ALRTA News – 23 November 2018

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The ATA Council met in Canberra this week. Our representatives in attendance included David Smith (LRTASA President & ATA Vice Chair), John Beer (LRTAV VP and ALRTA VP), Kel Baxter (LBRCA VP Bulk and Chair of ATA Industry Technical Committee) and Mathew Munro (ALRTA Executive Director).

Senator Glenn Sterle (Shadow Assistant Minister for Road Safety) and Michael Kaine (TWU National Secretary) accepted invitations to attend the meeting to discuss the possible return of mandatory minimum rates for owner drivers.

Photo (L-R): Ben Maguire (ATA CEO), Geoff Crouch (ATA Chair), Senator Sterle (Shadow Assistant Minister for Road Safety) and Michael Kaine (TWU National Secretary). 

Senator Sterle made it very clear that a Shorten Labor Government would move quickly to introduce ‘Safe Rates’ legislation if the numbers looked favourable in the Senate.  This would be intended to create a new body within Fair Work Australia to set rates or impose other rules.

Mr Kaine outlined a vision for the new body to set rates and consider other matters such as payment terms, contract conditions or work hours. The TWU’s stated aim is to address disparities in market power at the top of the supply chain.

Importantly, both Senator Sterle and Mr Kaine acknowledged the fundamental failings of the former RSRT and invited industry to be part of consultations both to set up the new body and to consider applications for new rulings.

The open discussion that followed was thorough and robust.

While ALRTA remains vehemently opposed to mandatory minimum rates for owner drivers, it is nonetheless important for associations, unions and politicians to keep an open communication channel in the lead up to the 2019 Federal Election.


The NTC has recommended that the NHVR work with ALRTA and jurisdictions on a non-legislative approach to managing loss of effluent, including the development of education and guidance material, and report back to ministers in May 2019.

The administrative approach is intended to reduce the number of infringements being issued for minor, incidental and unavoidable effluent loss from heavy vehicles.

The recommendation was noted by ministers at the Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council on 9 November 2018.  It follows NTC consultation on a discussion paper released earlier in the year.

The discussion paper proposed to amend the HVNL to allow for minor, incidental and unavoidable loss of part of a load.  This matter can be reconsidered in the HVNL review scheduled to commence in 2019.


The results of an independent review of Over Size Over Mass (OSOM) access arrangements have been released.  The report recognises that there are significant problems with the current access system that harm the national economy – particularly key mining and agriculture projects.

The report includes 38 recommendations which reflects the wide range of complex issues involved.

Key points among the recommendations are that:

  • permit volumes be reduced by 30% by pre-approvals, notices or gazettal;
  • permits remain valid for 12mths;
  • Low risk OSOM permits achieve a 48hr (avg) turn around time;
  • project-specific permits to allow multiple movements and configurations;
  • NHVR introduce new arrangements for emergency situations;
  • Higher fees for faster turn-around times be considered;
  • Bridge assessments be prioritised for industry needs;
  • Consistency be improved for pilots and escorts; and
  • Envelope approaches be developed for bridge loading limits and low risk OSOM vehicles.

Governments and industry are now considering the recommendations and next steps. Read the full report here.


The Intelligent Access Program (IAP) Higher Mass Limit (HML) scheme has been discontinued in South Australia.

Operators are no longer required to comply with the conditions in the following notices that relate to operating under the IAP or the completion of Higher Mass Limit route compliance certificate:

IAP was introduced in South Australia in 2010, on a voluntary basis, as an alternative means for operators who were accredited in an interstate National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation (NHVAS) mass management schedule to comply with SA’s requirements for HML operation.

The nationalisation of the NHVAS through the introduction of the Heavy Vehicle National Law has resulted in all operators (including those registered interstate) having equal access to the published HML networks in SA without the requirement to either complete a HML route compliance certificate or enrol in the IAP.

This combined with the request from the NHVR through the National Notice Harmonisation Project to remove the requirement for a HML route compliance certificate to be completed by operators renders IAP in SA, non-operational as there is no longer a valid IAP application.


The ALRTA Executive Director (Mathew Munro) participated in an Industry Focus Group in Canberra to discuss the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, including the proposed National Action Plan.  The workshop also considered the linkages with state and territory freight initiative and discussed the roles of various stakeholders in implementing the strategy and supporting plan.


The NHVR Registration Checker app enables a quick and easy check of the registration status of any heavy vehicle registered in Australia (with the exception of vehicles registered in the Northern Territory).

You can download the app by searching for ‘NHVR’ in the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store.

The following fact sheet provides a brief overview of using the app:

Please note you should direct queries about registration details to the relevant state or territory transport authority.


Businesses can now access all the core materials required to develop a Safety Management System (SMS) through the NHVR website.

The NHVR has released materials on third-party interactions, safety performance monitoring and developing a positive safety culture, a complete set of guidance material and templates, supported by examples.

These materials are scalable, can be adapted for any size business, and help operators to meet their safety obligations under both the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Work Health and Safety laws.

Click here for more information.


The ALRTA Executive Director (Mathew Munro) and National Officer (Colleen Mays) team caught up with Vanda Power, BP Regional Manager NSW in Canberra this week.

The purpose of the meeting was to review the BP-ALRTA National Sponsorship arrangement and consider new joint-initiatives for 2019.

ALRTA was delighted when Ms Power gifted to our office a rare framed photo of Captain Malcolm Campbell in his Napier-Aero, starting his record-breaking run-on 4thFebruary 1927 at Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire, when he became the first man to travel on land at a speed of over 180mph.  He used BP fuel during the run.  The photo is now proudly hanging in the ALRTA office entry foyer to remind our staff and visitors of the close relationship between ALRTA and BP.