ALRTA News 1 June 2018


The ALRTA calls on all members and interested parties to urgently write to your Federal Member of Parliament and other key decision makers to express your view about proposals to phase out live sheep exports.

If you can help, please take action as soon as possible.

The Situation
The continuation of live sheep exports is uncertain. The Federal Parliament is currently debating legislation that will either impose measures to improve the trade or phase it out entirely.

There are two Bills before the House of Representatives and more will follow as the Government implements changes to the current live export rules.

Live Sheep Export Long Haul Prohibition Bill 2018
This Bill was introduced by Liberal backbencher Susan Ley MP.  It proposes to phase out live sheep exports to the Middle East over a five year period.   The Bill is supported by Labour, the Greens and Liberal backbenchers Sarah Henderson MP and Jason Wood MP.

The Government has so far prevented this Bill from being debated and has introduced an alternative Bill (see below) which is now under debate and proceeding rapidly to a vote.

Export Legislation Amendment (Live-Stock) Bill 2018
This Bill was introduced by the Government as a 1st stage response to the ‘Independent Review of Conditions for the Export of Sheep to the Middle East During the Northern Hemisphere Summer’, which made 23 recommendations.

This Bill will dramatically increase penalties for contravening existing live export laws and introduce several new offences which also carry very high penalties of up to:

  • For individuals: 10,000 penalty units or 10 years imprisonment.
  • For corporations: 20,000 penalty units; or three times the value of the benefit obtained by the body corporate; or 10% of the annual turnover of the body corporate in the relevant 12 month period – whichever is the greater.

While Labor will support this Bill, the Shadow Minister for Agriculture has introduced an amendment that would have the same effect as the prohibition bill.

How Can you Help?
Members of Federal Parliament are being inundated by emails as part of a coordinated campaign by animal activists. You may also have noticed newspaper and TV ads.

These emails are emotive and only tell one side of the story.

There is also a human side to this story.

We need you to tell our decision makers about the impact that closure of the live export market will have on your transport business, the livestock supply chain and your regional community.

If you can spare 15 minutes, we ask that you write to your local Member of the Federal Parliament as well as key Senators on the cross-bench who hold the balance of power.

To find the contact details of your Federal Member click here.

Please also cc your email to the following addresses (you can copy/paste this part):;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

What Should I Say?
Emails that are copy/pasted have little impact.  We need you to tell your own story with a particular emphasis on your transport business and your local community.

Your email does not need to be long and detailed – the most important thing is to send one.

Here are some suggested points you might cover:

  • Impacts on your transport business (direct or indirect).
  • Impacts on livestock prices.
  • Impacts on stock numbers and flows.
  • Impacts on local employment.
  • Impacts on service providers, input suppliers and other local businesses.
  • Impacts on property values, human populations and viability of local community groups.

Here are a few facts about live exports you may choose to reference:

  • In 2017, Australia exported 2.8 million cattle, sheep and goats valued at $1.4b.
  • Independent research has shown that saleyard prices for sheep would be at least 18% lower without an export market.
  • Live exports support more than 13,000 jobs in Australia, with wages in excess of $1b annually, and the vast majority being in rural areas.
  • Over 130 countries around the world export livestock.
  • Australia already has the highest animal welfare protections and will tighten these further.
  • Other nations rely on Australia to supply food to their growing populations.
  • Middle Eastern markets cannot substitute live imports with chilled boxed meat.
  • If Australia prohibits live exports, Middle Eastern countries will continue to import live animals from other countries with lower welfare standards – animal welfare outcomes will be worse overall.
  • For example, in 2008-09 Saudi Arabia imported around three million live sheep with 20% of these from Australia. Today, Saudi Arabia imports five million sheep per annum, with none coming from Australia since the introduction of our mandatory animal welfare standards.
  • Kuwait has advised that if Australia prohibits live exports, they will also look elsewhere for processed product that is currently sourced from Australia.  This will result in a double whammy effect on our livestock markets.
  • Australian meat processors support closure of live exports because livestock prices will drop.  Farmers will have no alternative but to accept the processor price.
  • Live export vessels and companies are extremely mobile and will continue to trade from overseas ports.
  • As a first world nation with modern values and an enforceable rule of law, it is important for Australia to play a leading role in improving live export standards.
  • The recommendations of the independent report (including new animal welfare standards, monitoring, reporting and penalties) should be implemented and given a chance to work before irreversible action is taken.

