ALRTA News – 8 November 2019


The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has welcomed the announcement that the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has extended the Personal Use Exemption to BFM and AFM drivers.
The National Heavy Vehicle Work and Rest Hours Exemption (Personal Use – BFM and AFM) Notice 2019 (No.1) allows BFM and AFM drivers to use their heavy vehicle for personal activities during their 24hr continuous stationary rest break, including:

  • stowing or retrieving personal effects from a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle.
  • cleaning a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle.
  • refuelling a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle.
  • driving a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle for personal reasons (eg visiting a bank or a post office).

 ALRTA National President Stephen Marley said that the exemption would benefit BFM and AFM drivers who have the same needs as standard hours drivers when resting away from home.
“Short-distance drivers can usually make it home to access sleeping quarters, meals or washing facilities, as well as their own private vehicle for personal use.   In contrast, long-distance drivers are often forced to rest at inhospitable locations with no amenities whatsoever,” said President Marley.
“Uninterrupted sleep, eating well and keeping clean are fundamental to maintaining alertness and vehicle control.  It is also important to relieve boredom during longer breaks in isolated locations. It is pleasing that the NHVR is listening to the needs of drivers in HVNL states and opting for a holistic approach to fatigue management,” he said.
The NHVR commenced work to establish a Personal Use Exemption for standard hours drivers in response to a 2017 letter from ALRTA.  The National Heavy Vehicle Work and Rest Hours Exemption (Personal Use) Notice 2018 allows standard hours drivers to use their heavy vehicle for personal activities between shifts and during the 24hr continuous stationary rest break. 
ALRTA subsequently sought to extend the exemption to BFM and AFM drivers during the 24hr continuous stationary rest break, acknowledging that these drivers already have access to additional hours during driving shifts.


ALRTA has lodged a submission in response to the NHVR’s Review of Grain Harvest Management Schemes.  ALRTA National Council considered various options for the establishment of a national Harvest Mass Management Scheme and discussed these with NHVR representatives during a face-to-face meeting on 25 October 2019.
You can access the NHVR Issues Paper and the ALRTA Submission here.


ALRTA has revised our submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry into Road Transport to better articulate that our WA and NT operators do not wish to be regulated by the HVNL at this time.  The ALRTA National Council has also re-considered our initial position in support of mandatory operator licencing, deciding instead that regulators should be empowered to ban/prohibit particular persons or other entities from operating a road transport business on a case-by-case basis.
For more information click here.


The Federal Government has announced additional drought relief funding that includes concessional loans for businesses that are dependent on agriculture.  These loans can be up to $500,000 with no interest or payments for two years, followed by interest only payments for three years.
For more information click here.


The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) in conjunction with Kilcoy Global Foods, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the Federal Governments Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative are currently running a pilot program to improve safety for livestock transporters.Watch the video on the movable ramp and gantry system.


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific have announced the participants in the 2020 Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders’ Forum. 

The 2020 Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders Forum welcomes representatives from Daimler Truck and Bus, ATA member associations and the ATA’s safety accreditation scheme TruckSafe. 

The first stage of the 2020 forum will be held in Canberra on 25-26 November 2019, where participants will develop their potential as future leaders of the trucking industry, with mentorship from experts in leadership, media and political training.  Meet the 2020 Daimler Future Leaders.


Animal Health Australia has developed two videos on African Swine Fever. 

  • Emergency preparedness for African swine fever – Featuring Samantha Allan (AHA Exec Manager) and Kathleen Plowman (AHA CEO). This video provides info on the national arrangements for managing an outbreak of ASF. It went up on social media this week.
  • African swine fever: biosecurity for pork producers – Featuring Samantha Allan (AHA Exec Manager) and Sharon Starick (incoming AHA Chair). This explores how producers can secure their properties in light of the ASF threat. This will go up on social media next week.


The Australian Government should extend its new payment term rules to all big businesses, CEO of the Australian Trucking Association, Ben Maguire, said today. 

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. 

Mr Maguire said the ATA welcomed the Government announcement today that all contractors who bill the government electronically will be able to claim interest if they are not paid within five working days. 

“It’s a great announcement, but it doesn’t go far enough. The Government should require that all customers to pay trucking companies within five working days, if using e-invoicing, or 20 days maximum,” Mr Maguire said. 

“Most of the costs incurred by small trucking businesses must be met before they can bill their customers. These include wages or personal living costs, fuel, tyres, insurance, finance costs, registration and maintenance. 

“This means small businesses are extremely vulnerable to adverse changes in their payment terms, and often have little capacity to negotiate them with large customers. These new standards will lift the standards for paying businesses on time,” he said. 

The changes announced today will apply to all electronic invoices below $1 million and will start from 1 January 2020, initially with the Department of Finance and Services Australia. A maximum 20-day payment term will continue to apply in instances where e-invoicing is not used, following a move from the Government to cut payment terms for all government invoices below $1 million from 30 days to 20 days from 1 July earlier this year. 

Mr Maguire said the ATA will seek an urgent meeting with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development on the implementation of this new standard for the Government’s infrastructure program. 

“Commonwealth-funded infrastructure projects must reflect these new payment term standards, and Australian Government funding agreements with states and territories should implement these new payment terms for major road projects,” Mr Maguire said.