Weekly News – ALRTA Heads to Brisbane

Click here to download the latest ALRTA Weekly newsletter including a wrap up of meetings held in Brisbane with NHVR and some National Sponsors, Tri-Axle mass transfer allowance, new work diary and NTI named Small/Medium General Insurer of the Year.

Or read on for an overview from ALRTA Executive Director, Mathew Munro, of the meetings held in Brisbane during the week.

ALRTA NTI - Sept 2014
ALRTA meets with Mike Edmonds of NTI

This week the ALRTA headed to Brisbane to speak with two of our national sponsors NTI and BP and some important government decision makers.  The members of our delegation were:

  • Grant Robins – ALRTA National President;
  • Graeme Hoare – ALRTA Vice President; and
  • David Scott – LRTAQ President

We were very pleased to have to an opportunity to meet with a large group of officials from the Queensland Department of Main Roads (TMR), headed up by Graeme Fraine, Deputy Director-General, Customer Services, Safety and Regulation.  There is an interesting new dynamic in the way that industry interacts with state transport authorities – we are now both stakeholders in the recently established National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and share many issues of mutual concern such as proposed changes to chain or responsibility laws, the future of permit arrangements and on-road enforcement procedures.

I was very interested to note that TMR are entirely comfortable with the NTC proposal to dramatically reduce the number of offences for which executive officers can be prosecuted chain of responsibility.  While the ALRTA would prefer to consider a ‘package’ of changes before we commit to any one change it is somewhat heartening to hear that an enforcement authority believes that the proposal will not materially impact on their capacity to pursue executive officers. There are however some strong political leanings in Queensland on this particular matter and so we will need to consult with other enforcement agencies around the country to make sure we are hearing all views.  There are of course also some specific state-based initiatives being pushed by LRTAQ such as improving interactive route mapping tools and looking into providing new cross-loading infrastructure at key breakdown pads.

Lastly, we met with the CEO of the NHVR, Sal Petroccitto, and Director of Business Development and Special Projects, Tanya McDonald.   There are many important issues under consideration at the moment relating to vehicle roadworthiness, national registration scheme, PBS, permitting arrangements and consultative mechanisms, but perhaps the two of highest priorities for the ALRTA at present are the proposed Livestock and Rural Transporters Fatigue Management Scheme (LRTFM) and enforcement of chain of responsibility for effluent spills.

We understand that more than 40 operators have applied to be part of the LRTFM ‘fortnightly cycle’ which looks set to commence later this year.  We will be looking closely at the proposed operating template over the next few weeks and if all goes well we hope to endorse a system at our National Council meeting in October.

The ALRTA and LBCA have been highly vocal recently about the need to use chain of responsibility to help prevent effluent spills.  Operators have no control the preparation of livestock before transport yet we wear the fines when there is an on-road spillage – this is a clear chain of responsibility issue if ever there was one.  We have now discussed the matter with NFF, Cattle Council of Australia, Department of Agriculture, NTC, RMS (NSW), TMR (QLD) and the NHVR.  All parties appear to accept that the legal framework and responsibilities are clear – now we need action and this can only be initiated by enforcement officers. To compliment improved enforcement outcomes, we are also investigating how best to establish a network of effluent disposal sites as has already been achieved in Waikato, New Zealand.  We received a fair hearing this week and we will keep pushing for concrete action to follow.