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HVNL REVIEW UPDATE
The National Transport Commission has advised of a decision not to release the expected eighth issues paper relating to the review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). Instead, NTC will terminate initial consultation on 31 October 2019 when responses to the seventh issues paper on Effective Enforcement are due.
NTC will release a summary of responses to the seven issues papers and suggested policy options here.
Four workshops will be held in November-December 2019 to discuss and refine policy options. Priority policy options will be examined in a consultation regulatory impact statement in early 2020.
ALRTA NATIONAL COUNCIL
ALRTA state association representatives and observers attended the ALRTA National Council meeting in Canberra on 25 October 2019. The ALRTA Member Chapter also met via teleconference earlier in the week.
Some of the topics discussed included:
- HVNL Review: Council considered key issues to be addressed in the ALRTA submission to NTC that is currently being drafted on behalf of our members.
- Heavy Vehicle Charging: Council considered a special presentation on the direction and pace of reform to heavy vehicle charging and road investment mechanisms.
- Projects: Council considered progress on the ALRTA’s user-pay research trial, development of a code of practice, roadside infrastructure, ramp standards and national database.
- Finance and Governance: Council considered draft changes to the ALRTA Constitution, national-state finance contracts and privacy statements.
- Harvest Mass Management: Council considered options for improving harmonisation of state-based harvest mass management schemes.
- Fatigue Notices: Council considered progress in improving the 160km work diary exemption and personal use of a heavy vehicle.
The ALRTA National Council will next meet in Melbourne on 7 February 2020.
LIVE EXPORT: IT STARTS ON THE ROAD
ALRTA representatives (John Beer, Mick Debenham & Mat Munro) met with the Federal Department of Agriculture to discuss the lack of progress on improving safety and welfare standards in the domestic landside part of the live export supply chain.
As far back as 2014, ALRTA lodged submissions during the review of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme (ESCAS) and Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) seeking to improve livestock receival times, communication on clearance processes, ramp standards and effluent management. We have again raised these matters during more recent reviews of the live export supply chain. However, the reports arising from these reviews generally do not even acknowledge these issues let alone offer solutions – all of the focus has been offshore.
ALRTA has continued to advocate as part of our membership of the government-industry Live Export Animal Welfare Advisory Group (LEAWAG). The group has agreed that it is necessary to apply best-practice to all parts of the export supply chain, including the domestic road transport leg to the export feedlot or port. ALRTA will continue to work with the Department of Agriculture and LEAWAG in seeking necessary improvements.
AFRICAN SWINE FEVER
African Swine Fever (ASF) is a highly contagious viral disease that affects both domestic and wild pigs. The disease is sweeping across Europe and South-East Asia and was recently detected in Timor Leste. ASF does not pose a risk to human health but it can be spread by humans. With a 100 per cent mortality rate, the virus decimates pig populations.
ASF is spread primarily through contact with infected pigs, movement of people or objects that have been in contact with infected pigs and feeding pigs contaminated swill. The virus can survive for long periods in uncooked, frozen, cured or cooked pig-meat products. It persists in contaminated pig pens for at least 30 days and is readily carried on equipment, shoes, clothing or vehicles. No effective treatment or vaccine is available for ASF. Australia is currently free of the disease; however, virus fragments have been detected in meat products seized at our border.
LRTAQ member Jared Seiler, of Seilers Transport, with the support of ALRTA, recently represented the livestock transport industry in contributing to the development of a planned Australian response to the threat of African Swine Fever. Jared participated in a teleconference about ASF, attended by various associations, federations and ag groups, hosted by Animal Health Australia (AHA). Participants described what their organisation/department has been doing in response to the risk posed by ASF. Most organisations use brochures, flyers, posters, advertising and forums to raise ASF awareness and inform, not only the pig industry, but the general public as well.
Jared also represented the livestock transport industry in a forum in Brisbane on 16 October 2019. Attended by QLD DPI and the QLD Agriculture Minister Mark Furner MP, the meeting included a cross section of representatives from industry; pig vets, feed companies and associations, pig hunting association, pig producers, Australian Pork Limited and people from different areas within the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries QLD. Minister Furner, who briefly attended the meeting, heard key messages from forum industry participants.
