ALRTA News – 8 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.

For more information click here.


The ALRTA has lodged a submission in response to the independent Review of Live Animal Exports Regulatory Capability and Culture.

We have supported the establishment of an Inspector-General of Livestock Exports.

Generally, the ALRTA considers that:

  1. Past reviews of animal welfare policy and export rules have put too much emphasis on the interests of exporters and producers to the detriment of other parties in the supply chain such as road transport operators;
  2. There is insufficient national coordination of animal welfare policy in Australia; and
  3. There is insufficient oversight of the live export trade.

In preparing our submission we have liaised with transport operators, producers, exporters and welfare advocates.  The review is being undertaken by Philip Moss AM and will report to the Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon David Littleproud MP, by 24 August 2018.


Members are advised that LiveCorp and Meat & Livestock Australia have commissioned Mecardo to undertake an economic analysis of the live cattle export value chain to determine the value of the trade to regional businesses participating in the industry.

Collecting up to date information from industry participants is important for underpinning future research and demonstrating the value of the trade to Australia’s regions.

ALRTA encourages members with an interest in cattle live exports to complete the survey by 15 June 2018.

Please click here to begin.


The NTC has released a report on the Review of Regulatory Telematics which aims to increase the uptake of in-vehicle telematics for regulatory purposes in Australia.

The review focussed on the very differing regulatory models for IAP and EWDs and recommends a phased approach to developing one single regulatory model to be legislated within the HVNL.

More specifically, the report makes six recommendations:

  1. Transport Certification Australia will examine the feasibility of improving the Intelligent Access Program.
  2. The NTC will develop national guidelines to assist agency decision-making when assessing new IAP applications.
  3. The NHVR will develop a compliance and enforcement policy for regulatory telematics.
  4. The NHVR will monitor the implementation of electronic work diaries and report on their effectiveness.
  5. The NTC, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, will develop a best practice model for regulatory telematics.
  6. The NTC, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, will assess whether the best practice model should be legislated and included in the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

The report acknowledges the deficiencies in the current IAP system in terms of cost, lack of real-time reporting, inaccuracy of data and generation of an unmanageable number of ‘false positive’ non-conformance reports.

The recently approved EWD system is seen by agencies as potentially not providing the same level of assurance as the IAP system.  This is a bold statement given that the EWD system has yet to roll out and the fact that IAP data has been of almost no value for infrastructure protection or prosecution purposes.

So, not surprisingly, agencies now plan to try and fix the very obvious problems with the IAP system before it is compared with the EWD system as part of the process for moving towards a single unified system.

One major problem with the current IAP system is that there is no consistency around when it is applied. Thus, the ALRTA is quite pleased with the recommendation that the NTC will develop national guidelines to assist agency decision-making when assessing new IAP applications.

However, we would argue that this should go even further.

Agencies will still be free to disregard the guidelines, so the HVNL review process will need to consider recognising any new guidelines as an instrument under the law when moving to a legislated best practice model.

Overall, don’t expect IAP to disappear.  Most likely it will be significantly upgraded so it might actually achieve its original objectives and, hopefully, only be mandated when justified against agreed guidelines.  The bigger concern is an underlying push from some agencies to ‘tighten up’ the voluntary EWD system before it has even begun.

ALRTA was supportive of voluntary EWDs as currently proposed.  Subject to review of operation after 12 months, we believe that this system will be far superior to the IAP model and should result in greater voluntary uptake by interested operators.  If there is a move to turn the EWD system into an IAP type system you can expect our support to very quickly evaporate.


The Australian Government’s decision to mandate stability control technology for a range of new trucks and trailers has the potential to save 126 lives and prevent 1,101 serious injuries in the coming years, the Chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Geoff Crouch, said today.

The Government released the new Australian Design Rules (ADRs). The new requirement will apply to selected categories of new model heavy trucks from 1 November 2020, and all new trucks in those categories from 1 November 2022. The requirement will apply to all new model heavy trailers weighing more than 10 tonnes from 1 July 2019 and all new heavy trailers weighing more than 10 tonnes from 1 November 2019.

Mr Crouch said that stability control technology was a life saver.

“Stability control is a vehicle safety system that monitors the stability and sideways acceleration of a heavy vehicle and kicks in to brake the vehicle if it detects a rollover starting,” Mr Crouch said.

