ALRTA News – 28 August 2020



ALRTA and our member state associations are continuing to push for improved rules for interstate truck movements while remaining COVID safe. We are pleased with recent announcements that:

  • Asymptomatic testing is available to truck drivers in Victoria via private pathology labs. Asymptomatic drivers DO NOT need to isolate while awaiting test results;
  • Three truck friendly testing sites have opened in Queensland (Charlton, Goondiwindi & Wallangarra).
  • Two pop up truck friendly testing sites have opened in NSW (Narrandera and Tarcutta).
  • A pop up truck friendly testing site has been opened in SA (Bordertown).
  • Pop up testing sites are free. Drivers undertaking private testing can access a Medicare rebate.

At the last National Cabinet meeting it was also agreed to commence work on an Agricultural Workers Code that will operate similarly to the Freight Movement Code

Reduced livestock availability as herds rebuild following the drought, coupled with restrictions placed on major Victorian processors is having a measurable effect on meat supply in some areas. The photo below was taken at my local butcher in Canberra this week.

For the latest summary of border rules and testing sites click here.


ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro, participated an NTC workshop to discuss options for reforming the PAYGO heavy vehicle charging system.
PAYGO is a cost recovery system through which governments advise the NTC about heavy vehicle related road and regulatory expenditure. The NTC uses the information to calculate a recoverable ‘cost-base’ before allocating proportions of the charges across vehicle types that make up the national fleet. Ultimately, recommendations are made to governments on appropriate registration charges and road user charges.
The first workshop considered the degree of scrutiny applied to cost inputs and the general scope of expenditure (work categories and asset groups) eligible for cost recovery. 
Several more workshops are scheduled for 2020 with recommendations due to Ministers next year.


Forty-six students attended livestock handling workshops over three days in Goondiwindi Queensland 22-24 August 2020.  The workshops were supported by Frasers Livestock Transport, Smithfield Cattle Company, Goondiwindi Regional Council and QTA and funded via the Queensland Governments Regional Skills Investment Strategy.

Participants were trained by Tom Shephard of Efficient Stockhandling Solutions who has more than 20 years experience managing cattle stations around Australia.  The training focused on safer work practices and improved animal welfare outcomes through improved understanding of cattle behaviour and appropriate handling techniques. Participants received a certificate of completion.

The opening of the event was attended by Queensland Senator Susan McDonald and Goondiwindi Mayor Lawrence Springborg. ALRTA recognises the enormous contribution of Athol Carter of Frasers Livestock Transport in addressing the need for recognised livestock handling training and taking the event from an idea to reality.ecognised livestock handling training and taking the event from an idea to reality.


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ALRTA congratulates LBRCA member Kel Baxter on being reappointed Chair of the ATA’s Industry Technical Committee.  Kel is a passionate advocate on many technical and maintenance issues affecting both safety and productivity.


NHVR is seeking input from transport operators as part of the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project. 
The project aims to improve understanding of local government assets to enable better road access at the local level.  There intended outcomes are:

  • Identifying the capacity of current and potential heavy vehicle routes on key local government roads.
  • Engineering assessments to quantify the potential capacity of key local government-owned road assets.
  • To provide a single point for the collection, storage and sharing of road asset information for the benefit of heavy vehicle operators, road managers and regulatory partners.
  • To provide a resource toolkit to assist road managers with road asset assessment and decision-making regarding heavy vehicle access.

 So, do you know of a bridge, culvert or other piece of infrastructure that is limiting road access? Has the real capacity of the road asset ever been properly assessed?
You might like to make some suggestions to the NHVR here.


The Australian Government should not proceed with the increase in the superannuation guarantee planned for 1 July 2021, Chair of the Australian Trucking Association David Smith has said.

Mr Smith was releasing the ATA’s 2020-21 budget submission.

“Increasing the superannuation guarantee would come at the cost of lower wages growth for workers, as the Reserve Bank and the independent Grattan Institute have recently pointed out,” Mr Smith said.

The ATA budget submission highlights the importance of expanding support for business investment.

“COVID-19 is not a one-off economic hit – the impact will continue for years to come. The need to assist business and economic growth will continue beyond the end of 2020,” Mr Smith said.

“The Government’s July economic update, before the increase in COVID-19 cases and restrictions in Victoria, forecast non-mining business investment to fall by 19½ per cent.

“The Government should support businesses by extending the $150,000 instant asset write off to 30 June 2021 and introducing a long-term investment allowance to support investment in new assets, including trucks and trailers.

“The existing measures were decided prior to the second wave of COVID cases and restrictions in Victoria. Business investment needs more support to ensure a stronger economic recovery,” he said.

As well as increasing support for business investment, the ATA submission recommends increasing the base rate of the JobSeeker payment by at least $100 per week.

“The base rate of JobSeeker is well below the poverty line and is so low that people receiving the allowance can’t afford to search for jobs effectively. Increasing JobSeeker would also boost household spending and the economy,” Mr Smith said.

“With a $100 per week increase, JobSeeker would still be only around half of the full-time minimum wage, maintaining the incentive for unemployed people to move into full-time work,” he said.

The ATA 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.

Submission key points
Read the submission


Changes to road train access conditions in NSW is a significant advocacy win for the Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association (LBRCA) who have been successful in driving reform for consistent road train access in NSW. Read about the key changes in the LBRCA Special News.


Livestock transporters play a significant role in day to day biosecurity and are on the forefront when it comes to minimising the risk of livestock disease spread, particularly during an emergency animal disease response!

ALRTA have been working with Biosecurity Queensland and Animal Health Australia to determine what biosecurity information our members require and how it is best communicated.

All transporters who complete the survey will go into a draw to win a 60L Engel fridge freezer, compliments of ALRTA and AHA, valued at $1899! Let us know your thoughts.


A teacher said to her class, “Suppose you were all millionaires, write what you would do”…

Everyone immediately began to write furiously, except little Johnny, who kicked back and put his feet on the table. The teacher walked over to him. “Why aren’t you writing Johnny?” she asked.

Johnny looked up. “I’m waiting for my secretary.”  


From 24 March 2020 the ALRTA staff – Mathew, Sue, Colleen and Jack have been working from home amidst COVID-19. We are gradually coming back into the office with only one staff member present at a time.

Please email or call Colleen on the ALRTA mobile 0490 515 681 or Mathew (ED) on 0421 082 489.


LRTAWA on 19 September 2020 – Burswood on Swan – Perth WA. Click on the image to go to registration page