ALRTA News – 24 November 2017


The ATA Board and Council met in Canberra this week.  Attendees included David Smith (LRTASA President and ATA Vice Chair), John Beer (LRTAV Vice President and ATA Owner Driver Representative) and Mathew Munro (ALRTA Executive Director).

Photo: ATA Chief of Staff (Bill McKinley), ATA CEO (Ben Maguire), ATA Chair (Geoff Crouch).

Discussions centred around general ATA strategy and policy platforms.  Our representatives were keen to refine the plan to reflect the ALRTA’s policy interests and to establish solid, forward-looking, policy platforms on regulatory telematics and road access.

We live in rapidly changing times and there is disruptive technology and regulation just over the horizon.  A clear strategic plan and agreed policy objectives will position ATA to play a stronger leadership role in shaping the industry we want to see tomorrow.

ALRTA is pleased to advise that ATA Council has agreed on an ATA Strategic Plan and Policy Statement for 2018-2020.



Members of the Western Australian Road Transport Association (WARTA) have voted to wind up the entity.  ALRTA understands that a formal notice has been served to the WA Government.   In due course, WARTA will cease to exist and will no longer be a member of the ATA.

The association will be succeeded by the Western Roads Federation (WRF) headed up by CEO Cam Dumesny. The new entity has been formed to give a strong and united voice for businesses that use WA roads for commercial benefit (incl. courier vans, cranes, specialist vehicles and trucks). WRF will strive to improve safety and productivity through greater access, investment and recognition of the critical importance of the industry.

ATA Council has approved WRF to become a category A member of ATA.



Elon Musk has unveiled an electric semi-trailer and Tesla is now taking pre-orders.

The battery powered vehicle is exceptionally aerodynamic (a coefficient of 0.36) and has four independent electric motors on the drive axles which enable it to:

  • Travel up to 800km on a single charge at full weight (36t load);
  • accelerate from a standing start to 97kph with a full load in 20 seconds (5 seconds with no load); and
  • hold a speed of 100kph on a 5% grade.

The Tesla Truck will also come with ‘Enhanced Autopilot Features’ which includes:

  • Automatic emergency braking;
  • Automatic lane keeping;
  • Forward collision warning; and
  • Ability to autonomously ‘platoon’ behind a lead vehicle with a driver.

Re-charging takes about 30min. Prices start at $150k USD for a ‘short range’ version (500km) and $180k USD for a ‘long range’ version (800km).  At current diesel vs electric costs, Tesla estimates a saving of more than $200k USD over the life of the truck.

This truck doesn’t look like it would take a hammering in the bush and there would be nowhere to charge it anyway.  However, it is a strong first step for Tesla into the trucking market and if the economics really does stack up, it won’t be long before we see this type of vehicle on inter-capital routes.



Applications are now open under the Australia Government’s $481.6m Building Better Regions Fund.  There are two parts to the BBRF:

Infrastructure Projects Stream
Provides organisations with grants of between $20,000 to $10 million to support projects which involve the construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure that provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas.

Community Investments Stream
Provides organisations with grants of between $5,000 to $10 million to fund community activities in regional and remote communities.

Applicants must have an ABN and be either a local governing body or a not-for-profit organisation.  Applications close at 5pm AEDT, 19 December 2017.

Previous successful applications under the fund have included new or updated saleyards and truck washes.

For more information click here.



Australian transport ministers have approved amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law to allow greater access to the network for high volume vehicles.

Vehicles approved to level 1 of the Performance Based Standards (PBS) will be allowed general access to the road network if their gross mass is below 42.5 tonnes once the amendments are passed by the Queensland Parliament.

This follows ministerial endorsement of the NTC’s policy proposal at the May 2017 Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting paving the way for economy-wide benefits of up to $1 billion per annum.



The ATO has advised that CPI indexation of Fuel Tax Credits is likely to occur on 5 February 2018.

For the latest information you can check here.



Did you know that for every dollar spent at a small business, 42 cents is reinvested back into the local community?

American Express is running a Shop Small campaign during November.  Spend more than $20 in one transaction at a participating business and you will get $10 back.  You can redeem the offer once per participating business at up to five different places.

There is only one week to go, but Christmas is just around the corner and it surprising just how many businesses are participating in regional communities across Australia.  Click on the link above to read more and check your local map.



The NHVR is conducting some market research as part of a continuous improvement approach to getting your views and opinions about the level of service NHVR provides.

NHVR has engaged the Nous Group, a management consulting firm, to help review the effectiveness of different methods used to interact with customers, partners and stakeholders.

The survey is being hosted by the Nous Group and in line with relevant privacy principles, your comments will remain anonymous and no individuals will be specifically identified in the process.

The survey will be open till close of business Thursday 30 November and will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Please use the following link to complete the survey.



The NHVR’s “On the Road” E-newsletter contains some interesting articles this week on:

  • NHVR website
  • Access arrangements in Tasmania
  • Webinar on OSOM National Mass Assessment
  • Portal training for road managers
  • NHVR portal tips

Click here for more information or to subscribe.



Member operators should check the post box for an envelope from ALRTA which should arrive in the next week or so.

The letter contains an overview of important lobbying and policy development activities undertaken on your behalf over the past six months, plus updates on the operation of your association and new offers from our commercial partners.

If our records indicate that you are one of our larger operators, the package will also contain a complimentary copy of a ‘Guide to Braking and Stability Performance for Heavy Vehicle Combinations’ jointly developed by the ALRTA and other industry associations.  If you would like a copy (or additional copies) just contact the ALRTA Secretariat.