ALRTA News – 7 December 2018

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ALRTA representatives, David Smith (LRTASA President) and Mathew Munro (Executive Director) visited Australian Parliament House this week to meet with senior politicians and their advisers.  We discussed a range of important industry issues such as charging, HVNL review, live exports, mandatory minimum rates for owner drivers and braking standards.

Photo (L-R): Mathew Munro, Minister Buchholz and David Smith. 

Our meeting schedule included:

  1. Adviser to the Prime Minister.
  2. Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister.
  3. Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources – David Littleproud.
  4. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources – Richard Colbeck.
  5. Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport – Scott Buchholz.
  6. Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism & Investment – Mark Coulton.
  7. Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development – Anthony Albanese.
  8. Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Joel Fitzgibbon.
  9. Senator Barry O’Sullivan.
  10. Adviser to Senator John Williams.

We also had informal discussions with Chief Government Whip (Nola Marino), cross-bench Senator David Leyonhelm and Liberal Backbencher Nicolle Flint.

Photo (L-R): David Smith and Minister Littleproud. 

This week was the final sitting week of the Federal Parliament for 2018 – it is testament to the strength of our associations that ALRTA was able to secure so many meetings during this extremely busy time of year.

Photo (L-R): David Smith and the Hon Anthony Albanese MP. 

The Parliament has now adjourned for the summer recess to resume on Tuesday, 12 February 2019.  The Federal Budget has been brought forward by one month to 2 April 2019 and it is all but certain that the Federal Election will occur in May 2019.

Photo (L-R): David Smith and the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP. 

ALRTA will continue to make sure that your voice is heard during and after the election campaign.


During 2017-2018, ALRTA has been highly successful in securing grant funding for important industry development projects relating to establishing effluent disposal infrastructure, developing a code or practice for effluent management and trialling a user-pay ProWay crate P.A.L. unloading frame.

To make sure that we can undertake all of these projects while still providing our normal policy and advocacy services, ALRTA has created a new Project Officer position within our Canberra Secretariat.

We are pleased to announce that Ms Susan (Sue) Davies has commenced in the role this week.  Sue is highly qualified and motivated – especially when it comes to road safety.

Below is a brief introduction.  Please make Sue feel welcome.

Photo: ALRTA Project Officer – Sue Davies

Hi everyone!

Firstly, can I say how happy I am to join the team at ALRTA and that I’m looking forward to meeting and working with association members. I recently moved to Canberra from Wagga Wagga and have a background in rural and regional transport safety, having worked in Roads and Maritime Services in south west NSW with a particular focus on projects relating to heavy vehicle safety.

My enthusiasm for the Project Officer role with ALRTA springs from my interest in supporting best practice in transport safety as well as understanding the national importance of the agricultural supply chain and the continual growth of the related freight task.

Outside of work, my interests include reading, choral singing and tending my plot in a community garden. I’ll also admit to being overly fond of pizza, red wine and chocolate!

This week I’m getting up to speed on loading frame and effluent disposal issues and in future I’ll be sure to update you all on progress with the innovative projects we have been funded to deliver.


During this last week of the Australian Parliament for 2019, Federal Labor, the Greens and several of the cross-bench have sought to make the remaining Parliamentary sessions as difficult as possible for the Coalition Government.  This has included re-kindling the live sheep export issue.

Multiple new bills to ban the trade have been introduced.  One of these bills passed the Senate and made its way to the House of Representatives.

A motion to debate the bill was tied at 71 votes all which allowed debate to continue.  However, an hour later, Liberal MP Rick Wilson re-joined the House (after having earlier been expelled for interjecting while the original motion was debated) and a second vote blocked any further debate.


  • The Australian Live Exporters Council has announced a self-imposed three-month moratorium on live sheep exports to the Middle East from 1 June 2019.  This speaks volumes about the commercial viability of continuing exports during the northern hemisphere summer with stocking densities adjusted in line with heat stress index measurements.   During the moratorium, the export industry will investigate improved measures for detecting and avoiding temperature extremes and on-board dehumidification.
  • Barnaby Joyce has used Parliamentary Privilege to suggest that the whistleblower who took the footage on the Awassi Express was paid $200,000.  It was further suggested that this person was actually in charge of looking after the sheep. Animals Australia and 60 minutes have denied the claims.

It is highly likely that this issue will be back on the agenda during the next sitting in February 2019.

Persons who have information concerning the treatment of export animals can call the Australian Government’s Whistleblower hotline to make an anonymous report on: 1800 319 595 (9am-5pm ADST).


Standards Australia has formally invited ALRTA to nominate representatives to a new national committee that will progress the development a national standard for the safe design of livestock ramps and forcing yards.

The new standard will be based on ALRTA’s existing guidelines published in 2015.

ALRTA wrote to Standards Australia to request the development of an enforceable national ramp standard following recommendations issued by the Victorian Coroner.

We expect the National Ramps Committee to hold a first face-to-face meeting in early 2019.  The standards development process should take around 18 months.


