ALRTA News – 24 February 2017


The ALRTA has endorsed two candidates standing in the upcoming ATA Council elections.

ALRTA has endorsed Mr John Beer for the ‘owner driver’ position and Mr Lynley Miners for the ‘small fleet’ position.

ALRTA National President Kevin Keenan said that both candidates would bring a wealth of experience to the ATA Council table.

“The ATA Council is the highest-level industry policy development body in the Australian road transport sector.  It is vitally important that the ATA Council has excellent representation from the owner driver and small fleet sectors that together make up the majority of road transport operators,” said President Keenan.

“We believe that the best candidates are those who have genuine industry interests at heart, and who have sufficient secretariat support to successfully interface with their electors,”

“John and Lynley are passionate industry advocates who are actively working to make smaller trucking businesses safer, more productive and free from unnecessary regulatory interference”.

“They are real ‘grass-roots’ operators who know what it takes to run their own small trucking business,” said President Keenan.

Owner Driver Candidate: John Beer

John Beer is a Livestock and Rural Transport Industry veteran of over 50 years.  He started out as a young driver hauling livestock as well as fencing posts, hay and grain.  Together with his wife Melva, he operates his own single-truck transport business J & M Beer Carrying Service Pty Ltd from Romsey in central Victoria.

John is a past President of the ALRTA and the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria.  In 2015, John was the first recipient of the ALRTA McIver Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Livestock and Rural Transport Industry and in 2016 was a finalist in the ATA Awards for Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry.

Small Fleet Candidate: Lynley Miners

Lynley Miners is the current President of the NSW based Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association, a role he has held since 2016.

Lynley has a deep association with the trucking industry as a successful operator and small business owner.  30 years’ experience driving a truck, growing up on a grazing property in the Snowy Mountains and working alongside his siblings in the family livestock transport business which is still in operation today, under Lynley’s direction, are key to Lynley’s success in this industry.

Holding several voluntary positions including member of the ALRTA National Animal Welfare Sub-Committee, President of the Adaminaby Jockey Club and Director of the Adaminaby Bowling Club, Lynley has a proven track record working productively with a range of industry associations, businesses and government bodies.

“The ALRTA asks all registered eligible voters to throw their support behind John and Lynley when the polls open on 1 March 2017,” said President Keenan.


Rural operators who create a safer and more innovative heavy vehicle industry will benefit from an industry award, announced at the combined Australian Livestock and Rural Transport Association and Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Queensland Conference in Toowoomba.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the NHVR and ALRTA have joined forces to support the $5000 industry award that focuses on safety and innovation within the heavy vehicle industry.

“I want to recognise those operators who take a proactive approach to safety across the road transport sector,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“This award will highlight the shared interest of government and industry in improving safety and compliance generally.

“Safety is paramount to the NHVR and we want to encourage all operators to be proactive and responsible in doing everything they can to have the highest safety procedures in place.”

ALRTA National President Kevin Keenan said the Award would recognise and reward rural road transport operators who have identified HVNL related safety risks and implemented successful, innovative control measures.

“We will be looking for applicants who have identified a safety risk in their business and have implemented an innovative measure to combat this risk,” Mr Keenan said.

Applications will open next month and close on June 30, 2017. The winner will be announced at the LRTAV Conference August 5-6, 2017.

Nominations will be open to all rural, bulk and financial members of ALRTA or affiliated State Associations.


I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank all the people involved in organising and participating in the joint LRTAQ / ALRTA conference held in Toowoomba last weekend.

I will leave the detailed report to Mathew, but I would personally like to thank Christina, Tanya, Colleen and Mathew for a well organised, informative and entertaining couple of days and evenings. I would like to thank all the delegates who attended and of course thank you to our sponsors, who without their support we would not be able lobby as affectively as we do.

Friday night we were treated to two keynote speakers in the Hon. Luke Hartsuyker – Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Cowper and Dr Rolf Gomes, founder of the Heart of Australia.   Dr Gomes gave a very informative address on how the Heart of Australia truck visits outback Queensland communities bringing specialist heart help to rural people.   I encourage everyone to Google this great doctor and his organisation and if possible think about donating something to this fantastic organisation.

Finally I would like to acknowledge our newest Life Member Liz Schmidt and thank her for all that she has done for the association over the past 30 years.