Chief Vet of Biosecurity QLD, Allison Crook provided an overview and explained how damaging this disease could be to Australia’s commercial pig industry. There was also a presentation regarding the government’s response so far and the measures undertaken.
Key points are:
- Sniffer dogs are operational at Darwin airport to scan passengers and luggage.
- Increased signage at all Australian International Airports warns incoming passengers to declare and not bring in foods.
- Increased media on flights about Australia’s quarantine regulations.
- Increased screening of mail, parcels, luggage and people arriving from countries where ASF is present.
- Media material is being circulated throughout Universities with high international student attendance.
Going forward, government is ramping up its efforts and working with industry to fine tune its action plan for if, or when, ASF breaks in Australia and we should know more within the next couple of weeks about what that plan will be.
In the meantime, members, in particular those members who transport pigs, are reminded to follow farm biosecurity rules and be mindful that transport movements of pigs could be a major factor in spreading ASF.
Here are some handy links to information about African Swine Fever:
- from Australian Pork Limited. http://australianpork.com.au/industry-focus/biosecurity/african-swine-fever/
- Link to Animal Health Australia (AHA) magazine which features a number of articles on biosecurity and African Swine Fever. https://www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au/the-link/
- The Project video – Margo Andrae (APL CEO) was interviewed and Mark Schipp (Australian Chief Veterinary Officer) and Federal Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie also featured in the story. It’s a great one to share – see here.
- To contact the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline, phone 1800 675 888
TRUCKING INDUSTRY WELCOMES PARLIAMENTARY FRIENDS
The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) have today welcomed the establishment of a new Parliamentary Friends forum that will allow federal MPs and Senators to work more closely with the road transport and heavy vehicle industries.
Chaired by Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Nola Marino and Shadow Assistant Minister for Road Safety Glenn Sterle, Parliamentary Friends of Trucks, Trailers, Transport and Logistics (PFTTTL) is a non-partisan forum for MP’s and Senators to meet and interact with representatives of the transport industry.
The group will focus on priorities to make a safer, more productive and environmentally sustainable heavy vehicle industry.
“The trucking industry is essential to Australia’s economy and day-to-day life. We are the ones who put food on the supermarket shelves and fuel in the service station bowser,” ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said.
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome the establishment of this important group and look forward to working with the engaged ministers and encourage discussion to focus on issues key to industry such as maximising productivity, raising the industry’s profile, solving the skills deficit and improving road safety,” he said.
HVIA President John Drake said it was very encouraging to see Australia’s politicians understand the importance of the trucking industry and their willingness to engage on important issues.
“This is an unrivalled opportunity for the industry to speak with a shared voice and to raise the profile of our amazing industry with decision-makers in the Federal Parliament,” Mr Drake said.
“We thank and acknowledge Chairs Marino and Sterle for their hard work in establishing the PFTTTL and look forward to working with all of the members of the group to ensure a positive result and improvements in heavy vehicle safety and productivity,” he said.
ATA CELEBRATING 30 YEARS
From humble beginnings in a wooden aircraft hangar, the Australian Trucking Association has grown to transform the Australian trucking industry.
For 30 years the ATA has strengthened the voice of Australia’s 50,000 operators and 200,000 people, by working collaboratively with its members to improve industry safety, professionalism and viability.
The ATA 30th Anniversary Dinner is a momentous occasion that will formally celebrate association achievements, recognise key influencers and share aspirations for the future.
Join industry and members of parliament to reflect on the years gone by, the ATA’s journey to success, and the events and people that helped shape history.
Tuesday 19 November 2019, 6:30 -10:30pm at Old Parliament House, Canberra. Register here.
UPCOMING EVENTS FOR 2020
LBRCA (NSW) on 6-7 March 2020 at Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Convention Centre NSW.
LRTAQ (QLD) on 19-21 March 2020 in Roma QLD.
LRTASA (SA)on 12-13 June 2020 at Adelaide Entertainment Centre SA.
LRTAWA (WA) & National on 24-25 July 2020 (Venue TBA).
LRTAV (VIC) on 14-15 August 2020 at All Seasons Resort Bendigo VIC.