ALRTA News – 18 May 2018


LTAT and ALRTA are pleased to announce that Federal Senator for Tasmania the Hon Richard Colbeck will deliver a keynote address at the LTAT Conference in Hobart on Saturday, 26 May 2018.

Senator Colbeck has a distinguished Parliamentary Career having held Ministerial and Parliamentary Secretary responsibilities for Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Tourism, Trade, Finance and International Education.

During the gala dinner, attendees will also hear an address by World Champion Axeman and Tasmanian living legend, David Foster OAM.

The interactive conference program is packed with relevant topics and excellent panellists, covering:

  • Road access;
  • Enforcement;
  • Animal welfare;
  • Driver safety;
  • Biosecurity;
  • Effluent management;
  • Safety management systems; and
  • Livestock market dynamics.

Registrations are now open – so be sure to secure your place as soon as possible.

What: Livestock Transporters Association of Tasmania (LTAT) Conference
When: Saturday, 26 May 2018
Where: RACV/RACT Apartment Hotel, Hobart

Register for the conference here: 2018 LTAT Conference Registration Form

Click here for the Conference Program.

For more information:

We thank local and national sponsors for generously supporting the event including: Beaurepaires, PACCAR & Dealer, PACCAR Parts, IC Frith, Bennet’s Petroleum and Westar Trucks.



The Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources has released an ‘Independent Review of Conditions for the Export of Sheep to the Middle East During the Northern Hemisphere Summer’, undertaken by veterinarian Dr Michael McCarthy.

The report was instigated by Minister Littleproud after footage aired on 60 Minutes last month demonstrated that current practices, monitoring, reporting and penalties applicable to live export vessels are not always delivering the animal welfare standards expected by the community and the livestock supply chain.

The report does not recommend discontinuation of the trade.

The report does however make 23 recommendations broadly relating to stocking densities, ventilation, thermo-regulation, measurement of animal welfare, independent observation and increased penalties.  The Minister and the Department of Agriculture have accepted all 23 recommendations.

The primary recommendations are:

  • that the industry moves away from using mortality as a measure to a focus on measures that reflect the welfare of the animal. Within the risk assessment model this replaces the mortality limit with a heat tolerance level;
  • that the risk settings on the Heat Stress Risk Assessment (HSRA) are to be adjusted to better reflect community expectations;
  • that space allocation should embrace ‘allometric’ principles and adopt a k-value of 0.033, and this be utilised for any periods within the May to October period, unless overridden by the HSRA model’s assessment;
  • that a vessel’s pen air turnover (PAT) be independently verified, as part of the condition of an approved arrangement for sheep travelling to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer;
  • that the reportable level for sheep travelling from Australia to the Middle East be reduced from 2% to 1% effective immediately; and
  • further recommendations as described in the body of the review.

It is anticipated that the new settings will impose substantial restrictions on many vessels wishing to participate in the trade during the northern hemisphere summer period, depending on the month, their ventilation capabilities, the cargo they intend to carry and the destinations involved.

For exporters, it will mean lower stocking densities, along with an underlying incentive to upgrade ships to decrease the probability of heat stress (to reduce the economic impact of the restrictions).

Chair of the ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee John Beer said that the report was a significant step in the right direction.

“This is a tremendously important issue for Australian farmers, road transporters and rural communities generally.  Closure of the live export market would have been devastating for our regional supply chain and those overseas who rely on our food products”, said Mr Beer.

“While lower stocking densities are likely to have a consequential impact on domestic livestock prices and demand for road transport services, the 23 recommendations contained in the report are a reasonable and measured response to unacceptable practices by a small minority of exporters.

“We must embrace a new way of doing business now and remain ever vigilant to minimise the risk of similar incidents occurring in future. All Australians deserve to know that our animals are being treated humanely at all points in the supply chain,” said Mr Beer.

A further report into the capabilities, investigative capacity and culture of the Australian independent regulator for live exports is due in August 2018.

The full McCarthy Report can be found here


Today, ALRTA National President, Kevin Keenan, attended the 9th meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council in Darwin.

The format of the meeting has changed with industry observers now given a chance to speak during a one-hour interactive forum prior to a longer closed session for Ministers and select officials only.

ALRTA will raise the importance of improved funding for rural and regional roads as well as improving chain of responsibility for effluent control with appropriate supporting infrastructure.

Look out for a more detailed update next week.



MLA has announced a review of the ‘Is it Fit to Load?’ Guide.

ALRTA wrote to MLA seeking the review on 27 June 2017.  RSPCA and Animal Angels lodged similar requests.  It has been more than 5 years since the last review.

MLA has established an internal working group and invited submissions by 15 June 2018.

Previously, ALRTA has argued that the guide could do more to assist responsible persons to respond appropriately to a number of relatively common conditions including: hernia; uncut claws; blindness; broken horns and expression of pain.  It would also be helpful for the guide to include loading densities.

