ALRTA News – 20 December2019

A special thanks to all of our National Sponsors who supported us in 2019!


The ALRTA has lodged a comprehensive submission to the National Transport Commission (NTC) review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).  The submission includes 108 individual recommendations for improving the law.

ALRTA National President Stephen Marley said it was important for industry associations to identify both regulatory problems and potential regulatory solutions.

“The ALRTA HVNL Review submission has been developed after conducting a detailed grass-roots member survey, considering seven NTC issues papers, attending thirteen workshops around Australia and consulting with ALRTA State Member Associations and our elected National Council,” said President Marley.

“Perhaps not surprisingly, our members have identified a wide array or problems with the current HVNL and the broader heavy vehicle regulatory environment in which it operates.  However, there was no shortage of opinions on how to fix the current problems.”

“The submission includes recommendations relating to legal principles, vehicle standards, access, fatigue, accreditation, use of technology, risk assessment, licencing, registration, training, compliance, enforcement and cross-border recognition.”

“I am confident that the ALRTA submission will be of great assistance to the NTC when shortlisting reform options to be included in a consultation regulatory impact statement in 2020,” he said.

ALRTA thanks all members who took the time to participate in our HVNL Review survey. 

The ALRTA submission can be found here.

Australian Transport and Infrastructure Ministers will consider NTC reform recommendations in November 2020.


As always, your national and state associations will be fighting to ensure that rural transport receives a fair deal under any new regulatory regime.

Photo: ALRTA National President Stephen Marley addresses media. 

We have a great track record.  Looking back over 2019, we have:

  • Prevented an 11.8% increase in heavy vehicle charges;
  • Extended the personal use of a heavy vehicle exemption to include BFM and AFM;
  • Increased the road train steer axle mass limit to 7.1t;
  • Simplified rules for heavy vehicle signage;
  • Drafted an enforceable national ramp standard;
  • Completed a world-first trial of a user-pay unloading frame;
  • Had the charitable taxation status of dodgy animal welfare activists revoked;
  • Compelled NHVR to enforce primary producer registration compliance in SA and TAS;
  • Obtained a commitment from government to work with all parties to improve livestock loading facilities at airports;
  • Defended live sheep exports;
  • Substantially drafted a code of practice for effluent management in the supply chain;
  • Progressed several potential roadside effluent disposal sites;
  • Launched a revamped TruckSafe Animal Welfare Module;
  • Revised the Fit-to-Load Guidelines;
  • Had effluent disposal sites recognised in the AustRoads Guidelines for HV Rest Areas;
  • Responded to reviews of the HVNL, Senate Inquiry into Road Transport, Harvest Mass Schemes, Charging Reform.
  • Influenced and informed members about Federal Election policies.

Next year, 2020 will be a very significant year in road transport regulatory reform.  There are three evolving developments that you need to look out for:

  • HVNL Reform: Options for reforming the HVNL will be put forward by the National Transport Commission and considered by Ministers in November 2020. This review could fundamentally change the rules affecting the way you operate. It is a once in a generation opportunity to get the law right.
  • Heavy Vehicle Charging Reform: Over the past decade, governments have made several attempts to abolish the PAYGO (rego and RUC) charging system to move to a mass-distance charge. There is a lot going on in the background (charging trials and building block regulatory reform) that might lead to major decisions being made in November 2020.
  • Senate Inquiry into Road Transport: This Inquiry basically includes ‘everything’ but is primarily focused on payment and conditions for owner drivers. As it is led by Labor, the current Government is unlikely to rush to implement the recommendations….but the recommendations be out there……waiting for the next government.

All of this great work is supported by our Platinum National Partners which include: NTI, PACCAR and Dealer Industry Fund, PACCAR Parts, Goodyear, BP, Cummins, Byrne Trailers and Lowes Petroleum. 


The ALRTA has written to the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie seeking membership of the Biosecurity Futures Group. The group has been recently established to provide the Minister with information and strategic advice on matters relevant to Australia’s biosecurity.

Road transport is almost always the first or last link in Australia’s agricultural supply chain.  Movement of agricultural commodities within Australia will in many circumstances be the primary vector by which exotic (or endemic) pests and diseases are transmitted and responding to an outbreak will usually involve restricting truck movements for at least an investigative period. 

ALRTA believes that biosecurity risks can be lessened by investing in good transport regulation, education and supporting infrastructure. ALRTA membership of the group would be beneficial for protecting Australia’s biosecurity and agricultural sector.


The recent trial of an innovative unloading platform at a processing facility in SE Queensland saw industry, government and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator come together to support a focus on improving the safety of drivers unloading cattle at feedlots, saleyards and processors.  Kilcoy Global Foods (KGF) partnered with the ALRTA to undertake a research trial to explore the potential of a ‘user-pay’ system to accelerate the uptake of safer unloading infrastructure, funded through the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Infrastructure Initiative, supported by the Federal Government.

Designed and installed by ProWay, the Crate Parallel Access Landing (P.A.L.) provides a safe working platform along the length of a b-double set of trailers. When using the Crate P.A.L. drivers no longer need to climb up and down along the side of the crate, reducing the risk of falling from height or being struck by livestock.

Over a 12-week period commencing 2 September 2019, the Crate P.A.L. was available for use on a voluntary basis.  The usage charge, determined via two surveys of ALRTA member operators, was initially set at $15.00 and reduced by $2.50 every two weeks, before being removed on 16 December 2019. Project plans are subject to all sorts of variables, and in this project the trial period was extended into December 2019 when technical issues in late November lead to a temporary shutdown in its operation.

ALRTA collected data on usage rates at different charging levels and Kilcoy Global Foods provided data on the number of trucks entering the site to unload cattle daily.

Our preliminary analysis shows that usage rates generally increased as usage prices decreased.

The data collected 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.

Feedback about using the unloading platform has been largely positive with drivers reporting that it certainly is much safer as well as quick and easy to use.


The NHVR is calling for a coordinated approach to addressing Australia’s growing road freight task.

NHVR Executive Director Freight and Supply Chain Productivity, Peter Caprioli today released a Draft Heavy Vehicle Productivity Plan 2020–2025 (HVPP) for feedback.

“This is a draft blueprint for the NHVR, government and industry to work together to improve access and productivity for Australia’s heavy vehicle fleet,” Mr Caprioli said.

“The HVPP has at its heart an objective of delivering safe, productive and efficient heavy vehicle movements for an industry that has an impact on all Australians.

“In preparing the HVPP we consulted with more than 50 groups across government and industry who collectively want to promote the growth of safer and more productive vehicles that are better for the economy, environment and communities.

“Many in industry are calling for greater access and certainty, governments want improved consistency and data, and road managers want support for access and road infrastructure decisions.

“The HVPP offers a pathway forward to meet the ambitions of government and the heavy vehicle industry and will be further informed through this next phase of consultation,” he said.

The NHVR is now seeking feedback on the draft HVPP before developing an Action Plan to be released during 2020.

Submissions can be made via email to and close on March 13, 2020.

For more information visit


We thought you might be interested to know that the transition period for mandatory Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) in the USA came to an end on 17 December 2019 (12:01am). 
Motor carriers and drivers subject to the ELD rule must use self-certified ELDs that are registered with FMCSA to record their hours-of-service data.  If a driver or motor carrier fails to use an ELD when one is required, the driver and motor carrier will be in in violation of the ELD rule and will be cited in accordance with 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1); and the driver will be placed out-of-service in accordance with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance OOS criteria.
Current exemptions include:

  • Livestock and insect haulers;
  • Drivers who use paper logs no more than 8 days during any 30-day period;
  • Driveaway-towaway drivers (were the vehicle driven is the commodity) or the vehicle being;
  • transported is a motor home or a recreation vehicle trailer (at least one set of wheels of the vehicle being transported must be on the surface while being transported;
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000.

 Click here for more information.


There are many trends changing the way Australians work, including new technologies, shifting demographics and globalisation. To better assist Australians to navigate these changes, the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business is conducting a survey to better understand the skills currently used in the labour market.  
Truck drivers are one of the occupations included in the survey.
The survey is available at: and will be open until Friday, 17 January 2020. The survey will take around 15 minutes to complete.


