbane Truck Show, Convention Centre (FREE FOR TRUCK SHOW ATTENDEES – just turn up on the day, or if you wish to make a booking go to: www.nhvr.gov.au/cor

(Please note all sessions will start strictly on time.)

Thursday 25 May – 1.30 – 3.30pm

Friday 26 May – 12am – 2.00pm, Afternoon session: 2.30 – 4.30pm

Saturday 27 May – 11am – 1.00pm, Afternoon session: 3.00 – 5.00pm

For dates and locations of all NHVR CoR information sessions visit www.nhvr.gov.au/cor

Posted in ALRTA Weekly News, ATA, Federal Budget, NHVR, truckCare | Tagged , , | Comments Off on ALRTA News – 10 May 2017