ALRTA National President – Kevin Keenan


The ALRTA and LRTAQ combined National Conference, held 17-18 February 2017 in Toowoomba, QLD was a resounding success with ‘full house’ attendance levels across all associated events.

The events were held at various top notch venues around Toowoomba which really is a city on the move.  As the Mayor of Toowoomba Regional Council, Cr Paul Antonio, informed us, the city is located in middle of some of Australia’s most productive farm land, boasts a modern high capacity airport flying fresh produce direct to Asia, a $1.5b second range crossing under construction and is also flagged to be the first station out of Brisbane on the proposed in land rail project.  Believe me, the daily ‘hustle and bustle’ feels most unlike other regional centres.

Day 1: Friday, 17 February

LRTAQ President Ian Wild officially opened the conference at an informal breakfast at the City Golf Club on Friday morning.  This was followed by a social round of golf.  Sitting at the top of the range, Toowoomba is renowned for its mild climate and the course itself was conditioned for the upcoming Queensland PGA – a real treat for those who enjoy chasing the little white ball!

After a cold drink and bite to eat, we kicked off the National Policy Forum which focussed on key issues as outlined below:

Mandatory Electronic Stability Control


  • Mathew Munro – ALRTA Executive Director

Panel Members

  • Owen Driscoll – National Manager, Industry & Government Relations, NTI
  • Mike Robertson – Managing Director & Engineering Manager, Engistics
  • Stephen Hoy – Section Head, Standards Development & International, Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development
  • Evan McDonald – Workshop Supervisor, BPW Transpec
  • Mark Johnson – Director of Sales and Marketing, Haulmark Trailers
  • David Scott  – Transport Manager, Wild Desert Oil & Gas Field Services
  • Robert Cavanagh – Stockmaster
  • Chris Loose – Senior Adviser, Engineering, ATA

Content Snapshot

During the ESC Panel, delegates heard about road accident statistics, the factors that cause roll-overs and the Federal Government’s plan to mandate ESC technology on all new vehicles.  Other panel members spoke about their experiences with ESC and policy implications.

While there can be no doubt that ESC technology can improve safety in most circumstances, there are real concerns about performance, reliability and net costs in remote and rural operating environments.

The challenges lie in acquiring compelling evidence to support an exemption for remote and rural operations and in drafting a workable, targeted proposal.

Effluent Control


  • Graeme Hoare – ALRTA Vice President

Panel Members

  • David Daunton – Livestock Manager, Australian Country Choice
  • Bill Esteves – National Investigation Coordinator, NHVR
  • Jeff Potter – Project Director, Productivity, Safety & Environment, NTC

Content Snapshot

Effluent loss is a normal part of livestock transport.  In recent years, urban encroachment and heightened concerns about biosecurity and animal welfare have combined to increase pressure to implement better control in specific hotspots.

Delegates heard about the need for a whole of supply chain solution with better clarity around duties under chain of responsibility.  In SE QLD, transporters are using capture tanks and processors have installed wash-out facilities, but there are no ‘in-transit’ dumping sites and transporters cannot rely on animals being prepared correctly prior to transport.

NTC have a process in place to clarify duties under chain of responsibility laws to promote improved preparation practices.  The ALRTA will send a delegation to NZ to inspect roadside effluent dumps and develop a business case for the installation of similar infrastructure in Australia.

Emerging Technology


  • Mark Collins – Fleet Manager, Frasers Livestock Transport

Panel Members

  • Joachim Sawkins – Commercial Sales Manager, BP
  • David Bacher & Justin Harding – National Business Development Manager(s), Beaurepaires
  • Scott Alexander – Manager, On-Highway Sales & Support, Cummins
  • Damian Smethurst – Chief Engineer, KW Division, PACCAR

Content Snapshot

As you would expect, our National Sponsors are actively working on a range of new technologies.  BP Ultimate Diesel is proven to clean injectors and improve fuel economy by 3.8%.  Beaurepaires is rolling out a fleet of state-of-the art service vehicles and has developed an app that can monitor tyre pressures in real time.  Cummins is developing new wireless OEM solutions that report important data and can even upgrade software over the airwaves.  Kenworth is looking closely at proposals to lift vehicle emissions standards which will result in cleaner vehicles, but will increase costs by around $15,000.