ALRTA encourages transport operators to check the current status of fires and road closures when travelling in this hot and busy period.  With conditions worsening around Australia we have decided to expand the links published a few weeks ago to cover all of Australia. 

You can find the primary links here:

NSW Fire information
NSW Road Information
VIC Fire Information
VIC Road Information
QLD Fire Information
QLD Road Information
WA Fire Information
WA Road Information
SA Fire Information
SA Road Information
TAS Fire Information
TAS Road Information
NT Fire Information
NT Road Information
ACT Fire Information
ACT Road Information


ALRTA members have the chance to be part of a ground-breaking initiative that will celebrate industry diversity, develop diversity champions, and improve industry image.

The ATA’s Teletrac Navman Driving Change Diversity Program will showcase diversity champions to the trucking industry and wider community, promoting positive perception of industry and encouraging new entrants into the workforce.

While Australia is experiencing a big shift in the perception of transport, there is still a lot of ground to cover when it comes to diversifying the workplace.

Data shows the average Australian truck driver is a 47-year-old male, with females accounting for only three per cent of the driver workforce, and close to 60 per cent of truck drivers are aged 45 years or older.

The 2020 program will consist of filming program participant stories in their workplace, two days of diversity training and marketing campaign development workshops from 31 March – 1 April 2020, participation in Trucking Australia 2020, in Cairns from 1-3 April 2020 and an industry marketing and promotional campaign.

For more information:  Fact Sheet
To apply: Nomination Form

Please send completed nomination forms to by 31 January 2020.

For more information, to nominate yourself or someone you know for the program, get in touch with ALRTA to download a fact sheet and nomination form.


The NHVR offices will be closed from Wednesday 25 December 2018 to Wednesday 1 January 2019 inclusive.
The call centre will be closed on the national Public Holidays and open on all other business days from 8am–6pm (AEDT).  During this time, NHVR will continue to process access permit applications, but will not be processing or issuing any other types of applications (i.e. fatigue, NHVAS, PBS or vehicle standards).
The Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line will be closed Monday 23 December 2019 to Wednesday 1 January 2020 inclusive. If it’s an emergency or there’s a safety risk happening on the road right now, call 000.
Please be aware that other road managers, such as local governments, may have limited to no service available during the Christmas/New Year’s period. This may delay the assessment and consent process. Further enquiries regarding road manager operating hours and levels of service should be made directly with the relevant council or agency.


Over the Christmas and New Year period, there are travel restrictions in place for certain Class 1 heavy vehicles.  For vehicles operating under a permit, operators should check the permit’s conditions to establish whether Christmas or public holiday travel restrictions are listed or referenced in related notices.
For more information on travel restrictions click here.


Members and other interested parties are advised that the ALRTA National Secretariat will shut down over the Christmas and New Year period.  We will close at 5:00pm, Friday 20 December 2019 and re-open at 9:30am, Monday, 6 January 2020.
Our office expects to recommence our regular weekly newsletters from Friday, 24 January 2020.  We will issue a newsletter prior to this time if there are new developments that just can’t wait.
For urgent enquiries contact Mathew Munro on 0421 082 489 or


The ALRTA National Council, State Associations and Secretariat Staff wish all members and road users a very safe and happy Christmas and New Year period.  We sincerely hope that you are able to take some well-earned rest and catch up with your family, friends and other important people that support you throughout the year.

See you in again in 2020!


Save money and time! Secure your TA20 MEGA DEAL today

For the first time ever, the ATA is excited to offer the Trucking Australia Mega Deal – an all-inclusive package that takes your conference experience to the next level with 5-star accommodation, full conference access, arrival transfers, and exclusive gifts and discounts. All-inclusive rate from $975pp twin share. Find out More.


LBRCA (NSW) on 6-7 March 2020 at Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Convention Centre NSW. Click here to Register
LRTAQ (QLD) on 19-21 March 2020 in Roma QLD. Click here to Register.
LRTASA (SA)on 12-13 June 2020 at Adelaide Entertainment Centre SA.
LRTAWA/ALRTA (WA & National) on 24-25 July 2020. Location in WA to be advised.
LRTAV (VIC) on 14-15 August 2020 at All Seasons Resort Bendigo VIC.