ALRTA News – 9 November 2018

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LRTAQ President (Ian Wild) and ALRTA Executive Director (Mathew Munro) delivered a 1hr presentation on effluent control to a large group of regional councils in the Darling Downs and South West Queensland area.  The Councils meet three times annually to discuss environmental issues – livestock effluent control on public roads has been a hot topic in recent times.

Photo: SE QLD Councils listen to LRTAQ President Ian Wild. 

Our presentation focused on animal preparation, enforcement practices and the chronic under-investment in supporting roadside disposal infrastructure.

Changing hearts and minds of local, state and authorities is the key to improving the operating environment for our drivers and I believe that we took a great leap forward in southern Queensland this week.  The technical enforcement staff within the attending Councils now understand the root causes and appreciate the proactive efforts that our industry is taking to address the problem. They know that repeatedly fining drivers will not fix the problem.

There is huge interest in our grant funded pilot site to be constructed on the Warrego Highway.  When complete, this will be a highly visible example of what can be achieved when industry and governments take a practical and cooperative approach. We look forward to addressing the group in future to talk about lessons learned and strategies for building a supporting network of sites in the region.

LRTAQ and ALRTA have supplied technical data and schematics to QLD Transport and Main Roads to assist with mapping potential sites in the Warrego corridor.  We are scheduled to meet in December to jointly consider a shortlist of options.


Deputy Prime Minister Michael McComack spent some quality time in the Volvo ATA Safety Truck this week, talking about real industry issues.

Photo (L-R): John Beer explains HV Safety to the Deputy Prime Minister. 

The DPM helped Ben and ATA CEO Ben Maguire and ATA owner-driver representative John Beer load a MaxiTRANS trailer with wool at Kilmore, before hitting the road to Melbourne.

This was a great opportunity to discuss a range of key industry issues like the HVNL review, fatigue management, rest areas and planning, driver training and shortages, and the importance of trucking to our nation. Of course, John Beer had plenty to say about loading ramps and the causes of off-road fatigue.

Thank you to John Beer for helping to pull it all together, and for showing the guys how to load a truck!

Hear what the DPM had to say about the experience, when speaking to 2CC Canberra’s Tim Shaw.


The NHVR has announced a review of heavy vehicle safety around NSW saleyards.

The review comes in the wake of improvement notices issued to Forbes and Dubbo saleyards alleging uncontrolled mass breaches and insisting that reliable weighing devices are installed.  The mass breaches generally relate to the middle tri-axle of a b-double.

Last month ALRTA attended a joint meeting with the Australian Livestock Markets Association (ALMA) and NHVR senior management to discuss the issue in the context of the changes to chain of responsibility laws that came into effect on 1 October 2018.

ALRTA does not agree with ALMA that the definition of ‘loading manager’ under chain of responsibility (CoR) laws should be restricted to saleyard operators only.  Saleyard owners can, and do, influence safety outcomes because the owner exclusively controls the design of the facility, the infrastructure that is provided, as well as any rules relating to operation that may be contained in agreements with agents using the facility.

ALRTA does however agree with ALMA that RMS should not be stipulating specific solutions to identified loading risks.

CoR is not the cause of the problem and there is no reason to change it.  In fact, the CoR law is working extremely well because it has brought all supply chain parties together with the regulator to examine the problem and explore solutions – as it ought to be.

The crux of the problem is regulatory inconsistency across the various state-level livestock loading schemes.  The axle mass breaches that have triggered CoR investigations in NSW are not even classed as offences in VIC, QLD or SA – and there is no evidence of safety problems in these three adjoining jurisdictions.  Across all of these states loaded trucks perform well and operate within total mass allowances and manufacturers’ specifications.

In our view, RMS is targeting the wrong end of the supply chain.  Enforcement of trailer mass limits at livestock processors would help to counteract the ‘per head’ payment rate that incentivises the loading of every trailer to maximum capacity.

ALRTA is working with the Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association of NSW, ALMA and NHVR to progress a common sense solution to this issue.


ALRTA Immediate Past President, Kevin Keenan, observed the 10th meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council meeting in Sydney this week.

Prior to the meeting, ALRTA circulated a brief to all Ministers outlining our views on issues including the HVNL Review, charging and effluent control. Mr Keenan delivered an address directly to Ministers at the meeting.

An official communique of the meeting has been released here.


The Technical Advisory Committee undertaking the Review of the Australian Standards for Export of Livestock (ASEL) has released a draft report including recommendations.

The report consolidates issues raised in earlier submissions, the recent review undertaken by Dr Michael McCarthy and outstanding issues from the 2012-13 review.

ALRTA has lodged submissions on all three of these reviews. We are now assessing the draft recommendations against our previous positions and other information that has since come to light.

Public consultation on the draft report closes on Tuesday 27 November 2018.

More information on the ASEL review can be found at the departments  Have Your Say platform.


The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has released the Yearbook 2018 – Progress in Australian Regions. It is the fifth in a series of statistical reports that provide data on the performance of regions against social, economic, environmental and governance indicators.

The report is available from BITRE

It includes a measure of road freight activity by capital city and the remainder of each state (and NT).

Nationally, the amount of road freight tonne kilometres has increased from 177.1 in 2005-06 to 213.9 in 2015-16.  The largest increases in road freight tonne kilometres from 2005-06 to 2015-16 were in regional WA, regional QLD, and regional NSW, with the largest results in 2015-16 being in regional NSW, regional QLD, and regional VIC.

In terms of overall road transport demand, the report also provides passenger vehicle kilometres travelled. Nationally, this has increased from 206.6 billion km to 237.8 billion km in 2016-17.  The largest increases were in Greater Melbourne, Greater Sydney, and the remainder of NSW (which also had the largest total results for 2016-17).


The Federal Government will hold a series of industry focus groups around Australia in November and December 2018 to test key elements recommended for the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, including the proposed National Action Plan (NAP).

The Focus Groups will:

  • Provide a brief overview of the Strategy and NAP and how it will addresses industry priorities identified by the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities .
  • Explain how the Strategy links with state and territory freight initiatives and other work underway.
  • Test the structure and direction of the NAP through facilitated discussions.
  • Discuss government and industry’s role in implementing the Strategy and NAP.
  • Seek feedback on further areas for consideration.

The focus groups will be held around Australia between 21 November and 4 December 2018.  If you are interested in participating please contact the ALRTA for more details.


ALRTA National Council has received recommendations from independent reviewer, John Peacock, concerning our associations’ governance and financial arrangements.  John Peacock is the CEO of the Associations Forum – the ‘association for associations’.

ALRTA has undergone many changes over the past five years including: constitutional review, structural separation from LBRCA, implementation of a direct employment model, relocation of our office, fit-out and leasing of the ALRTA building, establishing new national sponsor relationships, taking on a greater role in our combined state-national conferences and creating an industry fighting fund.

Given all of these significant changes it is important to review our operations to ensure that we are providing an optimum service to our members.

ALRTA National Council is currently considering the recommendations and will discuss implementation strategies at our next face-to-face meeting in March 2019.

In preparation for possible changes, the ALRTA Executive Director has attended a full day governance training workshop in Sydney this week facilitated by Associations Forum and the ALRTA Council will receive similar group training in 2019.