Thank You for Your Support
Immediate action is required to inform decision makers before a vote on the live export bills.  We thank you for taking the time to express your views.


The NTC has released a discussion paper on ‘Effluent and Load Restraint’.  The discussion paper seeks feedback regarding possible amendments to the HVNL to:

  • Clarify the application of chain of responsibility duties for parties in the livestock supply chain; and
  • Allow for minor, incidental and unavoidable (in any practical sense) spills that do not compromise the overriding safety objectives of the load restraint options.

The paper proposes three options and seeks stakeholder views on their preferred approach.

  • Option 1: Amend the definition of party in the chain of responsibility
  • Option 2: Amend section 111 to specifically include other chain of responsibility parties
  • Option 3: Allow for a minor, incidental or unavoidable loss of part of a load

The discussion paper is the result of ALRTA advocacy on this issue over the past two years.

It is widely known that the primary cause of effluent loss from heavy vehicles onto public roadways is poor preparation of livestock prior to transport and lack of supporting roadside infrastructure.

While effluent loss is routinely treated as a load restraint breach under the HVNL, chain of responsibility has not been effective in motivating off-road parties to consider the impact of their animal preparation practices.  In part, this is because livestock are so different from other types of freight that regulators and chain parties are uncertain about how exactly the HVNL captures pre-transit preparation of livestock.

In addition, it is simply not possible to prevent all effluent spills because of the need for crates to be ventilated. It is past-time for a common-sense approach to enforcement of unavoidable minor breaches. This is also the case for other commodity types such as hay or cotton where minor loss is unavoidable.

On 1 November 2016, after the ALRTA made a detailed submission and presented in person at a public hearing, the Qld Parliament Transport and Utilities Committee made the following recommendation:

  •  Recommendation 2: The committee recommends that the Minister work with the other ‘responsible Ministers’ (the relevant Commonwealth and State Ministers) to ask the National Transport Commission to give further consideration within the next twelve months to means by which it can make more transparent, and more easily understood, the applicability of the relevant Chain of Responsibility provisions to pre-transport stock preparation.

This recommendation was supported by the QLD Transport Minister and NTC has responded by developing the discussion paper released this week.

Submissions are due to the NTC by Friday, 6 July 2018.

Please call the ALRTA or speak to your state association to discuss your views on this topic.  ALRTA will prepare a detailed submission to the NTC.

For more information click here.


On 18 May 2018, ALRTA National President, Kevin Keenan, attended the 9thmeeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council in Darwin.

The new format of the meeting allowed President Keenan to make an address to all Ministers calling for improved funding for rural and regional roads as well as improving chain of responsibility for effluent control with appropriate supporting infrastructure.

Key outcomes from the meeting include:

  • HVNL: Ministers agreed to bring forward a review of the HVNL by two years to 2018-19.  Terms of reference drafting is already underway. Ministers also agreed on reforms for PBS vehicles and 4.6m high vehicles (does not appear to include livestock crates).
  • Road Safety: Ministers endorsed a National Road Safety Action Plan for 2018-20. The plan centres around addressing driver distraction (e.g. mobile phones), improved accreditation systems, lifting the uptake of regulatory telematics and more rapid adoption of safety vehicle technologies.
  • National Freight System: Ministers committed to developing a 20 year National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. The strategy will form the basis of an integrated approach to improving the connectivity of all freight modes and supply chains.
  • Road Market Reform: This will involve independent price regulation of heavy vehicle charges and developing a new forward-looking cost base for charges.  Look out for a consultation RIS and information about trails.
  • Automated Vehicles: Ministers agreed to develop a harmonised purpose-built law for automated vehicles.

