ALRTA News – 2 October 2020



There have been important changes to border controls in SA and QLD this week.
For the latest summary of border rules and testing sites click here.


Over 350 projects will share in more than $290 million in Australian Government funding under Round 5 of the Bridges Renewal Program (BRP) and Round 7 of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP).
The funding was announced this week by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack and Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz.
Mr McCormack advised that 80 percent of the funding will be delivered to local councils while Mr Buchholz noted that the funding includes important livestock transport industry projects.
This livestock funding was included in Round 7 of the HVSPP after ALRTA put a case for this much needed investment to the Deputy Prime Minister during 2019. ALRTA subsequently wrote to relevant peak bodies encouraging applications.
ALRTA National President Scott McDonald welcomed the funding announcements.
“The rural road network is in a terrible state of repair. An additional $290 million targeted investment will make a difference on important rural freight routes around Australia,” said President McDonald.
“Importantly, the Australian Government funding leverages matching funding from grant recipients which means that more than half a billion dollars in total will be spent.
“I am particularly pleased with the significant new investment in livestock transport projects. While roads and bridges are important, safe and fit-for-purpose ancillary infrastructure at the start and end of journeys is equally important.”
Some of the notable project announcements include:

  • $265,000 to upgrade the Condobolin (NSW) truck wash to accommodate B-doubles;
  • $281,000 to upgrade livestock loading and unloading facilities at Finley Saleyards (NSW).
  • $550,000 to upgrade ramps, traffic movement and driver amenities at Longreach (QLD) Saleyards.
  • $675,000 to extend Primaries Road for users of Roma (QLD) Saleyards.
  • $1,000,000 for Heavy Vehicle Bypass of Tammin South to access CBH Terminal (WA).
  • $1,020,000 for Talpan Road Livestock and Grain Project, Woodleigh (SA).

There are numerous other projects that will benefit rural transport. For a full state-by-state list click below:
Other Projects


This week the Productivity Commission (PC) tabled its final report on National Transport Regulatory Reform. The PC was asked to assess the economic impact of transport reforms previously agreed by COAG (Heavy Vehicle, Rail and Maritime) and recommend further reforms towards a more integrated national market for transport services.
Unsurprisingly, the PC found that the reforms remain incomplete and have failed to deliver the expected level of economic gains.
With a separate review of the HVNL already underway, it is worth taking note of the opportunities for future reform identified by the PC.
Striking a balance between prescription and outcomes-based approaches in safety regulation:

  • amending the HVNL to allow further progress to a tiered system, where operators can choose to follow prescriptive regulation or to develop more flexible and efficient ways to manage safety risks with the regulator’s approval
  • removing unnecessary prescriptive detail from the HVNL.

Emphasising risk-based approaches to improving safety and consistency:

  • removing unjustified derogations (road and rail) and grandfathering (maritime)
  • ensuring effective oversight of Hire and Drive vessels in the maritime sector
  • streamlining Australian Design Rule processes for heavy vehicles.

Improving infrastructure provision and management:

  • progressing Heavy Vehicle Road Reform
  • ensuring that investment decisions on major freight corridors are based on transparent cost-benefit analysis, which includes consideration of intermodal options
  • encouraging more ‘as-of-right’ access for vehicles (where appropriate) and more efficient processes for assessing permit applications
  • creating more consistent network rules for rail services.

Improving the evidence base for policy and regulatory decisions:

  • establishing ‘no-blame’ incident investigation across the transport modes
  • harnessing telematics data to inform infrastructure investment and access management
  • ensuring that regulators improve their collection, analysis, and reporting of data, particularly in relation to safety outcomes and compliance costs.


