ALRTA MEETS WITH MINISTER CHESTER
The ALRTA met with the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Darren Chester MP, in Melbourne this week. Our delegation included ALRTA President (Kevin Keenan), LRTAV President (Graeme Howell), ALRTA Animal Welfare Chair (John Beer) and the ALRTA Executive Director (Mathew Munro).
The main topics of discussion were heavy vehicle charging, user-pay ramps and roadside effluent disposal infrastructure. Minister Chester was ‘all ears’ on these important issues and genuinely knows about, and wants to fix, the declining state of regional roads that support the agricultural supply chain and tourism.
The meeting was an important element of our strategy to establish a network of managed roadside effluent disposal sites starting in SE QLD. The LRTAQ President (Ian Wild), ALRTA VP (Graeme Hoare) and Fiona Wild recently raised this same issue with the QLD Transport Minister.
Photo: (left to right) Beer, Keenan, Minister Chester, Howell, Munro.
USER-PAY DEMONSTRATION PROJECT
While in Melbourne, our ALRTA reps ventured out to Brooklyn to meet with JBS.
The NHVR has recently granted ALRTA $95k under the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative 2017-18 to construct and operate a pivot access unloading frame on a user-pay basis. This milestone project will examine whether or not a user-pay model could rapidly improve safety and productivity in the livestock supply chain.
We thank JBS for the opportunity to make our pitch and provide detail on the steps involved. The reception was positive and management are now considering the partnership offer.
INDEPENDENT PRICE REGULATION OF HV CHARGES
The ATA has made a submission in response to the Australian Government discussion paper on options for independent price regulation of heavy vehicle charges. The ALRTA supplied detailed comments to the ATA as part of the internal consultation process which are well reflected in the final submission.
Industry is strongly supportive of removing the ‘politics’ from HV charging decisions.
You only have to look at the $1bn of HV overcharging projected to occur as a result of the 2014 Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council decision, and the fact that around 75% of fuel tax collected is not even spent on roads, to know that a political process is not the ideal mechanism to recover costs from road users.
However, the appropriate choice of price regulator is highly dependent on the type of charging reform ultimately imposed on the HV industry – a decision that will be considered by Ministers in November 2017.
GOVERNMENTS HAND BACK PROCESSING
The ACT government has handed back Class 3 heavy vehicle permit processing to the NHVR.
This follows the lead of South Australia, where Class 3 permits were returned to NHVR from 10 April 2017.
It’s not earthshattering stuff, but it is a sure sign that state jurisdictions are becoming increasingly confident in the NHVR’s ability to manage the permit process and we can expect more to follow.
The positive experience is also being shared by operators, with well over 90% of permit applications now being received via the NHVR’s online portal and we are hearing great reports about the online journey planner.
TA REOPENS ELECTORAL ROLL
If you operate 5 trucks or fewer, you can enrol to vote and have your say in the trucking industry’s national elections.
The Australian Trucking Association’s General Council sets the strategic direction and policy for the trucking industry’s peak body. Every two years, owner drivers with one truck and small fleet operators with 2-5 trucks elect two representatives to the ATA General Council.
To register to vote in ATA elections, you must own, be purchasing or leasing 1-5 trucks over 4.5 tonnes. You must also provide a valid ABN and an email address that is unique to you. A webmail address is fine.
Elections are conducted entirely online, using a secure voting system.
The next election will be held in early 2019, but the electoral roll has just reopened after the 2017 election.
Sign up now to receive future updates and to make sure your voice is heard.
NHVR-ALRTA SAFETY INNOVATION AWARD
The judging panel for the NHVR-ALRTA Safety Innovation Award met this week to discuss applications and the assessment process. Look out for an announcement about the finalists soon.
The award will be presented at the LRTAV Conference on 11 August 2017.
The ALRTA Executive met via teleconference this week. The main topics of discussion included our recent move to the ATA building, leasing of our previous premises, sponsor partnerships, grant funding contractual arrangements and political activities.
MEETING NOTICE: ALRTA NATIONAL COUNCIL
Members are advised that the ALRTA will be holding a Council meeting on Thursday, 10 August 2017. Details are:
Location: RACV Torquay Resort, 1 Great Ocean Road, Torquay, Victoria.
For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.
The LRTAV Annual State Conference will be held 11-12 August 2017 at the RACV Resort in Torquay.
Check here for more information.