ALRTA News – 18 September 2020


A proud family owned and operated business, Byrne Trailers is recognised as the leading manufacturer of specialised Livestock and Bulk Cargo Transport Equipment in Australia, visit their website.


Scott McDonald has been elected ALRTA National President at the 18 September 2020 Annual General Meeting.  Mr McDonald will assume the role from 1 October 2020.
Scott and his brother Stephen operate McDonald Brothers Transport based in Tamworth in northern NSW. The business grew from just one truck in 2000 soon after Scott finished a butchery apprenticeship.  These days the business operates a fleet of tippers, crates, flattops and dropdeck trailers, servicing all types of rural transport tasks.  Scott was the former ALRTA Vice President and LBRCA representative to ALRTA.

 Mr McDonald said that he is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
“The ALRTA is a strong and well-known national industry association that goes into bat on issues affecting grass roots rural carriers from our six state associations,” said Mr McDonald.
“When it comes down to it, no other association is prepared to get its hands dirty on coalface issues like ramp safety, effluent management, unfair charging for sub-standard rural roads or guarding against new vehicle standards that just don’t work in rural areas. I am honoured to have been elected as National President and look forward to continuing our quest for improved road access, safety and business sustainability.
“I acknowledge and thank outgoing President Stephen Marley and outgoing Treasurer Fiona Wild for their enormous contributions over the past two years,” he said.
The ALRTA National Executive for 2020-21 is:

  • National President: Scott McDonald (LBRCA)
  • Vice President: Ian Wild (LRTAQ)
  • Vice President: Matt Henderson (LRTAWA)
  • Treasurer: Stephen Hopkins (LBRCA)
  • Secretary: Grant Robins (LRTAWA)
  • ATA Representative: John Beer (LRTAV)
  • Immediate Past President: Stephen Marley (LRTAWA)

Incoming Vice President Ian Wild is the immediate past president of LRTAQ. He is an owner driver based in Maleny, QLD, supported by wife and business partner Fiona.
Incoming Vice President Matt Henderson is Managing Director at MDH Transport, based in WA. MDH is a rapidly expanding bulk haulier servicing the rural, mining and civil construction sectors. Passionate about the trucking industry, Matt is also the Vice President of LRTAWA and graduate of the ATA young leaders program.
Incoming Treasurer Stephen Hopkins has been involved in a family transport business which at different times carried ice cream, milk, day-old chickens and fertilised eggs. He also spent 20 years working at Westpac Bank as a corporate project manager.
Grant Robins (LRTAWA) continues in the Secretary role while John Beer (LRTAV) moves from Vice President in the ATA Representative role.
Additionally, Graeme Hoare, Compliance Manager with Martins Group of Companies, and former ALRTA Vice President, was appointed to Chair the ALRTA Animal Welfare Sub-Committee.
All elected office bearers will commence their one-year appointment from 1 October 2020.


 Loading livestock onto a truck shouldn’t be the end of the line for best practice management. 

Taking care of livestock during transit is important to maintain the quality of red meat, as optimum eating quality can be reduced by inappropriate handling in the two weeks before slaughter.

TruckSafe provides a best practice standard for trucking operators when transporting livestock. It underpins industry programs such as Meat Standards Australia and Livestock Production Assurance to maintain supply chain integrity.

TruckSafe‑accredited livestock operators look after livestock when they leave the farm gate, giving producers confidence their livestock are in the best hands during transit.

TruckSafe is the only freight industry accreditation which addresses human safety factors and animal welfare.

There’s no point having well‑prepared livestock ready to load if you’re going to put them at risk during transit. Losing stock in transit affects producers’ bottom line and can damage the entire industry’s reputation.

TruckSafe’s animal welfare module focuses on the humane transportation of livestock.

Drivers are trained in how to prevent disease, stress and contamination when moving livestock, as well as making sure the ‘paddock‑to‑plate’ traceability is supported during the journey, which ultimately protects the eating quality of the final product.

Producers can be confident a TruckSafe operator has considered every risk possible. However, if something goes wrong, highly trained TruckSafe members can handle the incident and maintain animal welfare.
In the latest edition of Meat & Livestock Australia Feedback Magazine we talk about how TruckSafe gives producers confidence their livestock are in the best hands during transit.
Read the MLA article on page 34.


