ALRTA News – 22 December 2017


We would like to take this opportunity to thank King Bars for all of their support as a Platinum Partner of the ALRTA.

King Bars will be supporting our states directly next year. Our members have always been fond of King Bars products and we believe that the business relationship will long continue at the state level.

On behalf of the ALRTA, thank you.


The Turnbull Coalition Government has retained it’s one seat majority in the House of Representatives after John Alexander was re-elected in the Bennelong byelection held last Saturday.

Less than a week later, the Coalition has reshuffled the front bench and Cabinet.

There are several changes that affect the transport, agricultural and regional portfolios.

  • The Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce MP, has vacated the Agriculture and Water Resources portfolio and replaced Darren Chester MP as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.
  • The Hon. David Littleproud is now Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.
  • The Hon. John McVeigh is now Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government.  Minister McVeigh replaced Senator Fiona Nash who was disqualified from the Federal Parliament over dual citizenship.
  • ALRTA National President welcomed the new appointments and thanked Darren Chester for his contribution to rural transport and road safety more generally.

    “There is a wealth of talent within the National Party and the rural transport sector will be well served by the new Ministerial appointments”, said President Keenan.

    “Minister Littleproud has a background in banking and finance while Minister McVeigh has previous experience as a former Queensland Minister for Agriculture.

    “The appointment of the Deputy Prime Minister to the Infrastructure and Transport Ministry just demonstrates the importance placed on this portfolio in the broader Australian economy.

    “On behalf of the rural transport sector I must acknowledge the excellent work of Darren Chester MP during his time as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.  Mr Chester took the time to meet with our elected representatives on several occasions, attended our National Conferences and always made his staff available to our Secretariat.

    “Mr Chester clearly understood rural transport and was a passionate advocate for improving regional roads and road safety.  I know that ALRTA will remain in close contact with Mr Chester to progress our shared passions”, he said.


The ALRTA has made a formal application to the Australian Government’s $482m Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) to build and operate Australia’s first roadside effluent disposal facility on the Warrego Highway in Queensland.

We are seeking a BBRF contribution of 33% of the total estimated project cost, with the remaining 66% committed by the Queensland Department of Main Roads.

If successful, this project will be a game-changer for livestock effluent management in Australia.

Management of livestock effluent on public roadways is important for protecting road safety, animal welfare, biosecurity, amenity, environment and business interests.

According to the ABS publication Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2015-16 the total value of ‘Livestock slaughterings and other disposals’ is approximately $21b annually.  The vast majority of these livestock will have been transported by road on at least one occasion.

The Red Meat Advisory Council estimates that from paddock to plate, the red meat and livestock sector comprises 75,000 businesses involving 405,000 jobs and growing at 11% annually by value.

Livestock can lose up to 5% of their weight as effluent during transit.  Currently, there are only two possible outcomes.  Either effluent is lost from the vehicle onto the roadway during transit or drivers must find places to dispose of material accumulated in effluent containment tanks.

Image 1: Unmanaged Effluent Disposal

In Australia, there are currently no roadside effluent disposal sites. Livestock processing facilities are not required to provide disposal areas and primary producers will not accept it onto their property due to biosecurity concerns. Drivers depositing material in public places risk fines of up to $8,000.

In other countries such as New Zealand, National and Regional Governments are jointly funding, building and operating purpose-built livestock effluent disposal facilities on public roads.  This is exactly what is needed for the Australian livestock supply chain to co-exist and grow alongside expanding urban populations.

The Warrego Highway is Australia’s most important cattle transport route because it connects broadacre and intensive production zones with several large processors located in the SE QLD area.

Image 2: Cattle Transport Routes in Australia 

The CSIRO TRANSIT model estimates that there are more than 20,000 semi-trailer equivalent cattle movements through the Lockyer Valley annually.  Effluent loss in this corridor is creating a local environmental problem with potentially national consequences.  This is because effluent is a known vector for the transmission of pests and diseases of national significance such as parthenium, giant rats tail grass and foot and mouth disease.

Modelling estimates that the construction of a managed roadside effluent disposal facility on the eastbound side of the Warrego Highway would capture 2,500,000 litres of livestock effluent annually.  Instead of being lost onto the road corridor, this material can become a valuable resource that is redirected for other purposes such as irrigation to farmland, soil composting, worm farms or energy generation.

 Image 3: A Vision of a Cleaner Future

As the first facility of its kind in Australia, this project will serve as a foundation model while also delivering immediate benefits for road users, livestock producers, transporters, processors and all regions that rely on the livestock supply chain in South East Queensland.

The ALRTA would like to thank the following stakeholders who provided a formal letter of support for our BBRF application:

  1. Lockyer Valley Regional Council
  2. Toowoomba Regional Council
  3. Federal Member for Wright – Scott Buchholz MP (covering the location of the site)
  4. NHVR
  5. NTC
  6. National Farmers Federation
  7. AgForce
  8. Australian Lot Feeders Association
  9. Red Meat Advisory Council
  10. Australian Meat Processor Corporation
  11. JBS
  12. TEYS
  13. Australian Country Choice
  14. Kilcoy Pastoral Company
  15. Highchester Meats
  16. Frasers Livestock Transport
  17. Martins Group of Companies

We expect a decision on funding via the BBRF around June 2018.  In the mean-time, we will continue to work with industry, governments and commercial partners to plan for the construction and operational phases.


