ALRTA News – 21 September 2018


From today, it will be easier for trucking operators to deliver hay and fodder to drought-affected farmers.

The Australian Government announced new rules for transporting hay and fodder today, which mean that hay and fodder trucks up to 2.83 metres wide and 4.6 metres high will no longer need permits on the state-controlled road network.

Trucking industry representatives joined the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in Royalla, NSW, this morning for the announcement of the new measures.

Photo: Prime Minister Morrison watches on as Deputy Prime Minister McCormack announces details of harmonised rules. 

The CEO of the Australian Trucking Association, Ben Maguire, said the existing rules for hay and fodder transport were all over the place.

“In NSW, the maximum allowed width for transporting baled or rolled hay to drought affected areas is 2.83 metres. In South Australia, it is 2.7 metres. In Queensland, it is 2.5 metres. Similarly, the maximum height allowed varies between 4.3 and 4.6 metres.

“The new rules will standardise the maximum dimensions for eligible vehicles at 2.83 metres wide and 4.6 metres high.

“The rules will remove the need for up to 6,000 consents per year and will save trucking operators and farmers the equivalent of 54,000 days per year applying and waiting for permits.

“It’s a great outcome that will make it easier for our members to deliver hay and fodder to Australia’s hard-pressed farmers.

“It was only possible, though, because the ATA and our member associations, and farm associations, worked closely together to pitch the case to governments for consistent rules.”

Photo: Prime Minister Morrison discusses the hay task with LBRCA Member Jeremy Taylor. 

The National President of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters’ Association, Kevin Keenan, said that removing regulatory barriers to the efficient movement of agricultural commodities by road must be a central tenet of improving Australia’s longer-term drought resilience.

“Australia is a diverse country that is highly reliant on road transport services,” Mr Keenan said.

“While the current drought circumstances in New South Wales and parts of Victoria and Queensland are at the extreme end of the spectrum, it is not unusual for there to be a mix of good and bad seasonal conditions across rural Australia.

“Today’s announcement will immediately reduce the cost of moving hay to where it is needed most while also reducing the risk of fines for carriers.

“The next step is for local governments to get on board as well, because the new notice only applies to state controlled roads,” he said.

The CEO of NatRoad, Warren Clark, said: “NatRoad is pleased with the Prime Minister’s announcement to extend the drought exemption to all states. This is a positive and necessary response to this unprecedented humanitarian emergency with the livelihoods of many Australian farmers at risk.

“In the lead-up to today’s announcement, NatRoad has strongly advocated for a harmonised heavy vehicle law across all states. We would like to thank the Government for listening. The exemption will help road transport businesses ensure that help reaches those affected by the drought when most needed.

“The steps show the government recognises the importance of the road transport industry in helping the farming community and we look forward to working with the government.”

Photo (L-R): Mathew Munro (ALRTA Executive Director), DPM McCormack, Bec Coleman (LBRCA Chief Operating Officer) and Warren Clarke (NatRoad CEO). 

The Chief Operating Officer of the NSW Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers’ Association, Bec Coleman, said “Today’s announcement will significantly improve access impediments, and remove unnecessary enforcement, that prevented the efficient and productive movement of supplies and stock to drought affected communities across NSW.

“The common-sense decision by the Australian Government will safeguard the future of many rural businesses across NSW and is welcomed by the LBRCA”, she said.

Exemption notice details


The ALRTA has submitted a response to the Review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL).    

The review is being undertaken by a Technical Advisory Committee made up of an independent Chair and experts in animal health, welfare, regulatory design and the livestock industry.

The ALRTA recommends that ASEL be revised to:

  1. Require that registered premises must consult with road transport operators to establish reasonable receival arrangements which might involve longer opening hours or spreading receivals over more days;
  2. Require that, by default, registered premises remain open for at least 18 hours on all stipulated receival days, including until midnight, and that sufficient artificial lighting should be provided during unloading if required; and
  3. Refer to the ALRTA Guide for Safe Design of Livestock Loading Ramps and Forcing Yards.

It is expected that the review will be completed by the end of 2018.


In response to correspondence sent to key Federal Members and Senators concerning live exports, Senator David Leyonhjelm (Liberal Democratic Party) has clearly outlined his position on the matter.

Senator Leyonhjelm is a prominent member of the Senate cross-bench and previously voted to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

The Senator has an equally sensible position on live exports.

Click here to read the position or click here to watch a video.


This week the ALRTA Executive Director joined LRTAQ representatives in Brisbane for a landmark round table discussion with key players in the livestock supply chain about improving animal welfare and efficiency.

Our delegation also met with QLD Transport and Main Roads to map out the next steps for establishing Australia’s first roadside effluent disposal facility in SE QLD.

Look out for information on these discussions next week.


The trucking industry faces great change. To deal with it, we need a new generation of industry leaders.

In conjunction with Daimler Truck and Bus and the Australian Trucking Association, ALRTA is calling for nominations for the 2019 Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders’ Forum.

The Future Leaders’ Forum will deliver a career-defining professional development program to a hand-picked group of 18-40 year old trucking business owners and employees.

The first ever forum was held earlier this year and was highly successful.

The ALRTA’s 2018 representative was Wade Lewis who over the past 12 years has been a driver, logistics manager, intermodal manager and trainer, as well as LBRCA representative to the NHVR and a member of the NSW Freight Connectivity Committee.

Wade especially enjoyed the exposure to politics, media training, constitutional lecture, networking opportunities and ongoing mentoring from Wisdom Learning.

In 2019, the program will consist of:

  • Two days of intensive workshops in Canberra on 12-13 November 2018
  • A take-home leadership project
  • A digital check-in meeting
  • Participation in Trucking Australia 2019, to be held in Perth from 3-5 April 2019.

Participants will:

  • Learn how government policy is developed and how businesses and industry associations can have an influence in an effective and ethical way
  • Learn how to handle media interviews
  • Develop a leadership project on a key industry issue with facilitation and mentoring from Wisdom Learning. Participants will present the results at Trucking Australia 2019.

Daimler Truck and Bus will pay the full cost of the program, including travel, accommodation, delegate fees and meals.

To apply for the ALRTA vacancy in the program, send an email to your State Member Association (LRTAQ, LBRCA, LRTAV, LTAT, LRTASA or LRTAWA) by 3 October 2018 with the following:

  • Your full contact details
  • Your age
  • The outline of a leadership project you would like to undertake.

Visit for more details including a factsheet with eligibility requirements.


Do you ever wish your truck would drive itself for a bit?  Maybe just that last 30min home?

At 1pm, Tuesday, 25 September 2018, AustRoads is conducting a free webinar on Operations of Automated Heavy Vehicles in Remote and Regional Areas.

This webinar will consider challenges around the introduction of automated heavy vehicles to remote and regional areas and the opportunities for future use in Australia and New Zealand.

You will hear from international experts on:

  • cellular connectivity and digital infrastructure requirements
  • geofencing and managing access
  • physical infrastructure impact and requirements
  • platooning operations and technology advancement

Plus, you can join in a live Q&A with the presenters.

Participation is free, but you will need to register here.


ATA Technology and Maintenance Conference
When: 15-17 October 2018
Where: Docklands, Melbourne
More information

ALRTA Council Meeting
When: 26 October 2018