ALRTA News – 17 March 2017


On 15 March 2017, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission handed down a decision to vary the NSW General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD).

The application to vary the GCCD was made by the NSW Branch of the TWU in December 2013 and has been negotiated by registered industrial organisations including ARTIO NSW, Australian Industry Group and NSW Business Chamber.

For more than 30 years, the GCCD has applied to owner drivers in the Sydney metropolitan area and those undertaking local work of less than 50km.   The NSW TWU application proposed to extend mandatory minimum rates across the whole of NSW.

On behalf of LBRCA and our members in other states, ALRTA provided a detailed statement to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission and has made representations to the NSW Premier, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight and Minister for Industrial Relations strongly opposing broad scale application of mandatory minimum rates for owner drivers in NSW.

While the final decision has not yet been published, ALRTA has spoken with parties to the negotiations and understands that the following changes will apply from 15 April 2017:

  • Non-rates related changes will apply to the whole of NSW (e.g. Owner drivers will be able to negotiate a guaranteed number of hours with employers);
  • Expansion of the geographic area for mandatory minimum rates will be limited to the Newcastle to Wollongong corridor (ALRTA believes that this will only apply to ‘outgoing’ loads from Sydney and will exclude important agricultural thoroughfares within the region);
  • Refrigerated, furniture removals, pathology (above 2t) and cash-in-transit (non-armoured vehicles) will no longer be exempt.

A new mandatory minimum rates structure will take effect until 1 January 2019 (ALRTA believes this involves a 2.5% increase across the board).

While these changes are concerning from the perspective of a ‘slow regulatory creep’ towards greater regulation of owner drivers including mandatory minimum rates, it is important to note that the vast majority of ALRTA member carriers will remain exempt from the GCCD if they do any of the following:

  • Transport livestock;
  • Transport primary produce to or from land used for primary production;
  • Are engaged by a primary producer;
  • Use a specified specialist vehicle (e.g. a tipper or a tanker); or
  • Are a ‘common carrier’ (i.e. undertakes work for any hirer) rather than a ‘contract carrier’ (i.e. undertakes work for a single hirer).

However, owner drivers undertaking exclusive work for a principle contractor that does not involve a specialist vehicle or carriage to or from a place of primary production may be affected by the GCCD decision.

If you believe that the GCCD changes may apply to your business, you can read the full decision when it is published here.

ARTIO NSW will run information sessions on the changes.  Check their website for details here.

Overall, the ALRTA is satisfied that rural carriers will remain exempt from the GCCD and that the coverage of mandatory minimum rates will remain unchanged in regional NSW.


ALRTA and NHVR advise that nominations for the joint Safety Innovation Award will open on 29 March 2017.

The Award will recognise and reward rural road transport operators who have identified HVNL related safety risks and implemented successful, innovative control measures.

Applications will close on June 30, 2017.  The winner will be announced at the LRTAV Conference August 11-12, 2017.

Nominations will be open to all livestock, bulk and rural carriers who are financial members of LRTAQ, LBRCA, LRTAV, LTAT, LRTASA or LRTAWA.

More information and application forms will be available on the ALRTA website prior to 29 March.

A $5,000 prize will be awarded for the best safety innovation. Please contact the ALRTA for a nomination form.


The Australian Trucking Association is seeking the input of members from ALRTA to determine the cost to the industry of replacing physical registration labels.

The ATA is arguing for the removal of registration labels from trucks and trailers. This has the full support of ALRTA and we encourage all our members to participate in the survey.

“In order to effectively advocate for the removal of labels, we need more information from road transport operators to accurately calculate the savings to industry, and present these savings to government,” ALRTA National President Kevin Keenan said.

“ALRTA is also advocating for governments to allow road transport operators to pay registration charges monthly. This would only be feasible once registration labels are removed.

“Given the high cost of heavy vehicle registration charges, the option to pay monthly would have a huge positive cash flow effect on road transport operators across Australia,” said President Keenan.

Take the survey now


The TruckSafe Board met this week in Gatton, Queensland.  Our representatives Stephen Marley (Chair) and Graeme Emery were joined by observers David Rogers (LRTAV) and our Executive Director.   Stephen intends to retire from the TruckSafe Board after 17 years and Mr Rogers has been nominated by ALRTA Council.

Key topics of discussion included the review of TruckCare, NHVR Codes of Practice, TruckSafe awards and general management issues.


Next week our National and State Presidents will meet with senior NHVR reps in Brisbane. Our main topics of discussion will be:

  • Effluent: an in-depth discussion about our whole of supply chain strategy to clarify the law, refine the load restraint guide, develop a code of practice and establish roadside dumping infrastructure.
  • Local Access: we are keen to work with NHVR to develop better access arrangements on regional and rural roads.  There has been some great work across the entire state in WA and in some targeted work with Councils in NSW and QLD.
  • Fatigue: NHVR and ALRTA have achieved an enormous amount working together to develop a National Animal Welfare Notice and two easy entry AFM templates.  With so much already done, we will be considering where we go from here.

If you have any issues you want us to raise with NHVR please get in touch with the executives in your state association.


Amendments to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws are coming in mid 2018. These changes align CoR laws more closely with workplace health and safety laws.

The NHVR is delivering information sessions across the country to discuss these changes and ensure you have the information you need to be prepared.

The next information session will be held in South Australia at 10am-12pm, Tuesday 28 March 2017 at 6 Todd St, Port Adelaide. Register for Port Adelaide forum

For dates and locations of all NHVR CoR information sessions visit


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 encourages all persons registered to vote to throw their support behind these experienced and passionate candidates.

Voting will close at 5pm AEDT on Wednesday 22 March 2017.

More information about the 2017 ATA election


The annual conference of the Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association (LBRCA) will be held at Dubbo this year 31st March – 1st April.

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, The Hon Melinda Pavey, will open the conference on Friday and will meet face-to-face with rural transporters to provide an update on the Government’s road freight achievements and proposed future direction for rural NSW.

“This years’ event is particularly important as we celebrate 30 years.  There is a strong line up of presenters from local, state and federal arenas as well as industry” said Lynley Miners, LBRCA President.

“We also have plenty of time for attendees to catch up and network.  This aspect is always a highlight of our annual conferences and we make a point of encouraging our members to use this time to meet and network with government and industry representatives”.

The formal dinner on Friday night has the Young Driver of the Year Award presentation, which is of interest to the industry and a way of encouraging the succession of future leaders in our industry.

“The award has been up and running for a couple of years now and attracts a wide interest from across our membership.”

The conference will cover a wide variety of issues over the two days – everything from access, safety, chain of responsibility, business protection, braking technology, industry codes of practice, infrastructure and fatigue.

“We want to use our conference to hear and learn about the current issues affecting our membership and identify particular actions we can take forward to resolve – which in effect sets part of our work program for the next 12 months.”

The Conference Program is available here.

To register, complete the LBRCA Conference Registration Form available here.

For more information on this event contact LBRCA Operations Manager Bec on 02 6295 6651 or email