ALRTA MEETS SUPPLY CHAIN IN SYDNEY
The ALRTA Executive Director, Mathew Munro, and TruckSafe Manager, Justin Fleming, met with several important supply chain parties in Sydney, including:
- Australian Meat Industry Council;
- Meat and Livestock Australia;
- Australian Lot Feeders Association;
- OSI International Foods; and
- Australian Meat Processor Corporation.
Woolworths’ Animal Welfare Manager, Dr Nick Hover, accompanied us at several of the meetings and Mr Munro also met with RSPCA in Canberra later in the week.
Photo: Mathew Munro, Nick Hover, Robert Barker (AMIC) and Justin Fleming.
The main focus of the meetings was to invite participation in our review of the TruckSafe Animal Welfare Module, but we also took the opportunity to explain and seek support for several other important ALRTA initiatives such as establishing road-side effluent disposal infrastructure, ramps standards, user-pay unloading frames, improving NVDs and reviewing the fit-to-load guide.
FLEXIBLE WARNING SIGNS
The NHVR has published the Heavy Vehicle Standards (Warning Signs) Exemption Notice 2017 (NO.1) allowing the use of flexible road train and long vehicle signs.
The option to use flexible signs was previously only available in Queensland. It is important to note that conventional signs may still be used.
ALRTA strongly supported this change when proposed as part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law maintenance process.
The new rules will eventually become part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law. NHVR has published the notice as an interim measure to expediate the process.
ALRTA COMMENDS DRIVERS AND POLICE
ALRTA National President, Kevin Keenan, has commended the professional manner in which drivers and police handled vegan activist protests outside a pig processing plant in Victoria for five days this week.
“I have been thoroughly impressed by the actions of Victorian Police in protecting our livestock supply chain from a small minority of individuals who would prefer it to stop entirely,” said President Keenan.
“Protesters were crowding closely around moving trucks and even sitting on the road in the path of oncoming vehicles. The good men and women of Victoria Police calmly removed problem individuals and enabled each truck to reach its destination with minimal delay.
“These are testing circumstances for our drivers and for the police. Some protesters would like nothing more than to provoke a negative reaction. I was dismayed to see some protesters openly refer to the police actions as violent – which video evidence clearly shows was not the case.
“On behalf of the entire livestock transport sector I commend the responsible conduct of our drivers and the professional measured actions of the Victorian Police,” he said.
EWD FACT SHEET AND STANDARDS TIMELINE
The NHVR has released the latest Electronic Work Diary (EWD) Fact Sheet, ahead of the next round of industry consultation.
NHVR A/Executive Director of Safety and Productivity Darrin Rasmussen said the Fact Sheet would prepare heavy vehicle operators and technology providers for the EWD Policy Framework and Standards release on December 18.
“The Standards will be publicly available for comment until early February 2018,” Mr Rasmussen said.
EWDs is a voluntary electronic recording system approved by the NHVR to monitor and record the work and rest times of a driver.
Following the nine-week consultation period, the NHVR expects to commence assessing and approving EWDs as a voluntary alternative to the written work diary in the first half of 2018.
“We’ll also be calling for technology providers and transport operators intending to develop EWDs to register their interest with the NHVR from December 18,” Mr Rasmussen said.
“This will allow electronic devices or systems already in use that meet the EWD Standards to be assessed and approved.
“The introduction of EWDs for heavy vehicle operators will be an important step forward in how we monitor driver fatigue across Australia.”
Authorised Officers will only have the same access to EWD information as they currently have to written work diary entries.
TRUCK WASH FUNDING APPROVED
The Australian Government’s share of funding for an innovative scheme to build and upgrade truck wash out facilities across New South Wales has been approved.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester joined Member for Page Kevin Hogan on-site at the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange in Casino to confirm the Australian Government’s contribution of almost $4.6 million to the jointly funded program.
Mr Chester said building and upgrading 26 existing truck wash out facilities around the state would reduce the frequency of effluent spills and improve road safety.
“We are going to deliver these upgrades to truck wash facilities in partnership with the NSW Government, one of them being Casino’s Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange,” Mr Chester said.
“The Richmond Valley Council has been a big supporter of the project, and it’s good to know our joint investment is going to support the local region’s economy, as well as wider New South Wales livestock industry.
“A total of 26 truck wash projects throughout the state will be funded under the program, and I’m looking forward to finalising arrangements with the NSW Government in the near future.”
Mr Hogan said the Coalition election commitment to upgrade truck washes throughout the state would help target key livestock routes or effluent ‘hotspots’ where existing wash out facilities needed improvements to meet the demands of industry.
“Upgrading the Casino facilities is expected to come in at approximately $360,000, with works looking to start early next year and take around three months to complete. We will also see an upgrade carried out at the Grafton Regional Livestock Selling Centre, and having better facilities at the truck washes is going to deliver important flow on benefits to the region,” Mr Hogan said.
“Here in Casino, we are looking at a facility upgrade and the installation of another B-Double wash-out bay, which means average truck wash and wait times will be halved. Once the upgrade is done, B-Double trucks will no longer need to reposition their trailer mid-wash—reducing the time drivers will need to allocate for their end-to-end trip planning.
“The livestock industry is vital to this region and our local economy, and providing better truck wash out facilities for transport operators will save them time, improve the quality of livestock transport operations, and help keep our roads safe.”
The project is being delivered by the Australian and New South Wales governments on a 50/50 split.
NHVR’s “On the Road” E-newsletter contains some interesting articles this week on:
- Chain of responsibility
- Christmas / New Year travel restrictions & business hours
- SA Class 1 permit applications in SA
- Draft EWD policy framework
- NHVR portal tips
Click here for more information or to subscribe.
REMINDER: BUILDING BETTER REGIONS FUND
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.