ALRTA News – 22 February 2019


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The ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro, met with Senator Glen Sterle (Shadow Assistant Minister for Road Safety) at Parliament House this week to discuss the ALRTA position on mandatory minimum rates for owner drivers and how we can best engage with Labor on the subject before and after the May 2019 Federal Election.

ALRTA has accepted the Senator’s invitation to attend a ‘Transport Industry Standards Forum’ at Parliament House in March 2019.  We will have multiple potentially affected operators in attendance and intend to engage constructively in the discussions.


The ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro, attended a trucking industry meeting with Federal Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, to provide input into the Coalition’s 2019 Budget preparations.

Photo (L-R): Treasurer Frydenberg and Mat Munro. 

The dinner meeting was organised by ATA and held at Australian Parliament House.  A very broad range of trucking issues were raised by a diverse group of industry representatives that included small and large operators, suppliers and association staff.

Treasurer Frydenberg recognises that the trucking sector is at the heart of the Australian economy and very interested to hear our views about how a re-elected Coalition Government can enhance support for our industry.


This week the ALRTA President, two Vice Presidents and Executive Director headed to Griffith for the LBRCA Annual Conference.  The event was well-attended with a full house throughout the informative and fun two-day program.

Photo (L-R): Immediate Past President Lynley Miners and President Paul Pulver open the 2019 LBRCA Annual Conference. 

As is fitting for one of Australia’s most influential trucking associations, speakers included the Griffith Mayor, NSW local Member, NSW Minister for Transport and the NHVR Chair and CEO.

ALRTA congratulates Paul Pulver on being elected LBRCA President at AGM.  The senior members of the LBRCA Executive now include:

President: Paul Pulver
VP Bulk: Kel Baxter
VP Livestock: Reggie Sutton
Treasurer: Anthony Hopton
Secretary: Tracy Boshetti
Immediate Past President: Lynley Miners

ALRTA recognises the huge contribution Lynley Miners to LBRCA and ALRTA over the past three years and also Graeme Hoare who retires from the VP Livestock position.

Our congratulations also go out to the winner of the LBRCA Young Driver Award, Stephen Richardson, and LBRCA’s newest Life Member, Barry Sutcliffe.

Lookout for a full wrap up in the next LBRCA newsletter.

Photo: LBRCA Gala Dinner.


This week ALRTA Project Officer, Sue Davies, spoke with LRTAQ member John Rogers, Queensland Operations Manager of Road Trains of Australia (RTA), about the impact of the floods in far north Queensland.

John, aka JR, calls Longreach home.  RTA’s transport business operates over a vast area – throughout Queensland, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory.  In response to the floods in north Queensland, JR has been able to move his trucks into work in the dry areas of the Northern Territory.

“When the rain started we had two loads of cattle at Cloncurry that were held up there, waiting ten days for the roads to re-open.  Cattle were caught at Whitton, too. Pre-sold cattle were moved out through Birdsville; a journey of more than 1000km.

“In fact, I spent three to four days re-routing live export stock, some were freighted an additional 1300km to meet the market as ships were booked and ready to go.

“We didn’t experience flooding, but it did rain in Longreach. It was good general rain, around 90-100ml in a little over a week – the best rains we’ve had for three to four years.  But we’re still drought declared and need some follow up rains. The rain in this area was patchy – some places just 40km from Longreach didn’t get that rain and there are widespread areas of bare dirt up this way,” he said.

The shock of the massive rain event in Queensland was that the country had experienced a prolonged period of drought.  In some areas where the floods went through, JR has seen large cracks appearing in the ground.

Asked about the flood impact on the livestock industry, JR said cattle losses will definitely impact the likes of AA Co, the big corporates.

“Right now no one would have an idea as to how many have been lost – it could be 50,000 cows!  The big concern is that over the next three years, that’s potentially 150,000 head that we’re not going to have and the flow on effect of that loss will be widespread.

“Driving through the area you see the loss of infrastructure too: fences, tags, troughs, pipes, outbuildings and houses.  It’s going to take some time to recover – you see cattle out there still starving and weak in the mud.  You see people out there, with loaders and diggers, burying cattle,” he said.

Asked whether people are talking about how they’re feeling about what’s happened, JR said “most people up here don’t talk about how they’re getting on.  Everyone’s private and I’d say they’re still worried about being drought affected.”

