ALRTA News – 25 September 2020


We have some of the most demanding road conditions in the world, with many trucks in Australia travelling vast distances on corrugated roads, through billowing dust and extreme heat and humidity.  Australian trucks can also haul more than three times heavier loads than trucks in other parts of the world. 

Australian made Kenworths are purpose-built for these conditions. Each truck, designed and manufactured for its intended task and to individual customer requirements, providing operators with a safe and comfortable environment.

Made with uncompromising quality at our world-class production facility in the Melbourne suburb of Bayswater, you can depend upon Kenworths working harder for longer, offering superior productivity, strength and reliability.

For more speak to your local Kenworth dealer or visit


Congratulations to Robert Cavanagh, winner of the 2020 Australian Trucking Association  ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Trucking Industry’ Award.

Robert is Managing Director of Stockmaster Livestock Transport in Inverell, NSW, with over 35 years’ experience in the industry and is well known in the trucking industry as an expert in livestock transport,

Robert has served as President of the Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association (LBRCA) and has also held the roles of President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA).

Robert was awarded Life Membership of the ALRTA in 2018 in recognition of his significant contribution to the organisation and to the promotion of rural transport as a sustainable, responsible and safe contributor to Australia.

Robert Cavanagh and Gordon Martin


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


The Federal Attorney General’s Department has released a draft model code of practice for managing risks associated with COVID-19.  The code is approved under Section 274 of the Work Health and Safety Act.
An approved code of practice provides practical guidance on how to achieve the standards of work health and safety required under the WHS Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulations (the WHS Regulations) and effective ways to identify and manage risks.
The code applies to all workplaces covered by a Work Health and Safety Act.
ALRTA members may wish to refer to the draft code when developing COVID Safe Plans or WH&S policies.
The draft code can be obtained here.


A recent NHVR survey of almost 4000 participants has shown that two-thirds of heavy vehicle businesses have a safety system in their operation.
Some of the key results included:

  • 62 per cent of respondents had a basic safety system in place.
  • 78 per cent of managers said they had an ongoing program of safety promo communication in their business, compared to 52 per cent of drivers and 71 per cent of loaders.
  • 76 per cent of respondents agreed that relevant safety training was occurring on an ongoing basis.
  • The most common safety practice among owner-drivers was a vehicle inspection (97 per cent), compared to a regular personal health check-up (71 per cent), a safe driving plan (62 per cent), or keeping informed of safety issues and information (62 per cent).

 A snapshot of the survey results is available at or click here for more information on the NHVR’s free on-line information sessions on the survey results on September 28.
To download or use the NHVR’s free Safety Management System information visit


“If only I knew then, what I know now”.
Do you ever wish you were taught more about running a business back when you were a kid?  The ALRTA’s membership of the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA) opens the door to a great business training opportunity during the upcoming school holidays.

In partnership with The Academy for Enterprising Girls COSBOA will be hosting a virtual workshop so your daughters, aged 10 to 18, can follow in your footsteps and gain the skills and mindset needed to start their own business. 
Date: October 7, 2020
Time: 9:30am – 4:30pm
The Academy for Enterprising Girls is a free online learning platform, website and national workshop program which aims to inspire and educate the next generation of female innovators, job makers and entrepreneurs.
Places are limited so please register early.   Click here to register.


LRTAWA staged a modified conference in Perth this year to bring together members, politicians, bureaucrats and sponsors while remaining COVID safe.
The event was headlined by WA Minister for Transport and Planning, Rita Saffioti MLA, who committed to greater engagement with LRTAWA on key issues.  Minister Saffioti also recognised and thanked LRTAWA members for their contribution in supporting the WA economy during the pandemic.  

LRTAWA President David Fyfe outlined several key issues that the association will be focussing on in the coming year: Equity in network access decisions; network continuity; freight route design criteria; network modernisation; enforcement; and driver shortages.
President Fyfe said “the LRTAWA is at pains to emphasise that it is skilled drivers we are short of.
“We need to take a different approach to driver training than what has traditionally been the case. The age at which a young person can obtain a licence is too high.
“At the same time, we need to make sure a young person has practical, structured training and on-the -job mentoring.
“Whether this is through a traineeship or some other program is not that relevant. What is important however is that we produce professional drivers who know what they are doing, and that a transport company has confidence in when they step into what is a big investment.
“It costs money to train drivers properly. A business operator loses productivity whilst training a new person. The flip side is that potential drivers need encouragement and financial support to move to the regions.”
Outgoing President of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association, Stephen Marley highlighted the association’s successful lobbying for a smaller increase in registration charges from an initial suggestion of 11.8% over three years to a smaller increase of 2.5% in two consecutive years.
“That is money that will stay your pocket, in your business and in your communities,” he said.
Mr Marley also noted the LRTAWA proposal to establish an income smoothing scheme for rural transporters, similar to the Farm Management Deposit Scheme, was receiving good support from the Australian Government and there was hope that it may feature in the October budget.
Attendees also participated in interactive sessions with the Assistant Commissioner for Police (Regional WA) and Department of Main Roads.
Mr Fyfe said the LRTWA was very pleased to be able to run a modified event.
‘We are very grateful to our sponsors for getting on board at short notice and helping make the day a success,’ he said.


The ALRTA congratulates the following office bearers re-elected at the LRTAWA AGM:

  • President: David Fyfe
  • Vice President: Matt Henderson (Rural)
  • Vice President: Nathan Miotti (Livestock)
  • Treasurer: Darren Bairstow
  • Secretary: Grant Robins
  • Immediate Past President: Andy Jacob


John Elliott is continuing his Camel Trek 2018-2020 and recently said “A camel expedition has never crossed from the mainland Australia into Tasmania but we thought we would give it a crack.  With the help of Hodge Livestock Transport (LRTAV), Toll Group, Spirit of Tasmania and the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) we were able to see of the Tasmanian leg of our adventure.

From the top of Wilsons Promontory National Park we departed Yanakie to head to Devonport.  They call the camel the ships of the desert but for this part of the adventure they travelled across the ocean.  With the COVID-19 border closures in place the camels became relatively easy to get into Tassie in comparison to the process it took to get me in.

Massive shoutout and thanks to Rob Hodge of Hodge Transport and Colleen Mays from the Australian Livestock and Rural Transport Association for making the whole process so smooth. Legends.”

John has put together a great video of his trip across Bass Strait which of course includes Hodge Livestock Transport (LRTAV). 


They weren’t in my pockets. Suddenly I realised I must have left them in the car. Frantically, I headed for the car park. My husband has scolded me many times for leaving my keys in the car’s ignition. He’s afraid the car could be stolen.

As I looked around the carpark, I realised he was right. The carpark was empty, I immediately called the police giving them my location and confessed that I had left the keys in the car and that it had been stolen.

Then, I made the most difficult call of all to my husband, “I left my keys in the car and it’s been stolen.”

There was a moment of silence. I thought the call had been disconnected, but then I heard his voice. “Are you kidding me?’ he barked, “I dropped you off!”

Now it was my turn to be silent. Embarrassed, I said, “Well come and get me.”

He retorted, “I will, just as soon as I convince this policeman that I didn’t steal your damn car!”


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.


LBRCA Conference – Wagga Wagga – 4-6 March 2021 – The Range Function Centre