Weekly News – 15 July 2016


Last week the ALRTA Executive Director made a joint presentation with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) at the COSBOA Small Business Summit in Brisbane.

The topic was ‘RSRT Case Study – How NOT to deal with Small Business’.

Really, we couldn’t have asked for an easier topic.  Our recent experience with the highly inappropriate operation of the RSRT gave us plenty of examples of woeful consultation practices.  The hard part was fitting in all of the material in a 30min presentation.

The presentation was an excellent opportunity for the ALRTA to highlight the importance of not bringing back the RSRT directly to the leaders of hundreds of small business associations and several high ranking Federal politicians – not to mention the ASBFEO Ombudsman who is currently preparing a report to Government on this very topic


The Queensland Auditor-General has released a report on ‘Heavy Vehicle Road Access Reforms’ which examines how well the NHVR has addressed the root causes of the access management system failure and whether it is on track to deliver its access management responsibilities.

Here is the report’s conclusion:

Industry operators across participating states and territories continue to face inconsistent processes and decisions for getting a heavy vehicle permit, and the industry has yet to obtain any substantial benefit from the new law with regard to access permit management. More than two years after ‘go live’ the NHVR has not implemented a fully effective one-stop-shop for access management.

From early 2013 until February 2014, the NHVR had invested $9.3 million in its access management system, but during 2014–15, it processed only about 12 per cent of the heavy vehicle permit volumes across participating states and territories.

Even when the NHVR addresses the current access management process and system issues, this will only deliver the benefits expected of the reforms if
the NHVR, state, territory and local government road managers work effectively together to implement the HVNL. This area requires more attention.

However, the NHVR Board and management have learnt from their mistakes — they now engage better with their stakeholders and have changed their project management approach, releasing system changes in stages after much planning and testing.

This demonstrates the NHVR’s commitment not to repeat the same problems. But some stakeholders remain concerned about the NHVR’s ability to deliver access management efficiently and effectively.  They perceive that the pace of change and system rectification is too slow, and that there has been insufficient communication with them.

From the ALRTA’s perspective, this conclusion comes as no surprise.  However, there is no point in attributing blame for the initial failure, we need to focus on what is being done to fix the problem.  Yes, progress has been slow, but NHVR are consulting with us and we can ill-afford a repeat of the previous disaster. Better to get it right than get it quickly.

The audit also makes several recommendations relating to improved budgeting; monitoring of reasons for access refusal; targeted assistance for local governments and, most importantly, making sure that Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads is supporting the NHVR to meet the objectives of the HVNL.

These are reasonable recommendations but some elements could go further.  For example, the ALRTA would like to see the NHVR publish an annual report on the reasons for refusal, along with an assessment of whether or not the reasons given are in line with the relevant Ministerial Guidelines.  Also, it is worth noting that the audit report recognises that the 28 day statutory time frame for permit approvals is a significant problem.


The Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) NSW Branch advised the ALRTA this week that the extended coverage of the NSW General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD) to include all owner-driver contracts throughout NSW provides specific exemptions for the transportation of livestock and primary produce.

In a statement by ARTIO, clarification is given that Section 309 (4) (f) and (h) of the NSW Industrial Relations Act 1996 rules out livestock and primary produce moved to/from a farm.

ARTIO further inform that specialised vehicles including work carried out by vehicles such as tippers, tankers, low loaders and car carriers (unless the vehicle carries goods other than those for which the vehicle is intended) seem to be excluded from the coverage also though general freight not destined to a farm appears to be affected.

For the majority in our industry this is welcomed news.  We will keep you updated on any relevant development –  Bec Coleman, LBCA


The ALRTA National President and Executive Director attended the LRTAWA Annual Conference held in Bunbury, 1-2 July 2016.

The Conference held against the backdrop of the Federal Election.  Local Candidate and Federal Coalition Whip, the Hon. Nola Marino MP, popped in to address the Conference in between campaigning around the electorate polling booths. Nola Marino was a champion of the rural trucking sector throughout the RSRT abolition campaign and continues to passionately support a strong and viable future for rural transport operators.

The traditional ‘Talbot (Mark) & Power (Darren)’ duo was most entertaining over the weekend.  As if the family wasn’t already talented enough, along came another singing, guitar playing, joke telling, whip cracking Talbot (Ben) to MC the gala dinner.

One very interesting announcement made during the conference sessions was that Main Roads WA will now be taking on a ‘one stop shop’ function for all permit applications.  I am hoping that the Department has taken notice of the QLD Auditor General’s report on how the NHVR has performed in that very same function!

ALRTA congratulates the LRTAWA Executive elected at the AGM:

  • President: Stephen Marley
  • Vice President (bulk): Darren Power
  • Vice President (livestock): Shannon Dawson
  • Treasurer: Mark Sullivan



The ALRTA Executive Director will be on leave from Monday, 11 July 2016, returning to the office on Monday, 25 July 2016.

For urgent enquiries please contact Tracy Fairhall on (02) 6247 5434 or office@alrta.org.au


Members are advised of the upcoming ALRTA AGM and Council Meeting on Thursday, 4 August 2016, at the RACV Torquay Resort, 1 Great Ocean Road, Torquay, Victoria.

Details are:

  • 3:00pm: Council Meeting
  • 7:30pm: Annual General Meeting

For more details please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.


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The Joint LRTAV – National Conference will be held 5-6 August 2016 at the RACV Resort in Torquay. Why not give yourselves a break and enjoy the magnificent facilities at Torquay whilst meeting people from other states and helping to support the LRTAV and ALRTA as we enter into a new era with a new Government!

Friday sees the conference kick off with golf in the morning, followed by three short information sessions and a longer session on the RSRT.  Friday night dinner is a special 80’s themed event including presentation of Young Driver and Outstanding Industry Contribution Awards.  The main Conference Sessions are on Saturday followed by a Gala Dinner and Auction.

Don’t miss out on this informative conference, or opportunity to soak up the beauty of the Great Ocean Road!

Register here