If you have suggestions please contact your state association or the ALRTA Secretariat.



Last week, the Australian Parliament passed the Interstate Road Transport Legislation (Repeal) Bill 2018 with the support of both the Government and Opposition.

This legislation will:

  • Close FIRS to new entrants and re-registration by existing FIRS operators from 1 July 2018;
  • Preserve provisions required to facilitate the operation of FIRS for a 12 month transitional period after closure to new entrants and re-registrants; and
  • Close FIRS to all operators by 30 June 2019.

The ATA opposed the passage of this legislation and the closure of FIRS.  Governments are supporting the closure of FIRS because it will abolish stamp duty concessions and because of the supposed establishment of a national heavy vehicle registration scheme.

The problem is that the new scheme is not actually a national registration system.  To the casual observer it may look like a national registration system but fundamentally it is really just a national plate and an NHVR-state data sharing arrangement.  Operators will still need to deal with state registries, pay state stamp duty, hold state CTP and transfer registrations inter-state.

Don’t be fooled by the national plate – we still have a long way to go.



The Australian Government has announced a review of Australia’s liquid fuel security.

Liquid fuel accounts for 98 per cent of transport fuel and 37 per cent of national energy use.

Previous reviews have indicated that Australian reserves of liquid fuels are well short of the International Energy Agency’s emergency stockholding obligations.  The agency mandates that countries hold at least 90 days supply but Australia currently has just:

  • 22 days of crude oil;
  • 21 days of diesel;
  • 19 days of aviation fuel; and
  • 59 days of LPG.

The review is due to be completed by the end of 2018 and will contribute to a broader consideration of energy security across liquid fuel, electricity and gas supplies in the National Energy Security Assessment by mid-2019.



NTC is seeking feedback on a new approach to a safety assurance system for automated vehicles.

According to NTC Chief Executive Paul Retter, Australia’s existing laws and regulations do not recognise automated vehicles.  The Consultation RIS seeks feedback on what role Australian governments will play in assuring the safety of automated driving systems, and what form a safety assurance system would take.

You can find out more here.



The truck driver licensing system is an insult to Australia’s expert, hard working truck drivers and must be fixed, the CEO of the Australian Trucking Association, Ben Maguire, said today.

Mr Maguire was responding to the results of an independent review of the National Heavy Vehicle Driver Competency Framework. The review was published this month.

“Australia’s transport ministers commissioned the review in response to the ATA’s concerns about driver training. In fact, we called for this review in the run up to the 2016 federal election,” Mr Maguire said.

“The review is now done. Its findings show that the current truck driver licensing system is inadequate.

“The review shows, for example, that the current heavy rigid training unit (TLILIC2016) fails to address six out of the ten safety risks it identifies. The unit only partly addresses the other four out of ten.

“The poor quality of the driver training system is an insult to Australia’s expert, hard-working truck drivers, who have spent many years learning their profession.

“It’s also an insult to the many driver trainers that are committed to safety, such as ATA member DECA Training, which offers outstanding post-licence courses for drivers who want to be recognised as professionals.

“When Australia’s transport ministers meet on Friday, they need to consider the results of this review and take urgent action,” he said.

Mr Maguire dismissed the argument that improving driver licensing might worsen the shortage of truck drivers.

“There is a shortage of new starters in the trucking industry, but it’s due to the image of the industry and the image of truck driving as a career. By improving the professionalism of the industry, strengthening driver training would make driving more, not less, attractive as a career,” he said.

Read the Austroads report



The ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee met via teleconference this week to discuss live exports, ramp standards, effluent, loading frames and saleyard practices.



LRTAQ Conference
Registrations are now open for the 2018 LRTAQ Annual Conference to be held 1-3 June 2018 in Charters Towers, Queensland.

The event includes a welcome reception, transport forum, community breakfast, AGM, partners program and the legendary Bull Carter’s Ball.  There will even be pig racing (including a Calcutta) and a classic car display!

Click here for more information.
LRTASA Conference
Registrations are open for the LRTASA Annual State Conference will be held 15-16 June 2018 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

The weekend kicks off with a Golf competition at Adelaide Golf Links on the fringe of the CBD followed by pre-dinner drinks and dinner at the Entertainment Centre.   The Conference Sessions are on Saturday followed by a Gala Dinner (with entertainment by magician Matt Tarrant) and Auction.

Delegates will also enjoy the free coffee cart and the legendary crumbed lamb chops (seriously you need to try these).

Click here for more information.

LRTAWA Conference
The LRTAWA Annual State Conference will be held 20-21 July 2018 at the Light House Beach Resort in Bunbury.

Click here for more information.

LRTAV Conference
The LRTAV Annual State Conference will be held 17-18 August 2018 in Bendigo.

Click here for more information.