“The flow on effect of the floods in Queensland is a concern to the whole community here. We usually have 10 trucks at Longreach but can be spelling up to 15 to 20 trucks here.  This means there are usually drivers in town, spending money at local businesses.  Now, all of a sudden, that stops. The town misses out on that income.  I’d say the livestock industry and local communities are facing an uncertain and challenging future.”


The Australian Trucking Association is a step closer to saving more lives on the road, after today welcoming Australian Government funding to redesign the Volvo ATA Safety Truck.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced the $400,000 in funding this morning with ATA CEO Ben Maguire and Volvo Group Australia President and CEO Martin Merrick.

The funds will contribute to the redesign of the Volvo ATA Safety Truck, a road safety exhibition that has been in operation since 2008. The exhibition was last updated in 2013.

The new Safety Truck and campaign will deliver an engaging hands-on experience that puts young road users in a virtual driver’s seat to experience the realities of truck driving, to learn how to keep safe around trucks on the road. This will be supported by informative, small group presentations that reinforce safety messages and drive behavioural change.

“Deputy Prime Minister McCormack understands the importance of road safety and our common vision of zero fatal or serious injury crashes on our roads. I am delighted to accept the funding, knowing that it will save lives,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said.

“The new campaign will specifically target 16 to 25 year old drivers and vulnerable road users, as they are over-represented in crash statistics,” he said.

Official estimates show that about 80 per cent of fatal multi-vehicle crashes involving trucks are not the fault of the truck driver.

25 per cent of the people involved in casualty crashes with trucks are aged 26 years or younger, although this age group only represents 10-15 per cent of the driver population.

The ATA’s award-winning Safety and Skills Adviser, Melissa Weller, is leading the project.

“The refreshed Safety Truck will deliver its messages through videos, virtual reality and small group presentations. It will focus on truck blind spots, stopping distances, overtaking procedures and the risks associated with driver, pedestrian and cyclist distraction,” Mrs Weller said.

Mrs Weller said the project would be supported by ongoing research and evaluation.

“We are going to work with academic road safety researchers to design and implement a study that will assess road safety trends and allow us to measure the impact of the Safety Truck on on-road behaviour and statistics,” Mrs Weller said.

The refurbishment will commence in June 2019, with the new truck and campaign to be launched in conjunction with the ATA’s 30th anniversary celebrations in October 2019.

The ATA represents the 50,000 businesses and 211,500 people in the Australian trucking industry.


Advice for Flood Affected Areas
The NHVR CEO has provided some advice concerning the application of heavy vehicle fatigue laws to heavy vehicle operators in flood affected areas: “Any heavy vehicle operator, or anyone acting for or directed by an emergency service and who has time critical duties on the way to or during activities relating to the floods, is exempt from work and rest limits and requirements to carry and keep a work diary.”

Fire Probe
NHVR will investigate a recent spate of truck fires emanating from the engine bay.  Advice will be prepared for operators on measures to reduce this risk.

CoR Information Sessions
NHVR will hold another round of free CoR Information sessions between 27 Feb – 13 March. Sessions will be held in Goondiwindi, Melbourne, Cairns, Taree, Emerald, Bega and Swan Hill.  Click here for more information.

B-Double Operator’s Guides
The NHVR has released a suite of updated operational guides to support the recent transition of heavy vehicle notices.  Click here for more information.


New Zealand’s Southpac Trucks Wins Kenworth Dealer of the Year 2018

For a second consecutive year and against a field of more than 25 dealers across Australasia, New Zealand’s Southpac Trucks has been awarded Kenworth Dealer of the Year. Read the PACCAR Blog:

Photo (L-R): Andrew Hadjikakou, Managing Director PACCAR Australia, Maarten Durent, CEO Southpac Trucks, Graeme Gibbons, CEO, The Colonial Motor Company, Brad May, Director Sales and Marketing PACCAR Australia.

BMG Kenworth DAF Mount Gambier Honoured as DAF Dealer of the Year 2018

BMG Kenworth DAF Mt Gambier has been awarded the 2018 DAF Dealer of the Year award, presented at PACCAR’s annual dealer event, held in Queenstown New Zealand. Read the PACCAR Blog:

Photo (L-R): Andrew Hadjikakou, Managing Director, PACCAR Australia, Brad May, Director Sales and Marketing, PACCAR Australia, Jim Cornolo, Dealer Principal, Barry Maney Group Kenworth DAF Mt Gambier, Mick de Boer, Area Manager, DAF NV and Raoul Wijnands, Project Manager Testing, DAF NV.