ALRTA News – 24 August 2018


The Prime Minister is dead.  Long live the Prime Minister.

After narrowly winning a leadership ballot on Tuesday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s position entered a terminal decline and today a petition of a majority of Liberal Parliamentarians forced a special party room meeting to decide a new leader.

Scott Morrison will become Australia’s 30th Prime Minister.

Australia has now had seven Prime Ministers in eleven years (if you count Rudd twice) and no Prime Minister has survived a full electoral term since John Howard in 2007. Australia had just one Prime Minister for the entire eleven years leading up to 2007.

This year tops the lot though with a Coalition Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister rolled during 2018 in separate incidents by their own parties.

On top of all of that, if Malcolm Turnbull follows through on his promise to quit the Parliament, the Coalition Government will also lose its one seat majority – at least until a by-election is held in the seat of Wentworth. This appears much less likely now than if the primary challenger Peter Dutton had won the ballot.

With all of the Ministerial resignations and backroom deals going on this week to secure votes ahead of the ballot, we can now also expect a major Ministerial re-shuffle as Prime Minister Morrison attempts to impose authority on the fractured Government.

The talk around town is that the Nationals will also seek to re-negotiate the Coalition agreement with the Liberal Party with a focus on securing the energy portfolio.  This may become easier now that the Energy Minister, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, has been elected as Deputy Leader of the Liberals – no doubt he will be looking for a promotion.



The President of the Livestock and Rural Transport Association of WA (LRTAWA), Andy Jacob has called for more transparency about why WA’s largest sheep exporter has had its export licence cancelled.

Mr Jacob said some of his members would be so badly affected by the decision that their businesses would be wound up.

“We have members that have not carried a sheep for more than nine weeks which has had a serious impact on their cash flow and ability to meet their commitments,” Mr Jacob said.

“With such severe implications for transporters and others in the supply chain it is critical we understand exactly what has caused this decision.”

“Industry has been very open in accepting the need for continuous improvement and it is important that we all learn from this situation.”

“That will be difficult if we are not provided with the facts.”

Mr Jacob said he was not challenging the Department’s right to make the decision but was seeking recognition that the impact of the decision will have far reaching ramifications.

“The information void will contribute to the stress already being experienced by many people in the industry.”

“Our members want answers as to why their livelihoods are now at risk” Mr Jacob said, “and I think they deserve them”.

ALRTA President Kevin Keenan backed up Mr Jacob’s calls for the Department of Agriculture to release details about the reasons behind the decision.

“This decision comes after independent recommendations have been made about how to conduct the live export trade in future and while the regulatory capacity of the Department itself remains under review”, said Mr Keenan.

“The only sensible way to move forward is to enable all supply chain participants to analyse the decision in the context of the old rules and the proposed new rules.  Understanding the decision-making triggers, processes and considerations within the Department is also of vital importance for assessing alternative regulatory models”.

“As an association we do not condone animal cruelty, but under enforceable rules and regulations the live export trade should be allowed to continue, allowing farmers and associated industries the opportunity to capitalise on a profitable and sustainable market”, he said.



The ATA Board and Council met in Canberra this week.  ATA Vice Chair David Smith attended both meetings while Lynley Miners (ATA Small Fleet Rep and LBRCA President), John Beer (ATA Owner Driver Rep and LRTAV Vice President) and Mathew Munro (ALRTA Executive Director) attended ATA Council.

Photo (L-R): David Smith, John Beer & Lynley Miners.  

Issues discussed included heavy vehicle charging, review of HVNL, minimum rates, mental health and compliance and enforcement.

An official reception to mark the conclusion of major renovations to the ATA Building was also held.


The ALRTA National President and Executive Director attended the LRTAV Annual Conference in Bendigo, Victoria 17-18 August 2018.

Photo: 2018 LRTAV Gala Dinner

The program kicked off on Friday with several informative short presentations on men’s health, rural crime, ‘My Trucking’ app, animal welfare and national issues.