ALRTA is currently considering the decisions and will respond as appropriate.


The 2018 LTAT Conference held in Hobart last weekend was a resounding success with more than 70 delegates in attendance.

Photo: Senator Colbeck delivers a keynote address.

It was a full house for the six interactive conference sessions which tackled road access, enforcement, animal welfare, driver safety, biosecurity, effluent management, safety management systems and livestock market dynamics.   There were plenty of questions from the audience which resulted in a deeper understanding of the problems and potential solutions for a swathe of regulatory and market issues.

During the Gala Dinner, Federal Senator for Tasmania the Hon Richard Colbeck delivered an excellent keynote address underscoring the importance of livestock transport for the Tasmanian economy and outlining measures the Federal Government is taking to improve safety, productivity and market access.

Photo (L-R): Senator Richard Colbeck, Tanya Rattray MLC, David Foster OAM, Gaylene Colbeck, David Smith (LRTASA President & ATA Vice Chair).

The second keynote address delivered by David Foster OAM, world champion woodchopper and Tasmanian living legend, was hilarious, thought-provoking and inspiring all in one go.   David has had many obstacles to overcome but he always bounces back and takes on the next challenge head on.  While we may not all achieve the great heights of being a world champion for 21 years straight, we can all achieve more with the right attitude and David is just the bloke to get you motivated!

Photo (L-R): Tony Steers (LTAT Secretary/Treasurer), Spencer Griggs (LTAT President), Nick Hingston (LTAT Vice President). 

The conference would not have been possible without the generous support for our national and state sponsors Beaurepaires, PACCAR & Dealer Industry Fund, PACCAR Parts, IC Frith, Truck Art, Westar Trucks, Bennett’s Petroleum and Roberts Limited.  Thank you!


The ALRTA National President attended the Livestock Transporters Association of Tasmania (LTAT) AGM on Saturday, 26 May 2018, in Hobart Tasmania.

The ALRTA congratulates the following office bearers re-elected at the AGM:

  • President: Spencer Griggs
  • Vice President: Nick Hingston
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Tony Steers
  • Delegates: Adam Viney & Leigh Jones


ALRTA state association representatives from around Australia attended the ALRTA National Council meeting in Hobart on Saturday, 26 May 2018.

Topics discussed included: Privacy / data sharing, national ramps standards, live exports, effluent, fit-to-load guide, accreditation systems and industrial relations.

The ALRTA National Council will next meet in Melbourne on 16 August 2018.


NTC CEO, Paul Retter, has announced that he will step down on 28 September 2018.

Mr Retter commenced with the NTC on 8 July 2013.

ALRTA acknowledges the substantial work program that has been progressed by the NTC over the past 5 years under Mr Retter’s leadership and we wish him all the best over the next 4mths and in future.


Following a recent spike in damages caused from inappropriate load restraint, nti – Australia’s leading specialist insurer is reminding carriers to be vigilant with it comes to securing freight irrespective of the size or value of goods on board.

With safety at the forefront, nti’s CEO Mr. Tony Clark says accidents or damage caused by poor load restraint are largely preventable, and that’s what makes the costly outcomes so frustrating for operators.

“The increase we saw over the last quarter has been out of the ordinary,” he said.

“We need to look at why. The National Transport Commission’s recent review and publication of the Load Restraint Guide couldn’t have come at a better time.”

“It will provide us with a measure for reviewing claims data, moving forward. Here’s hoping we see an improvement across the industry. It’s a genuine safety concern. Poorly restrained loads become dangerous projectiles.”

The guide houses information for transport drivers, operators and others throughout the supply chain, and offers vital insight for preventing injury, damage and loss of goods.

A digital copy of The Load Restraint Guide 2018 is available here, free of charge, by the National Transport Commission.

A copy of the Load Restraint Guide 2018 for Light Vehicles is also available here.

Printed, convenient glovebox-sized copies are also available for purchase via NTC.


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.