Smith Haulage Wins 2017 Woolworths Carrier of the Year!

Well done to David Smith and the team at Smith Haulage. ALRTA member Smith Haulage, based in Tumby Bay SA, has been announced Small Transport Partner at the 2017 Woolworths Carrier of the Year Awards.




Just two weeks ago I suggested that “…this dual citizenship debacle is a long way from over and might yet pull the rug out from under the Turnbull Government”. Since then another two Federal Parliamentarians have outright resigned, with several more now under suspicion and likely to be referred to the High Court.

With this week’s resignation of John Alexander, the Coalition has now lost its majority in the House of Representatives, holding just 73 votes of a possible 148 (usually there are 150).   However, even with all five crossbenchers onside, Labor could only muster 74 votes which falls one short of an outright majority – so Turnbull is safe from a no confidence motion…..for now.

Hang on, that only adds up to 147 votes! Who has the other vote?

The outstanding vote is held by the Speaker of the House.  The Speaker is ‘impartial’ and does not take part in debates or use their vote except in the rare case of a tied vote.  The current Speaker is a member of the Coalition and I think we can assume will not be supporting a no confidence motion.

The other casualty this week was of course Jackie Lambie.  I am not even sure if I can refer to Ms Lambie as the ‘former Senator for Tasmania’ given that she was ineligible to be elected in the first place.  It just shows how strange this whole situation really is.

So off to the polls we go in New England on 2 December (Barnaby Joyce is expected to be comfortably elected) and Bennelong on 16 December (John Alexander will have a fight on his hands against former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally).

Who knows what the next two weeks will bring?



ALRTA headed back to south east Queensland this week to talk with stakeholders about establishing Australia’s first roadside effluent disposal facility.  Our delegation comprised Graeme Hoare (LBRCA Vice President), Fiona Wild (LRTAQ) and Mathew Munro (ALRTA Executive Director).

Our first stop was Wellcamp Business Park in Toowoomba where we met with George Anderson (Property Analyst / Town Planner) of Wagners – a family owned business with divisions in concrete, quarries and transport (including Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport).  During this meeting we explored the possibility of locating the site on private land and operating the facility on a commercial basis.  This would be quite a different model than originally intended, but it is always worthwhile looking at all of the options.

Next, we linked up with John Gilbert (Manager Stakeholder Relations) of the NHVR and together met with Mayor Tanya Milligan of Lockyer Valley Regional Council.  We believe that the ideal site for the disposal facility would be at the bottom of the Toowoomba Range Crossing in the Lockyer Valley Regional Council area.  Support from the Council will be crucial for ‘lining our ducks up’ to make the project a reality.



ALRTA is pleased to advise members that the NTC has commenced a Review of Regulatory Telematics that will:

  • assess current adoption rates by industry;
  • identify barriers to adoption;
  • review governance and legislative arrangements; and
  • consider the benefits and disadvantages of using telematics for regulatory purposes (e.g. speeding, revenue collection and infrastructure provision).

The review will primarily focus on telematics regulated by the HVNL including IAP and electronic work diaries – the same two areas of most concern to our members.  As regular readers will recall, ALRTA, LBRCA and LRTAQ recently raised this matter during a special joint meeting with NHVR, RMS, TMR and QLD Police during which even the regulators admitted that IAP was not delivering.

This review is an important opportuning for industry to develop a broad policy on the use of regulatory telematics and advocate our view with authorities.

The NTC will report findings to the Transport and Infrastructure Standing Officials Committee (the heads of government regulators) in March 2018.

ALRTA has been invited to participate in an initial scoping interview in the near future.  Over the course of the review we will be seeking your views so stay tuned to this one.



Australian transport ministers have approved two key automated vehicle reforms as part of a roadmap of reform to support commercial deployment.

Chief Executive of the NTC, Paul Retter, said ministers endorsed new national enforcement guidelines and agreed to progress the development of a safety assurance system at the Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting on Friday, 10 November.

“Ministers have agreed to a goal of having an end-to-end regulatory system in place by 2020 to support the safe, commercial deployment of automated vehicles at all levels of automation. This is an important milestone towards that goal,” Mr Retter said.

“Australia is one of the first countries to make this bold commitment to 2020.  We want to give certainty to manufacturers by ensuring our regulatory system is flexible and responsive to encourage innovation.”