“The ATA lobbied hard to extend the original proposal that the Infrastructure Department released for consultation.

“As a result of lobbying from the ATA and other stakeholders, the final design rules extend the mandate to include short wheel base rigid trucks weighing more than 12 tonnes.

“This decision is projected to save another two lives over the years and prevent an extra 17 serious injuries compared to the original proposal.

“I want to thank the Government and the responsible minister, Paul Fletcher, for listening to the industry’s views. I also want to thank the expert members of the ATA’s Safety Committee, led by Tim Knowles, and our Industry Technical Council, led by Kel Baxter, who developed the ATA’s position on the issue.”

Mr Crouch said the next step in advancing truck safety technology needed to be Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) for all new trucks.

“Autonomous emergency braking applies a truck’s brakes in emergency situations. Monash University research shows that rolling it out across the truck fleet would reduce fatal crashes by up to 25 per cent and serious injury crashes by up to 17 per cent,” he said.

In line with the position advocated by the ALRTA, new road train converter dollies will be exempt from the stability control requirement, because of issues with the technology in the rough conditions encountered by road trains in rural and remote areas. Non-standard low loaders will also be exempt.

Check out the ATA Fact sheet here.


The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Saleyards and Depots have been finalised.

The standards and guidelines reflect the commitment of jurisdictions to a nationally consistent approach to animal welfare.  They promote humane and considerate treatment of livestock handled through Australian saleyards and depots; inform all people responsible for the care and management of livestock about their responsibilities; and set a minimum industry standard by defining acceptable livestock management practices.

Development of the standards and guidelines considered current scientific knowledge, recommended industry practice and community expectations.  The standards provide a basis for developing and implementing consistent legislation and enforcement across Australia, while the guidelines are a useful reference for industry, providing recommended practices to achieve desirable livestock welfare outcomes.

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Saleyards and Depots replace the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Animals at Saleyards, SCARM report 31, CSIRO publishing, 1992

The new standards and guidelines will now be progressively legislated in each jurisdiction.


ALRTA met with the NTC this week in Canberra to discuss the draft terms of reference for the review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law that will be completed by the end of 2019.

On 18 May 2018, Ministers endorsed the calls by ALRTA and other stakeholders to bring forward the scheduled HVNL review by 2 years.

In line with calls from our members during recent discussions about EWDs, ALRTA is pushing to make sure that the review covers all aspects of fatigue, access, technology, accreditation and roadside enforcement.


The LRTAQ Conference held in Charters Towers last weekend was an excellent event with great attendance levels and interesting content.

Photo: 2018 Bull Carters Ball

As usual, the individual sessions were held at various venues so that attendees came away having properly experienced the regional hub and our ‘tourist dollars’ were spread around nice and evenly.  This was the first time I have been to a policy forum in an historic picture theatre but I have to say it worked very well.   The forum covered topics including:

  • Enforcement;
  • Livestock loading;
  • Vehicle technology;
  • Safety management systems;
  • Animal welfare;
  • Logistics modelling;
  • Permits and access;
  • Effluent;
  • EWDs;
  • Live exports;
  • Ports; and
  • Business processes.

Always a highlight, the 2018 Mack Trucks Bull Carters Ball was held at an old mental asylum that is undergoing conversion into 5-star accommodation.  A good place to get a little crazy wouldn’t you say?   Keynote speaker and QLD rugby league legend Brent Tate delivered an inspirational address during a Q&A style interview but (fortunately for me) didn’t tip the result of this week’s first State of Origin match.

Photo: QLD Footy Legends Steve Price (left) and Brent Tate (right) with some other bloke.

The LRTAQ AGM was held in the grounds of an historic church now owned by former ALRTA National President, and now Mayor of Charters Towers, Liz Schmidt.  As one member remarked to me over lunch “You don’t get to have a beer in a Church too often”.

Photo: Mayor Liz Schmidt and Mark Johnson (Haulmark Trailers).


The ALRTA congratulates the following office bearers re-elected at the LRTAQ AGM on 2 June 2018:

  • President: Ian Wild
  • Vice President: Gerard Johnson
  • Treasurer: Louise Smith
  • Secretary: Gary Willoughby
  • Immediate Past President: David Scott


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.