ALRTA News – 22 September 2017


The ALRTA has lodged a submission in response to the NHVR Issues Paper on the 2017 Drafting of the National HML Declaration.   We have supported several of the proposals to harmonise HML rules across HVNL jurisdictions including:

  • Implementing HML limits by axle group rather than heavy vehicle combination types;
  • Requiring NHVAS Mass Management accreditation for tri-axle groups;
  • Requiring road friendly suspension (RFS);
  • Allowing 22.5t for a triaxle group; and
  • Not requiring the HML declaration to be carried by the driver in either physical or electronic format.

ALRTA has ‘in principle’ supported using a combination of vehicle type and HML overlays to determine appropriate vehicle routes as is currently done in QLD.  However, we have stressed that the QLD IT platform which displays a series of disjointed PDF maps of differing scales is the worst in Australia.  As far as possible, NHVR should work towards ensuring that operators can zoom in and out of a national map and view the entire route at one time.

In the case of a tri-axle, the rationale for increasing allowable mass is as follows:

  • GML – 20.0t – No special requirements
  • CML – 21.0t – NHVAS Mass Management Module
  • HML – 22.5t – NHVAS Mass Management Module + Approved Road RFS

However, under current HML arrangements, there is no payload advantage when installing RFS on a tandem group already operating at CML.  ALRTA has proposed that 0.5t additional mass be allowed.

ALRTA has argued that there is no justification for the application of IAP as a mandatory requirement for HML in NSW and QLD.  After eight years of operation of IAP, it is time to face the facts. Mandatory IAP in NSW and QLD:

  • Is based on a poor technology platform that relies on continual driver declarations;
  • is the primary factor preventing greater uptake of HML by eligible vehicles on gazetted HML routes;
  • Greatly erodes the productivity gains of operators who do take up HML;
  • Rarely improves ‘last mile’ access to the farm gate;
  • Does not protect vulnerable infrastructure;
  • Generates millions of false non-conformances annually; and
  • Has not resulted in a single successful HML related prosecution.

If Australia is to fully realise the projected $1.8bn in productivity, safety and environmental benefits promised by a nationally consistent approach to HML then it is imperative that the NHVR insists on a central role in developing and administering a nationally consistent, risk-based, approach to IAP.

This needs to go much further than the note included in the Issues Paper that the NHVR will review IAP and telematics in terms of their administration and application.

The ALRTA has strongly recommended that the NHVR should:

  • propose to remove IAP as a mandatory condition of HML and instead develop a new ‘route integrity’ component of the NHVAS Mass Management module that could be supported with a modern telematics system chosen by each operator;
  • immediately commence work on nationally consistent, risk based, guidelines for the application of IAP as a road access condition; and
  • propose to governments that Section Division 3 Section 14 (3) and (4) of the MDL Regulations be amended to:
    • Require jurisdictions that propose IAP as an access condition to provide reasons with reference to the national IAP guidelines;
    • Require the NHVR to assess the validity of the reasons given with reference to the national IAP guidelines; and
    • Empower the NHVR to grant access approval, but refuse the IAP condition, if not satisfied that the reasons comply with the national guidelines (after notice given to the road manager of the intention to refuse the condition and the road manager is given a reasonable opportunity to modify or withdraw the proposal).



LRTAV member, Marla Stone, and ALRTA Executive Director, Mathew Munro, met with Jaguar Consulting in Melbourne to discuss the Victorian Government Review of the Owner Driver and Forestry Contractors Act 2005.

ALRTA and LRTAV have previously made detailed submissions to the review.

The meeting was a good opportunity to discuss the issues raised by our associations, as well as the issues raised by other stakeholders.  As expected, mandatory minimum rates have been recommended unions.  Our submissions anticipated this proposal and we again voiced our strong opposition.

Jaguar Consulting will be supplying a final consultation report to the Victorian Government next week.



Industry representatives from ALRTA, ATA, NatRoad, ARTIO and the TWU met with ATO via videolink from locations around Australia to discuss the options put forward to address industry concerns about the lack of consultation on Taxation Determination TD 2017/19.

The determination has effectively reduced the amount that employee truck drivers who are paid an allowance and must travel overnight can claim in travel expenses (excluding accommodation) without detailed receipts, from $97.40 to just $55.30 per day.

We expect an ATO decision on the way forward early next week.



Registration labels will be abolished in SA from 1 November 2017.  Operators will instead use the EZYReg system which allows owners to check registration status and set up SMS and email reminders.   The change affects 86,000 vehicles and trailers with a GVM over 4.5 tonnes. FIRS vehicles are not affected.

Labels have already been abolished in WA and TAS with all states expected to follow by mid-2018.



The ATA Industry Technical Council met in Canberra this week to discuss a range of issues including braking ADRs, roller brake testing, harmonisation of notices, progress on a master code of practice and dangerous goods code review and vehicle widths.

The meeting was Chaired by LBRCA Vice President, Kel Baxter, and I must say that the level of technical expertise present in the room during ITC meetings is quite remarkable.



This week the ALRTA Executive Director, Mathew Munro, ATA CEO, Ben Maguire, and TruckSafe Manager, Justin Fleming met with representatives from the Chicken Meat Association to invite participation in the review of the TruckSafe: Animal Welfare Module (formally known as TruckCare).

The next review workshop will be held in Canberra on 2 November 2017.  Please contact the ALRTA Secretariat for more information.



The Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources has released a report on the Inquiry into Social Issues Relating to Land-Based Automated Vehicles in Australia.

The report recommends that the Australian Government should take a range of measures to prepare for new vehicle technologies including: facilitating trials, assessing security vulnerabilities, consider consumer data rights and consider establishing a new entity to coordinate preparation across all jurisdictions.

One recommendation that might give you a chuckle is that governments should discontinue the use of the terms ‘driverless vehicles’ or ‘autonomous vehicles’ and instead use the term ‘automated vehicles’.   Didn’t we already get ‘auto’ mobiles when we stopped using horses and bullocks?



The ALRTA National President and Executive Director attended the Livestock Transporters Association of Tasmania (LTAT) AGM on Friday, 15 September 2017, in Longford Tasmania.

It was good to hear that work has now commenced on the new truck wash at Powranna.  Guests from the Department of Primary Industries talked about enforcement of fit-to-load rules, effluent control and NVDs.  There was also quite a bit of discussion about how ongoing competition between Elders and Ruralco is resulting in with unsustainably low livestock numbers at some sales.

The ALRTA congratulates the following office bearers re-elected at the AGM:

  • President: Spencer Griggs
  • Vice President: Nick Hingston
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Tony Steers
  • Delegates: Adam Viney & Leigh Jones



Members are reminded that consultation is currently open on:

Personal Use of a Fatigue Related Heavy Vehicle
National HML Declaration
Class 2 B-double Notice
Class 2 Road Train Notice
Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Notice
National Road Safety Strategy
PBS Marketplace Review