The National Enforcement Guidelines provide guidance to police for applying the road rules to automated vehicles.

“These guidelines provide clarity around who is in control of a vehicle at different levels of automation.  They confirm that a human driver is responsible for the driving task when conditional automation is engaged,” Mr Retter said.

“They also determine that having hands on the wheel is no longer an indicator of having proper control when conditional automation is safely engaged.”

Transport ministers have also directed the NTC to develop a safety assurance system for automated road vehicles.

“Ministers agree that government has a role in assuring the safety of automated driving systems, just as governments have a role in assuring driver safety today through driver licensing regimes,” Mr Retter said.

The NTC is working with the Commonwealth, state and territory governments to implement a safety assurance system by 2020. The next stage is to develop a COAG Regulation Impact Statement on legislative options in early 2018. These projects are part of a broader roadmap of reform to support automated vehicles. For more information about the NTC’s projects, see the NTC website.

The NTC is currently consulting on how to change driving laws to support automated vehicles, with submissions closing on 24 November.  From January 2018, the NTC will commence public consultation on two further projects relating to government access to automated vehicle data and a review of automated vehicle exemption powers and insurance.



WA-based Road Trains of Australia (RTA) has been recognised for its rigorous standards in management, maintenance, training and animal welfare through the TruckSafe accreditation program.

The family owned and operated company has more than 40 years’ experience in safe and dependable livestock, fuel, bulk commodities and general freight transport throughout the north of Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.

It adheres to rigorous workplace and driver health and animal welfare standards, and has continuous training for its drivers on humane animal handling techniques.

“TruckSafe is the only quality assurance program for livestock transport that enables us to manage our animal welfare compliance,” says Steve Beatty, RTA’s Northern Territory Manager.

“To receive TruckSafe accreditation, our depots and vehicles underwent a rigorous audit process to ensure we adhere to the highest safety standards across all areas of our business––from management, maintenance and training, to workplace and driver health and safety.

“As a TruckSafe accredited member, we must operate on a much higher level of road safety than the industry average, and ensure that we reduce risks through safe work practices, animal welfare procedures, safe and well-maintained trucks and healthy drivers,” he says.

“The program is an appropriate choice for our business for a raft of reasons. We have a team of TruckSafe experts behind us to provide up-to-date information on changes to legislation, and we can access advice on all matters concerning road safety.”

TruckSafe Chairman, Ferdie Kroon, says accredited operators voluntarily go the extra mile to meet the program’s rigorous standards.

“RTA is to be congratulated on its accreditation and its contribution to maintaining the highest industry standards,” he says.

“When you use a TruckSafe accredited business, you know you’re dealing with a safe and professional operator.”

TruckSafe is the trucking industry’s own business and risk management system, which aims to improve the safety and professionalism of trucking operators across Australia.



Over the past four decades, change has been constant in heavy motor insurance. One person who has not only witnessed it all, but been a key driver of change, has been NTI’s National Manager of Industry and Government Relations, Mr Owen Driscoll.

Now, after a successful 43-years with NTI, Mr Driscoll has bid farewell.

Since joining NTI (formerly R&G Insurance Consultants) in 1974, Mr Driscoll held many key roles, including acting CEO. He oversaw the London delegation and appointment of the company as Lloyds Brokers representatives in Australia and launched branch offices in Newcastle, Melbourne, Parramatta and Perth.

Mr Driscoll established NTI’s Roadteam network and founded the National Truck Accident Research Centre in 2002. Being a contributor to driving this change is one of the things Mr Driscoll is most proud of.

“The research centre was an evolution of a feeling that we were underutilising the accident information and the corresponding statistics available to us,” said Mr Driscoll.

“Ultimately we realised that you can’t fix a problem if you don’t know where it starts.”

Mr Driscoll has represented NTI on numerous boards and industry bodies, and his commitment to road safety has been a growing force throughout his career.

His lengthy career is also endorsed by numerous accolades, including the Don Watson Memorial Award in 2006 for outstanding commitment to road safety and the road transport industry, as well as recognition in 2015 by the Australian Road Transport Hall of Fame as an industry icon for commitment to road safety through road accident research.

Upon leaving NTI, Mr Driscoll says he’s appreciative of the many who have influenced his contribution, but there is one person he’s most indebted to.

“All pale into insignificance when it comes to my wife and best friend, Kate,” said Mr Driscoll.