The ATO has released a draft Miscellaneous Tax Ruling on Time limits for claiming an input tax or fuel tax credit.  The ruling sets out the ATO view on the time limits for entitlement to claim:

  • a GST (input tax) credit under Division 93 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999; and
  • a fuel tax credit under Division 47 of the Fuel Tax Act 2006.

The draft ruling clarifies that the time limit to claim these credits is four years from the due date of the first BAS in which the credit could have been claimed.  This time limit cannot be extended by requesting an amendment, lodging an objection or applying for a private ruling.

The draft ruling contains examples of how the time limit applies in different circumstances.  It does not change the ability to claim GST or fuel tax credits in the current BAS or by amending the previous BAS, as long as they are included in an assessment within the four year time limit.

The ATO has published this view to give certainty, so that taxpayers can make an informed decision to take the appropriate steps to protect their credit entitlements within the four-year entitlement period.

If you would like to comment on the draft ruling, please contact the ALRTA Secretariat by 18 January 2019.


ALRTA met with NSW Local Land Services in Canberra this week to discuss LivestockASSIST.

LivestockASSIST is a 24hr national hotline dedicated to coordinating emergency responses for incidents involving heavy vehicles carrying livestock.

The national number is: 1800 4 ALRTA (or 1800 4 25782).

LivestockASSIST is built around NTI’s successful AccidentASSIST service and includes the usual response options such as vehicle recovery, medical assistance, driver repatriation, trauma counselling and message referral services.

ALRTA has agreed to investigate ways to improve linkages between LivestockASSIST and the internal incident response plans used by Local Land Services.  Further meetings will follow to consider options.


At the recent Australian Training Awards at the Sydney International Convention Centre PACCAR Australia was recognised at the Large Employer of the Year for 2018.

In accepting the award at the event Andrew Hadjikakou, Managing Director PACCAR Australia acknowledged the employees and the company for their collective commitment to learning and development.

“This award is for our employees, whose skills and passion for PACCAR products is the reason our customers receive the best we can produce. It’s their commitment to safety, quality and continuous learning that drives what they do and I am proud to say Kenworth trucks are Australian Made, World’s Best.

“The honour of this is in the public acknowledgement of the work PACCAR Australia has done to deliver an exceptional standard of training for our employees and specifically acknowledges the investment made by the company in recent years in Vocational Education and Training of its employees, suppliers and dealer network.

“In order to provide the highest quality product to our valued customers, we need the best people. To attract highly talented people, among a range of things we offer them the requisite tools and importantly the training and development to not only do their current role but to grow and progress in the company,” he added.

The Large Employer of the Year Award recognises a large business that employs 200 or more full-time equivalent employees, and has achieved excellence in the provision of ‘nationally recognised training’ to its employees.

Some of the vocational training delivered to employees included:

  • Diploma of Engineering delivered over 18 months conducted in partnership with Box Hill Institute;
  • Certificate III in Automotive (Paint) in partnership with Chisolm Institute and PPG; and
  • Certificate III Automotive Mechanical Technician in partnership with Kangan Institute.

This latest award continues an admirable record for PACCAR Australia, which earlier this year won the Victorian Manufacturing Award for Workforce Development. The company has twice before won the Victorian State Government’s Employer of the Year (WPC category) Training Awards, and the Federal Government’s Industry Training Award for Manufacturing, in 2012 and 2007, as well as AHRI Awards for Talent Development and Management in 2017 and 2014.

Photo (L-R): Andrew Hadjikakou, Managing Director, Noelle Parlier, Chief Engineer, Robert Brierley, HR Director, Miles Ridler, Learning and Development Manager, Andrea Nation, Quality Manager.


Australia’s leading safety accreditation scheme, TruckSafe, is preparing the trucking industry for the introduction of the new Master Industry Code of Practice.

Aimed at improving the professionalism and safety of trucking operators nationwide, TruckSafe will release a practical gap-analysis tool to ensure accredited members meet their duties under the recent changes to Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) chain of responsibility obligations and newly released master code.

“TruckSafe is safeguarding members and updating our standards to reflect the recent changes,” TruckSafe Chair Ferdie Kroon said today.

“We need to make sure the trucking industry is ready. The new standards raise the bar of chain of responsibility compliance and the gap-analysis tool will help ensure existing and new members are covered.

“The tool has been specially developed to help our members transition their policies and procedures from the current to the new standards,” he said.

The newly released master code outlines clear guidelines for operators to meet their responsibilities under the HVNL and the revised TruckSafe standards will be consistent with this.

“The gap-analysis tool will be sent to members in January 2019, ensuring members have plenty of time to make the necessary changes before the new standards are introduced in April at the ATA’s annual Trucking Australia conference,” Mr Kroon said.

“We will also roll out additional supportive tools in 2019 to make the transition as easy and hassle-free as possible.

“TruckSafe is a world-class business and risk management scheme that gives accredited members confidence they are operating under best-practice systems.

“TruckSafe also gives customers and the community assurance that operators have responsible work practices, well maintained vehicles, healthy trained drivers and management systems that meet the transport needs,” he said.

Are you ready for the new standards? Make sure you’re covered. Join TruckSafe today.