ALRTA News – 27 September 2019

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As a proud national sponsor of the ALRTA, Goodyear is pleased to offer special buying prices to ALRTA members.

It’s a nationwide pricing deal that’s available throughout our network of almost 300 stores across Australia. And because you’ll find a Goodyear store almost anywhere, if you’re an account customer, you’ll be protected by our emergency roadside service. What’s more, a portion of each sale goes to the ALRTA and your state association. This means that every dollar you spend with Goodyear directly supports your industry.


An important trial to provide a significant boost to safety in the livestock industry is underway at Kilcoy Global Foods in South-East Queensland’s Somerset Region.

Sal Petroccitto (CEO NHVR), Fiona Wild (ALRTA Treasurer) and the Hon Scott Buchholz MP (Assistant Minister for Raod Safety and Freight Transport. 

Watch Minister Buchholz talk about the frame here

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the trial of the innovative Parallel Access Landing (PAL) frame was a key project under the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative program, supported by the Federal Government.
“Livestock can be very unpredictable and that can pose a safety risk to any driver or operator, particularly if they are working at heights while loading or unloading,” Mr Buchholz said.
“The Coalition Government provided $3.9 million in funding to support Round 2 of the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative program.
“$102,000 of that will allow the Australian Livestock Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) to conduct a feasibility study into user-pay unloading infrastructure at a major Australian livestock processing facility,” Mr Buchholz said.
“The PAL frame has been designed to improve productivity and safety and the data we collect from this trial will assess whether this system could be rolled out across Australia.”
The frame, located at Kilcoy Global Foods, includes AVDATA billing, reporting, monitoring and an access control system. The company has the capacity for 1200 head a day and employs more than 1200 staff.
ALRTA’s National President Stephen Marley said the project shows that all supply chain parties are working together on making heavy vehicle transport safer.
“The industry is working together with government to find solutions to some of our most important challenges,” Mr Marley said.
“I want to see the rate of falls and injury among livestock operators continue to decline.”

Mat Munro (ALRTA Executive Director) and Sal Petroccitto (NHVR CEO) observe the Crate P.A.L. in action.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the funding for local safety projects continue to play a crucial role in improving heavy vehicle safety and productivity.
“These are great ideas that need to be supported to ensure better heavy vehicle industry safety, information, policy and practice across Australia,” Mr Petroccitto said.
Assistant Minister Buchholz said the Federal Government increased funding to the HVSI program from $3.9 million to $5.4 million in this year’s Budget.
“It’s part of our Government’s strong commitment to improve safety in the transport sector, which also included increases to the Black Spot and Roads to Recovery programs,” Mr Buchholz said.


The trial of the ‘user-pay’ Crate P.A.L. commenced at Kilcoy Global Foods on 2 September 2019.  The official launch occurred on 23 September 2019.

Funded through the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, the trial will explore the potential of a user-pay system to facilitate more rapid uptake of safer unloading infrastructure at major livestock depots across Australia.
Proway redesigned the Crate P.A.L. to suit the Kilcoy Global Foods site.  There are similar frames in operation at other sites that ‘pivot’ or swing back from a fixed point at the base of the ramp.  This type of design would have blocked access for trucks arriving at the Kilcoy site.  The Kilcoy frame fully retracts away from the ramp far enough to allow a truck to pass between the frame and ramp.  Movement of the frame is controlled by sensors that measure angles and auto-correct to keep the frame parallel to the trailer set. 
To see the new frame in action click here.
Over a 12-week period, a Crate P.A.L. will be available for use on a voluntary basis.  For those who choose the use the frame, a fee will be levied via the AVDATA system.  Fees have been determined via two surveys of ALRTA member operators.  The charge will initially be set at $15.00.  Every two weeks the fee will be reduced until it is removed completely.
To check the current charging level click here.

ALRTA will collect de-identified data on usage rates at different charging levels. A combination of pricing and usage rate will be used to calculate capital pay-back periods (i.e. how long will it take to fully recover the cost of a Crate P.A.L. at different pricing levels?).  If user-pay is proven viable, ALRTA will develop a business case for the rapid installation of safer unloading infrastructure at other major livestock depots.
If you would like more information, please contact ALRTA on (02) 6247 5434 or


As per the ALRTA Constitution, the ALRTA Executive elected at the AGM on 15 August 2019 will take office for a one-year term from 1 October.
Your National Executive for 2019-20 is:

  • National President: Stephen Marley (LRTAWA)
  • Vice President: Scott McDonald (LBRCA)
  • Vice President: Mick Debenham (LRTAV)
  • Treasurer: Fiona Wild (LRTAQ)
  • Secretary: Grant Robins (LRTAWA)
  • ATA Representative: David Smith (LRTASA)
  • Immediate Past President: Kevin Keenan (LRTAV)

ALRTA acknowledges the excellent service of outgoing Vice President John Beer and welcomes Mick Debenham to the position. Mick has also taken on the Chair role for the ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee.


The ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee (AWC) met via teleconference this week to discuss effluent, ramp standards and the user-pay frame project. The AWC reviewed the effluent code of practice to make sure it reflected current best practice for transport operators. The effluent code working group will next meet face-to-face in Melbourne on 30 October 2019.


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is bemused and concerned at Austroads’ decision to today go back 27 years in time. 

Austroads, the research organisation owned by the Commonwealth and state transport departments, today said it had completed a study showing that the allowable width of trucks could be increased safely to 2.55 metres, excluding attachments. 

According to Austroads, the study recommends that 2.6 metre wide trucks should be considered in the future. 

“It’s decisions like this that are holding our country back economically,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said. 

“The ATA’s understanding is that Austroads made the same recommendation 27 years ago, in 1992. 

“The ATA and industry have consistently made the case that 2.6 metre wide trucks should have been considered in this study, however Austroads have once again avoided the issue and delayed it to some distant future time,” he said. 

“An increase in allowable width to 2.6 metres would enable refrigerated trucks to utilise thicker insulated walls without loss of payload. In 38 degree outside temperatures, these thicker walls would reduce heat gain by 36 per cent and deliver a fuel saving of 2500 litres per typical refrigerated vehicle, per year. 

“It appears our governments are not serious about the international harmonisation of refrigerated vehicle widths, ignoring the recommendation of the expert panel inquiry on freight and supply chain priorities,” Mr Maguire said. 

The ATA has called for Austroads to release its truck width study immediately. 

“Austroads have announced the completion of the study without releasing the actual study,” Mr Maguire said. 

“They have denied the ATA’s request for a copy. We have lodged an immediate freedom of information request, because the public and the industry have the right to know why governments are not prepared to consider this sensible approach to increasing productivity and reducing fuel consumption,” he said. 

The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, we are committed to safety, professionalism and viability. 

Australian trucks are 2.5 metres wide, excluding safety devices like mirrors, but vehicles wider than 2.5 metres already operate safely on the road network. A standard traffic lane is 3.5 metres wide, going down to 3.3 metres in some urban areas.


ALRTA is a member of the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA).
COSBOA has expressed alarm about a review of the model WHS laws commissioned by Safe Work Australia, calling the final report “dangerous” and demanding for it to be withdrawn. The report solely focusses on workers, giving zero consideration to the mental health of employers and the self-employed; and if its recommendations are followed, it could see employers sent to prison if one of their employees self-harms a result of a mental health condition.
Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA, asked “If there are five people in a workplace and we only talk about the mental health of four of them, do we not fail those four people? If the employer, the one ignored, has a mental health problem, will that not worry the four employees? Would they not be concerned for their employer? Would they not be concerned for their jobs and their income and their own future mental health?
If the recommendations of the report are implemented, then every workplace in Australia will be less safe. This is ideology getting in the way of reality, this is potentially a regulator imposing their ideological view of the world onto a group they demand be experts on a subject that is objective, confusing and challenging — mental health.”
Published in December 2018, the report, also known as the Boland Review, recommends that the psychological health and safety of workers be given equal consideration to their physical health and safety. It also recommends the introduction of an industrial manslaughter offence. It is the combination of these two recommendations that leads to the concern that employers could be held responsible for the mental health of their employees and potentially charged with manslaughter if a mental health condition results in an employee self-harming.
Read more here.


Members are advised that the ALRTA National Council will next meet on Friday, 25 October 2019 at the ATA Conference Room, Level 3, Minter Ellison Building, 25 National Circuit, Forrest ACT.
For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat via


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 2020 program will consist of:

  • Two days of intensive workshops in Canberra on 25-26 November 2019
  • A take-home leadership project
  • A digital check-in meeting
  • Participation in Trucking Australia 2020, to be held in Cairns from 1-3 April 2020.

 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 2020
  • Development a strong professional network with like-minded industry leaders

 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.


The NHVR is reviewing heavy vehicle loading schemes used during grain harvest across Australia.
ALRTA is currently consulting with all State Member Associations about each jurisdictional scheme.  On 25 October 2019, the ALRTA National Council will consider the possibility of moving to a harmonised national scheme.
If you have a view on your state scheme or the possibility of a national scheme, please speak with your ALRTA State Member Association in the next few weeks.
You can access the NHVR Issues Paper here.


Have you registered for the 2019 Technology and Maintenance Conference? Every year the Conference assembles senior transport inspectors  from around Australia to talk about their priorities and what their teams are seeing on the road.

This is your once a year opportunity to learn about what Australia’s transport inspectors are planning, share your experiences and provide the inspectors with your feedback.

Don’t miss out  head to to register.


Drought may raise the risk of Q fever. … Q fever symptoms often appear like severe flu, with high fevers and chills, sweating, severe headaches, muscle and joint pains and extreme fatigue. Chronic lethargy can remain for months after treatment.

You can protect yourself and your family from Q fever. Speak to your Dr or visit  NSW Health for more information.


2020 LBRCA Annual Conference  – Tamworth 6-7 March 

The LBRCA has secured the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Convention Centre (TRECC) for their 2020 Annual Conference on 6-7 March 2020.