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has today welcomed the Australian Government’s move to increase domestic fuel storage capacity.  

“The ATA has long argued for increased fuel security, and we are pleased the government is taking the next steps to ensure this,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said.  

“Fuel security is crucial to trucking, our economy, and keeping Australian communities supplied,” he said.  

The ATA has been a longstanding advocate for the need to increase domestic fuel stocks, keeping reserves in Australia instead of on US soil.  

“Today’s announcement will see action to increase our onshore stocks, in particular diesel due to its critical importance to the trucking industry,” Mr Maguire said.  

In today’s announcement, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the $211 million package had three key elements: 

  • $200 million for building new onshore diesel storage, with regional locations a priority area 
  • A minimum stockholding obligation on industry for key transport fuels, including increasing diesel stocks by 40 per cent 
  • A detailed design process with industry for a market-based mechanism for refinery support. 

The package also includes modernising the online fuel reporting system to make it easier for industry to report stock levels to government and improve the timeliness of data. 

“In recent months we have seen the vital importance of trucking to our economy and communities, and welcome this move to ensure the viability of Australian trucking,” Mr Maguire said. 

“The trucking industry depends on fuel. Without it, our supermarkets would be empty, and deliveries would be brought to a standstill. 

“The ATA’s network of member associations have played a large and important role in advocating for this great win for industry. They deserve enormous credit for their work on this issue over many years. 

“We thank the Prime Minister, Minister Taylor and the Government for listening to our concerns and their willingness to collaborate with industry to ensure the best outcomes are achieved. Together with our members, we look forward to working with the Government on the design of the legislative package during the next six months,” he said. 


Austroads has released a Scoping Study for a National Heavy Vehicle Bridge Assessment System. Austroads is the collective of the Australian and New Zealand transport agencies, representing all levels of government.

The report acknowledges what industry has known for long time: that the current bridge assessment system impedes productivity because it is far too complex, costly and time consuming. 
The study proposes a new system that would:

  • automate and compare calculated infrastructure impacts caused by loading from a nominated vehicle with the known capacity of the structure, recorded against all the structures in the database.
  • be capable of plotting bespoke networks for a given vehicle in real-time or near real-time.
  • access national data for bridge structures.

Delivering timely and transparent responses to bridge access requests and queries would help resolve longstanding constraining issues for Performance Based Standards vehicles, Oversize/Overmass and Special Purpose Vehicles.  Automation would help speed the highly variable and sophisticated business rules for engineering assessment that sit behind access determination for structures.
The study recommends a more detailed options evaluation be undertaken to support future investment and implementation decisions. Austroads will soon launch this detailed options evaluation as part of its upcoming project NEF6274, approved by the Austroads Board in July 2020.


ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro, participated in the second 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 second workshop considered vehicle cross-subsidy checks, keeping track of over/under payments, data sources and allocation of costs. 
Several more workshops are scheduled for 2020 with recommendations due to Ministers next year.


ATA CEO Ben Maguire has departed the organisation this week. Mr Maguire has been at the helm for the past three years and leaves to take up an officer commission with the Royal Australian Navy. 

ATA is currently conducting a national search for a new CEO.


The live auction will take place on Wednesday 23rd  September at 5:30pm AEST, partnering with the ATA Live broadcast event and all proceeds from the truck auction will go to MND Research Australia for awarding the NTI Research Grant for 2021.

To register for the ATA Live event, please visit:

To register to bid on the truck, please visit:


I was having trouble with my computer so I call my 13 year old son to help me.

He clicked a couple of buttons and fixed it.  As he was walking back to his room I asked him what the problem was.

He said, “it was an ‘ID ten T’ issue.” Not wanting to sound stupid but curious in case I had the same problem again, I asked him what an ID ten T was.

“Write it down,” he said, so I did.

ID10T……he never was my favourite child anyway!


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 Industry Day is on tomorrow Saturday 19 September 2020 – Burswood on Swan – Perth WA. Click on the image to go to registration page