The Australian Government has released a consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) which considers the case for mandating electronic stability control (ESC) for heavy trucks and buses and roll stability control (RSC) for heavy trailers.

If agreed, the changes would occur via ADRs 35/06 and 38/05.

The RIS considers six options:

  1. No intervention
  2. User-information campaigns
  3. Fleet purchasing policies
  4. Code of practice
  5. Mandatory standards under the Competition and Consumer Act
  6. Mandatory standards under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act

After assessing these options, the RIS recommends a variation of Option 6.

Under this option, a new ADR 35/06 would be implemented to require ESC for newprime movers greater than 12 tonnes GVM; and a new ADR 38/05 would be implemented to require ABS for new trailers greater than 4.5 tonnes GTM, with the addition of RSC for new trailers greater than 10 tonnes GTM.

It is important to note that the new requirements would apply to both air and spring suspension. Exemptions from fitment of both ABS and RSC would apply to converter dollies.

The proposed implementation dates for trucks and buses are:

  • 1 November 2019 for new model vehicles; and
  • 1 November 2021 for all new vehicles.

Proposed implementation dates for heavy trailers are:

  • 1 July 2019 for all new model vehicles; and
  • 1 November 2019 for all new vehicles.

The ALRTA National Council supports a move to mandatory ESC – with appropriate exemptions, including for converter dollies.   ALRTA has worked closely with the Australian Government and ATA in the lead up to the release of the RIS.

ALRTA will examine the detail contained in the RIS and provide a submission in response.

We invite members to consider the proposal and provide your views to either the ALRTA or one of our state associations early in 2018.  You can find the relevant documents here.


The NHVR has released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making – Electronic Work Diary (EWD) Policy Framework and Standards.

The proposed EWD Policy Framework and Standards establish the coregulatory framework for administering the EWD provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law.  Basically, these will be the rules that enable the NHVR to approve devices that operators can use to legally replace paper work diaries.

NHVR are seeking responses to the proposal by 30 January 2018.  ALRTA will prepare a submission and we would welcome your comments.

You can find more information, including fact sheets, a proposed policy framework, proposed policy standards and a feedback form here.

It is important for operators to note that the NHVR is not proposing to mandate EWDs.  Only Australian Transport Ministers could together make such a decision.

However, members need to be aware that America has recently mandated EWDs (or ELDs as they are known) with enforcement to commence from 1 April 2018.  Systems must be approved by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration and generally cost around $40USD per month.

The new laws do not change the underlying fatigue rules and there are exemptions for:

  • drivers who use paper logs no more than eight days during any 30-day period.
  • certain tow drivers
  • drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000.

A 90 day phase in period has been granted to the agricultural supply chain in response to concerns raised about managing waiting times to load vehicles.

The new requirements have been broadly supported by the American Trucking Association and the safety lobby.


The ALRTA has written to key supply chain stakeholders and safety authorities seeking formal support for a National Ramp Standard.  The letter follows external consultations undertaken by the ALRTA and our state associations.

We will continue to progress this issue in 2018 by lodging a formal submission, including letters of support, to Standards Australia.


Following the resignation of NTC Commissioner and former Chair, David Anderson, Ministers have ratified several changes to the Commissioner line-up:

  • Former Deputy Chair, Carolyn Walsh has been appointed as NTC Chair;
  • Nola Bransgrove moves into the Deputy Chair position; and
  • Steven Kennedy has been appointed to the Board;
  • Reece Waldock has been appointed to the Board; and
  • Neil Scales has also been reappointed for a further three-year term.


Byrne Trailers have been at the forefront of livestock trailer development for over four decades.

Their innovative approach has been well received by the livestock transport industry.  Most livestock trailers today are either built by Byrne Trailers, or they look like a Byrne trailer.  But true to form, Byrne Trailers have not stood still, they have continued to listen to customers and their current offerings address one of the biggest enemies of livestock trailers – corrosion. Byrne Trailers General Manager, David Byrne tells the Byrne Stainless story:

“My first real job after finishing school in the early 90’s was in the steel industry. One of the first things you learn is that all steels aren’t the same, and you need to be very careful to use the right steel for the job.  When I did join the family business, we looked at a new structural stainless steel that was just hitting the market.  It was only available in sheet form, so we offered it as an option for the floors on livestock trailers, because these are the first areas to rust out.  The first trailer with this spec was delivered almost 30 years ago.  We found that the steel is strong and durable and extremely corrosion resistant, but the adjoining areas of the trailer frames continued to rust out.  So the next step was to build the whole superstructure with this material, which we now do with tube sections that are made to our specifications.  This Stainless Steel alloy is as strong and ductile as the carbon steel we had been using for decades, but is 250 times more corrosion resistant. That means it rusts 250 times slower. Because we purchase the stainless steel sheet and tube from a first world country, the quality is spot on.  It complements the Byrne Trailers brand very well.”

Byrne Trailers have been offering full Stainless Steel trailers since early 2016, and most of the livestock trailers they have built since then have been with this latest material. To find out more, click the link below: