BP LAUNCH QANTAS BUSINESS REWARDS FOR PLUS CARD HOLDERS
New applicants will be able to earn a bonus 100,000 points which is a very generous acquisition offer that BP would like to share with ALRTA members. Existing BP customers still get access to Qantas/FF points (which will link automatically to their account when they transact).
STATES OVERRULE COUNCILS ON CURFEWS
State Governments in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have legislated to remove local council curfews on supermarket delivery times. The move will enable deliveries to occur 24 hrs a day to help overcome widespread stock shortages in supermarkets around Australia.
ALRTA National President Stephen Marley said that State Governments should always be prepared to overrule local councils to remove unnecessary impediments to freight movements.
“The trucking industry is constantly reminding governments about the critical roles trucks play in supporting communities and business activity. The message suddenly hits home when livestock are starving or supermarket shelves are empty”, said President Marley.
“While I applaud State Governments for unifying rules for hay movements during the drought and lifting council curfews on supermarket deliveries during the COVID-19 crisis, the fact is that these powers always exist and should be used more frequently to ensure that local authorities are not unnecessarily impeding efficient freight flows”.
“Rather than waiting for the next crisis to hit, State Governments should be constantly assessing whether the road access powers delegated to local authorities are being used appropriately so that local politics does not undermine state or national road networks. A hands-off approach just leads to hundreds of differing access rules across local councils within each state and regulatory-induced under performance of a very expensive and society-critical road asset”.
CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE MUST HELP OWNER-DRIVERS
The Australian Government’s economic response to the coronavirus epidemic must include help for truck owner-drivers, Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chair Geoff Crouch said today.
The Australian Trucking Association and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, the ATA and its members are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.
Mr Crouch said there are 28,900 owner-drivers in Australia, who make up 54 per cent of the trucking industry. They have a crucial role in our supply chains.
“Owner drivers do not employ staff, so they are not eligible for assistance under the Boosting Cashflow for Employers measure, which the Government announced last week,” Mr Crouch said.
“But they are not employees either, so they have no access to paid sick leave.
“Our submission recommends that owner drivers and other non-employing businesses should be eligible for financial assistance in the Government’s next economic package, including an equivalent of paid sick leave,” he said.
Mr Crouch said ATA members had consistently identified payroll tax as one of the key financial impediments they will face in the coming months.
“Although the ATA recognises that payroll taxes are the responsibility of the states, governments should unite, through the National Cabinet, to provide businesses with consistent and generous payroll tax exemptions to maintain employment,” he said.
“ATA member associations in each state are ready to provide input to state governments on the additional payroll tax exemptions that industry will require.”
The submission also recommends:
- an increase in the instant asset write-off threshold to $450,000 for Australian-made equipment, and the extension of the delivery timeframe to 31 December 2020
- a 12 month guarantee for small/medium business equipment loan repayments, on top of the banks’ announcement today that they will defer loan repayments for affected small businesses by six months
- setting the road user charge on fuel to zero for the June quarter 2020 and deferring the 1 July 2020 increase in the road user and registration charges for a year.
MAXIMISE FUEL CREDIT CLAIMS
It seems inevitable that our economy is going to have a tough time ahead and we need to start preparing now for the prospect of continued loss of income. One way the transport industry can be proactive is by reviewing their prior years Fuel Tax Credits claiming process.
The changes to the Fuel Tax Credit legislation are still being overlooked by many in the industry. You may be able to recoup up to 4 years’ worth of underclaimed credits in your next BAS (which could be handy in the coming months).
There are many services available to assist you in claiming credits. One such provider is ‘Business Depot’ which has posted information about the process and costs here.
SPEED IN B-TRIPLES
A reminder to all B-triple drivers that the maximum speed limit for these vehicles when operating on Queensland roads is 90km/h.
In Queensland, the road rules limit the operation of all road trains to the lesser of the sign-posted speed limit and 90km/h. A B-triple is a road train.
A previous condition of the National Road Train Notice suggested B-triples may operate at up to 100km/h. That condition was removed in October 2018.
Please see Information sheet – Speed limits for B-triples in Queensland for more details.
REMINDER: DRAFT RAMP STANDARD
ALRTA reminds members that a draft National Ramp Standard is now available for public comment until 27 April 2020.
The Draft Standard has been developed by Standards Australia in consultation with the livestock supply chain. The Draft Standard is largely based on the ALRTA’s National Guidelines for Ramps and Forcing Yards published in 2015.
The ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee will discuss the draft on 25 March 2020. Members are invited to consider the draft and provide comments to ALRTA or Standards Australia.
You will need to create an account on the Standards Australia website to view the Draft Standard. To commence the process click here.
REMINDER: INDUSTRY SAFETY SURVEY
A reminder to add your voice to our survey about how you tackle your safety responsibilities.