With more Australians exploring regional and rural areas this long weekend, there is new warning for drivers with research revealing 90 per cent of fatal crashes involving a car and truck occur outside major cities.
Research from Australia’s largest transport and logistics insurer, NTI Ltd, also found in remote and regional areas, in 88% of fatal crashes involving a car and truck, the car driver was at fault.
For more information on these shocking statistics click here


The Australian Government should change its draft design rules on advanced emergency braking to add requirements about how these systems handle older trailers, ATA Chief Engineer Bob Woodward said this week.
Mr Woodward was releasing the ATA’s submission to the Government on its exposure drafts of design rules 35/07 and 97/00.
These draft ADRs would extend the existing requirements for electronic stability control to new rigid trucks and require new rigid trucks and prime movers to have advanced emergency braking.
“Advanced emergency braking systems from different manufacturers handle applying trailer service brakes through the air lines differently,” Mr Woodward said.
“Some products apply full braking. Others signal pulse the air lines. Still others only activate the engine brakes.
“Our members warned us that these different approaches were creating confusion on the road.
“We need a performance standard in our rules so that all the AEB systems used in Australia do the same thing when a prime mover is towing older trailers,” he said.
Read the submission


Wodonga TAFE is offering FREE accredited Infection Control training as a short course presented as a mixture of online and workplace-based learning. This training is available to assist staff in critical industries to identify, manage and implement infection control policies and procedures within workplaces. After completion of the training, people will be able to confidently:

  • follow standard and additional precautions for infection prevention and control
  • identify infection hazards and assess risks
  • follow procedures for managing risks associated with specific hazards.

 To find out more information about the FREE accredited Infection Control training for Food Handling, Retail and Transport & Logistics, visit the Wodonga TAFE website – Infection control training.


On 18 September 2020 the Australian Government announced a $2 billion extension in funding for Medicare-subsidised telehealth and pathology services for a further six months, to 31 March 2021. This includes the extension to the Medicare rebate for asymptomatic testing of freight operators at private COVID‑19 testing clinics.
Updated Medicare Benefits Schedule
Australian Government media release
Fact Sheet


A COVID-19 toolbox talk kit focused on vehicle, workplace and hand hygiene, wearing a facemask and mental health is part of the NHVR’s latest release of practical industry safety material.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the toolbox talk kit, which included a series of quick guides, videos, checklists and templates, had been added to the NHVR’s Safety Management System suite, at the request of operators.

“The NHVR’s material can be easily modified to include company information such as logos and additional topics that are specific to their business, such as how to report safety incidents and what to do if staff are sick or notice symptoms.”

The videos, templates, quick guides and checklists are available at



The ATA’s SafeT360 Truck is back on the road and heading to Adelaide’s Career & Employment Expo (16 and 17 October) to share positive messages with over 8,000 young people. As our first major face to face event since COVID restrictions it is set to be a busy couple of days. The SafeT360 team has established new practices and purchased new equipment including disposable goggle covers and plenty of hand sanitiser. The trailer is kitted out with social distancing signage and a new COVID safe plan.

During September SafeT360 focused on driver distraction. Our fast facts tiles (shown below) proved to be a huge hit and an effective way to share messages in a visually appealing and concise way. Each tile engaged over 500 of our target audience and our Facebook following continues to increase.

Also this month, SafeT360 captured professional film footage in and around Canberra. This footage was included in SafeT360’s ATA Live segment and will also be used to create our virtual classroom experience and new promotional videos to further enhance the SafeT360 brand and messaging. 


All ALRTA Executive Office Bearers elected at the 18 September 2020 AGM formally took office on 1 October 2020 for a one-year period. A handover meeting was held this week to ensure a smooth transition.  The 2020-21 National Executive is:

  • President: Scott McDonald
  • Vice President: Matt Henderson
  • Vice President: Ian Wild
  • Treasurer: Stephen Hopkins
  • Secretary: Grant Robins
  • Immediate Past President: Stephen Marley


I bumped into an old school friend at the store today. He started showing off, talking about his well paid job and expensive sports cars.

Then he pulled out his phone and showed me a photo of his wife and said, “She’s beautiful, isn’t she?”

I said, “If you think she’s gorgeous, you should see my girlfriend.”

He said, “Why? Is she a stunner?”

I said, “No, she’s an optometrist.”


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