The Saturday session was officially opened by NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, followed by a detailed forum on permits, technology, fatigue, data collection, safety management systems and off-road safety issues. The presentation by Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock President, Leonard Vallance, was music to the ears of many operators.  It was great to hear from a prominent producer representative that understands why chain of responsibility, fit-to-load and off-road safety is so important.

Conference participants also got the ball rolling on the HVNL review by discussing and recording the high priority areas for legislative reform.

The informal gathering on Friday night was a great way to catch up with mates and sponsors casually over a few drinks, while the Saturday evening Gala Dinner saw guests step out in their finest.

The ALRTA congratulates the following award winners:

  • Outstanding Contribution to the Livestock and Rural Transport Industry:O’Connor Livestock Transport.
  • Young Driver of the Year: Brady Fitzpatrick.
  • Shane Knight Memorial Award: Charles and Edward Blackall – Blackall PastoraL

Photo: Brady Fitzpatrick (third from left) awaits the announcement that he has won the 2018 Young Driver of the Year Award.



The ALRTA congratulates the following office bearers re-elected at the LRTAV AGM on 18 August 2018:

  • President: Graham Howell
  • Vice President: Marla Stone
  • Vice President: John Beer
  • Treasurer: Trevor Fry
  • Secretary: Russell Borchard
  • Immediate Past President: Mick Debenham


The Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Michael McCormack MP, has announced a $2m commitment to develop a Newell Highway Corridor Strategy.

In recognition of the importance of the Newell in connecting Melbourne to Brisbane via the full length of NSW, the strategy will aim to identify and prioritise road upgrades that can boost productivity for freight operators and improve road safety for all road users.  The study will also consider how best to integrate the Newell with the $3.9b inland rail project.



Jock Carter (LBRCA Immediate Past President) represented the LBRCA and ALRTA at a Freight and Logistics Industry Roundtable held to discuss the development of the Western Sydney Airport and Aerotropolis.  The meeting was hosted by the Hon Paul Fletcher MP (Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities) and the Hon Stuart Ayres (NSW Minister for Western Sydney).

Key areas of interest for our associations included the potential for fresh produce exports, integration with other freight hubs and design of surrounding roads to minimise impacts on rural freight moving through the area.



Join us on 12 September in Bendigo to explore how your business can grow, both domestically and internationally, using digital tools – it’s an experience you won’t forget!

The COSBOA Innovation Games (Victoria) 2018, sponsored by the Victorian Government, is a special program that has been designed by COSBOA (the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia) in conjunction with Paddl Co. to bring together small businesses, large corporates and emerging young talent to collaborate on new ideas and concepts that small businesses can take away and implement.
Our Bendigo event is proudly supported by Australia Post with the theme ‘Growing your business domestically and overseas using digital tools’.

Businesses selected to participate will be able to:

  • access innovative ideas to help their business grow and/or solve existing challenges;
  • acquire new skills in design thinking, innovation and concept development;
  • meet emerging talent (final year students and recent graduates) and consider them for future hires;
  • understand the impact of the future of work and technology on their business; and
  • have a fun and inspiring day working on their business with a team of specialist facilitators, innovators and students.

Join us for a day of collaboration, innovation and a chance to build your network and skill set!

If you would like to take part, please get in touch with Nicole on or 03 9514 3017.



There are a LOT of research and regulatory bodies in the road transport sector: NHVR, NTC and AustRoads just to name a few.  There are many more – Do you know what they actually do?

The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) was created in 1960 to undertake collaborative research on behalf of Australian and New Zealand state road agencies and advise decisions makers.  ARRB analyses international research as well as undertaking new research in Australian conditions.

Some of the primary research areas include:

  • Heavy vehicles
  • Pavements and materials
  • Safety
  • Road user behaviour
  • Road design and traffic engineering
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Transport economics

Click here for more information about ARRB and their research projects.



There are several important events coming up in the next few months, including:

ATA & ALC Supply Chain Summit
When: 5-6 September 2018
Where: Melbourne
More information

Road Freight NSW Conference
When: 13 September 2018
Where: Rooty Hill RSL
More information

ATA Technology and Maintenance Conference
When: 15-17 October 2018
Where: TBC
More information