NHVR Safety Assurance Director Greg Fill said the online safety survey would assist the NHVR to decide how best to develop future safety information.
“We want to hear from everyone across the industry and supply chain about what they do to manage safety,” Greg said.
The survey will allow the NHVR to continue to develop programs to support operators to meet their safety duties.
The survey is voluntary and responses are confidential. It will be conducted by independent research company Insync and take about 10 minutes to complete.
Click here to access the survey. It’s open until 31 March.
DO PLAN NOW FOR THE CORONAVIRUS: HOW TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS GOING
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus.
The symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover easily. Others may get very sick very quickly.
For more information about the virus, visit the health department website.
2. GET YOUR BUSINESS READY NOW
Do a risk assessment: As always, start with a risk assessment. Identify the hazards that the coronavirus poses to your business, think about their likelihood and potential consequences and think about how you could treat the risk.
The master industry code of practice, developed by the ATA and the ALC, has advice on how to approach risk management and links to templates.
Cross train and certify your staff: Now is the time to cross train and certify your staff, to make sure you have more than one staff member who can carry out each business function.
Make sure more than one person can access your online services and alerts:
- Many businesses depend on online services, whether it’s your accounting system, the NHVR journey planner or your telematics.
- Make sure that more than one person can log in to these systems. For security, get them their own passwords rather than asking them to share a single login.
- If your systems send text alerts, make sure the alerts go to more than one person.
Develop a working from home policy:
- Truck drivers and forklift operators can’t work from home, but could your administration staff?
- Develop a working from home policy now and make sure that anyone who could work from home has access to a computer and your systems online.
- A good working from home policy could allow your admin staff can keep going, even if they are isolated because of their close contact with someone who is sick.
Reach out to the people who could help keep your business going: You may have former staff or family who could help if you’re short of staff. Contact them now, and make sure that any licences or certificates they need are up to date.
Talk to your customers and suppliers: Talk to your customers and your own suppliers about how they plan to keep going.
3. PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR TEAM
Check the health department advice and follow it: The health department has published excellent, clear advice about how you can protect yourself and your team. Read the advice and follow it
There is a 24/7 coronavirus information line. The number is 1800 020 080.
4. KEEP YOUR TEAM AND OTHER ROAD USERS SAFE
- Stand firm against pressure to breach fatigue or other road safety requirements, even if you are short of staff.
- In the eastern states and South Australia, phone the NHVR confidential reporting line – 1800 931 785 – if you have concerns.
NHVR – MESSAGE FROM CEO
The spread of COVID19 or coronavirus has led to uncertainty on many fronts for the heavy vehicle industry.
Our primary concern is the well-being of staff and drivers, as well as the significant economic and operational burden, which is likely to remain for some time.
At the time of writing the NHVR are maintaining our full service levels.
Our on-road staff have been provided with disposable rubber gloves and hand sanitiser to be utilised when conducting road-side activities to reduce any contact or spread of the virus.
Like all businesses we are continuing a process of on-going assessment of our capabilities and how we can deliver those services.
However we will ensure we balance the needs of supporting a safe heavy vehicle industry with the need to conduct your operations and businesses during a time of great uncertainty.
ALRTA OFFICE OPERATION
The ALRTA National Headquarters is located in a large building within the Parliamentary Triangle area of Canberra. Given the rapid spread of COVID-19 and our proximity to Parliament House (a place where people from around Australia are regularly visiting) we are constantly re-assessing risk and staffing arrangements in our office.
We have set up IT connections to enable all staff to work from home if necessary. We expect that there will be minimal disruption to our regular member services and will keep you posted about any changes.
PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS CANCELLED
The Australian Government has postponed industry consultation in important matters until after the COVID-19 crisis has passed. Public hearings into the Importance of a Viable, Safe, Sustainable and Efficient Road Transport Industry have been indefinitely postponed. Consultation workshops on Heavy Vehicles Charging Reform have also been cancelled.
ALRTA expects alternative arrangements to be announced in due course.
COVID-19 FORCES POSTPONEMENT, CANCELLATION OF RURAL EVENTS
NUMEROUS rural events and conferences scheduled for March and April have been postponed since last Friday amid increasing efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 cases.
View a list of agricultural conferences and events that have been affected by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, and those where decisions to proceed or postpone are still being considered (this list will be added to and updated as required in coming days and weeks).
UPCOMING EVENTS UPDATES FOR 2020
LRTAQ (QLD) on 19-21 March 2020 in Roma QLD. POSTPONED
LTAT (TAS) on 2 May 2020 in Hobart TAS. POSTPONED
LRTASA (SA)on 12-13 June 2020 at Adelaide Entertainment Centre SA. CANCELLED
LRTAWA/ALRTA (WA & National) on 24-25 July 2020. Perth WA. POSTPONED until further notice
LRTAV (VIC) on 14-15 August 2020 at All Seasons Resort Bendigo VIC.