Road Access


  • David Smith – LRTASA President

Panel Members

  • Grant Robins – Kulin Transport
  • Sal Petroccitto – CEO, NHVR
  • Mike Brady – General Manager, Toowoomba Regional Council

Content Snapshot

Western Australia has implemented a successful new approach to farm gate access during harvest.  RAVs can travel the most direct route between a farm and silo under certain conditions including reduced speeds and vehicle markings.  There have been no safety incidents or public complaints.

On the East Coast, there are proactive councils such as Toowoomba Regional Council that are working with industry and the NHVR to improve access and reduce permit requirements, but a time consuming ‘Council by Council’ approach is required.  There is great interest in establishing a WA style scheme in the East, but it is highly unlikely to be applied in a blanket fashion as is the case in WA.

NHVR’s Strategic Vision

NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, gave delegates an insight into NHVR operations and challenges for the industry as a whole.  NHVR’s new online permit system has been a resounding success with more than 90% of applicants now choosing to lodge via the portal.

Mr Petroccitto announced the establishment of a joint NHVR-ALRTA Safety Innovation Award for livestock and rural transporters that will open to applicants on 29 March 2017.

National Sponsors Dinner

It was another ‘full house’ at our National Sponsors Dinner.   Highlights included keynote addresses from the Hon Luke Hartsuyker MP, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Cowper as well as Dr Rolf Gomes, founder of the Heart of Australia.

Minister Hartsuyker is a proud supporter of road transport and rural supply chains with a keen understanding of our importance to the national economy.

Dr Gomes told us a moving story about his own personal journey into a medical career and his personal sacrifices to establish the Heart of Australia mobile specialist facility.

I am sure that Mayor of Charters Towers and former ALRTA National President, Liz Schmidt, had a pleasant surprise when the inaugural ALRTA National President, Bruce McIver, took to the stage to announce her honorary ALRTA Life Membership.  The award was presented by Minister Hartsuyker.

Finally, we individually thanked each of our National Sponsors: PACCAR & Dealer, PACCAR Parts, Cummins, NTI, Beaurepaires, BP and King Bars.  We couldn’t do it without you!

Day 2: Saturday, 18 February

BP Community Breakfast

The good folk at BP put on a free community breakfast at the very comfortable BP Toowoomba Westbound Roadhouse.  I can vouch that the food selection is great and coffee both high quality and made fast.  There was a display of old and new trucks, an opportunity for a health check in the Trans-Help van, the ATA Safety Truck was open for inspection and the boys in blue were on hand to show off their vehicles and technology.

LRTAQ Policy Forum

The QLD Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, the Hon. Mark Bailey, opened the LRTAQ Policy Forum and delegates soon got to talking about the issues affecting their transport operations in QLD.

Facilitator Paul Blake took delegates through sessions relating to:

  • Progress on the Livestock Loading Concession Review
  • Reforming Compliance and Enforcement
  • Working Towards Better Industry Government Partnerships
  • The Future of the Livestock and Meat Industry in QLD

There was a great speaker line up during the sessions including NHVR, QLD TMR, AgForce, and the Assistant Commissioner of QLD Police.

The session concluded with delegates considering the priority issues for LRTAQ into the future.

The Bull Carters Ball

An LRTAQ conference wouldn’t be complete without the legendary Bull Carters Ball.  The event was held at breath-taking ‘Picnic Point’ which looks out over the escarpment right on the edge of Toowoomba City.  I have to say that some of our members scrub up pretty well when they drag out the cocktail attire!

Speaking at the event, Mayor Antonio left no doubt about his passion for the Toowoomba Region. There was another moving tribute when Ron Pattel surprised Mayor Schmidt once again by presenting an honorary Life Membership to both Liz and husband Owen.

The room was packed to the rafters and a great time was had by all to close out the event.  The ALRTA and LRTAQ greatly appreciate the kind donations of all of our sponsors towards our fund raising auction.

A Final Note

President Keenan has already thanked just about to everyone already, so from myself personally, I would just like to extend a special thanks to the 20+ speakers who took time out of their working week at their own expense to come from all over Australia to be part of our landmark industry event.

Also, a huge thanks to our MC’s President Keenan, President Wild and Fiona Wild as well as our session facilitators, Paul Blake, Graeme Hoare, Mark Collins, David Smith


The ALRTA congratulates the following office bearers re-elected at the LRTAQ AGM on 18 February 2017:

  • President: Ian Wild
  • Vice President: Gerard Johnson
  • Treasurer: Ron Pattel
  • Secretary: Gary Willoughby
  • Immediate Past President: David Scott