ALRTA News – 12 October 2018

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Several ALRTA and State Association members attended last week’s landmark Fatigue Safety Forum in Sydney, NSW.  Only around 30 individuals were invited so it was great to have David Smith (LRTASA President), Robert Cavanagh (Former ALRTA President), Mick McCulloch (LBRCA) and Mathew Munro (ALRTA Executive Director) over the two-day event.

Photo (L-R): David Smith, Andrew Higginson (Co-Facilitator), Robert Cavanagh, Mick McCulloch.

The Forum explored the current problems with fatigue laws and potential short-term and long-term solutions.  It will not surprise you that lack of flexibility featured strongly in the discussions and it was well recognised that the current law can both prohibit safe behaviours and encourage unsafe behaviours.

Participants discussed a broad range of issues including risk factors, alternative safety measures, technology, supporting infrastructure, education and use of existing regulatory options.   At the conclusion of the event there was general agreement on many options that should be further explored now, and as part of the HVNL review.

Underscoring the importance of the Forum for informing future policy decisions, the event was closed by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack who is eager to receive a full report from NHVR in due course.


With the onset of daylight savings, drivers of fatigue regulated heavy vehicles in HVNL states are reminded to record all work and rest time in 15 minute blocks relative to the time zone of your base.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced plans to bring forward tax cuts for small business by five years to commence in 2021-22.

The tax rate for businesses with a turnover of less than $50m would drop from 27.5% to 25%.  The total cost to the Budget is estimated to be $3.2bn.

Labor has not ruled out supporting the policy but:

  • supporting the changes in the current parliament would reduce their capacity to fund yet-to-be-announced election promises; and
  • not supporting the changes will paint them as the higher taxing alternative.

I think we can safely say that the election campaign has begun.


Rural Road Safety Week (8-12 October 2018) is a national awareness campaign promoted by the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) and supported by Federal and State Governments.

We thought that we’d do our bit by highlighting some recent research that should make you stop and think about how we can make our rural roads safer:

  • Rural populations make up 16.5% of the Australian population.
  • However, two out of every three road deaths occur on rural roads.
  • The majority of persons killed are rural residents – not city people or tourists.
  • Persons driving in rural areas are more likely to break a road rule because they feel less likely to get caught.
  • This includes speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, driving fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Metro drivers are however more likely to drive while distracted.

In acknowledging Rural Road Safety Week, Deputy Prime Minister McCormack said that drivers in rural areas should take practical measures to reduce risk by never driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, scanning the road ahead, knowing your limits and planning ahead, taking regular breaks on long drives, never driving through floodwater, being alert for wildlife and livestock and driving to the conditions.

Photo: Deputy Prime Minister McCormack announces field trials of fatigue monitoring technology at the NHVR Fatigue Forum.

Deputy Prime Minister McCormack has also recently announced:


Paul Retter AM completed his tenure as CEO and Commissioner of the NTC on 8 October 2018.  Mr Retter was previously the Executive Director of the Office of Transport Security and a senior member of the Australian Defence Force.

ALRTA thanks Mr Retter for his leadership of the NTC over the past five years and wishes him all the best in future endeavours.


Australia’s leading specialist insurer NTI has announced a Chain of Responsibility Health Check Tool to assist drivers and operators comply with the legislative reforms that commenced on 1 October 2018.

For more information and to access the tool click here.


The NHVR is providing additional online training sessions for the new Registration Module.

Heavy vehicle operators are now able to access details of their registered assets for free in the new Registration Module of the NHVR Portal.

Operators will be able to:
1.      Confirm that details recorded by jurisdictions align with their own records;
2.      Check registration changes and transfers have been processed correctly;
3.      Forecast registration renewals and costs; and
4.      Download or print vehicle records to provide to other chain parties.

The free online training sessions are scheduled throughout October and November.  Operators can register their interest here.


Building on the significant developmental momentum achieved during #100daysforchange, Women & Leadership Australia is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across Australia’s transport and logistics sector.

The initiative is providing women with grants of between $3,000 and $7,000 to enable participation in a range of leadership development programs.

The scholarship funding is provided with the specific intent of providing powerful and effective development opportunities for women in the industry; however the funding is strictly limited and has to be allocated prior to the end of 2018.

Expressions of Interest
Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form here prior to 7 December 2018.


Safe Work Australia is offering between $2,000 and $20,000 to workplaces to help fund a great work health and safety project.

Proposals can be lodged here.

Successful projects will also go into the running to win an additional $5,000 People’s Choice Award.


The first sale at the new CVLX facility at Miners Rest Victoria will commence at 10am on Friday, 19 October 2018.

CVLX has issued an information bulletin for transports that contains information about upcoming sales, curfews and operational procedures.  Click here for more information.


VicRoads has launched an online height clearance map that shows the location and distance between the road surface and overhead structures.

The map applies to all arterial roads (freeways, highways and main roads).

WARNING: Do not rely solely on the map – drivers and operators remain responsible for ensuring that there is sufficient clearance.


ALRTA Council Meeting
When: 26 October 2018

Posted in ALRTA Council, ALRTA Weekly News, Chain of Responsibility, NHVR, NTC, NTI, safety | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on ALRTA News – 12 October 2018

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