ALRTA News – 27 November 2020



The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Australia (ALRTA) has welcomed the publication of an Australian Standard for the Livestock loading/unloading ramps and forcing pens (AS 5340:2020).
The standard has been developed by Standards Australia following public consultation during 2020 and input from a representative supply chain and community steering committee.

Former ALRTA Vice President and Chair of the ALRTA Driver and Animal Welfare Committee, Mick Debenham, said that the new standard will improve worker safety and animal welfare.
“Loading ramps and forcing yards are the most dangerous part of livestock handling facilities.  In 2020, livestock producers, handlers and transporters can no longer accept the unnecessary risk of crushing, lacerations and slips, trips and falls, and tragically, sometimes death,” said Mr Debenham.
“There is consensus within the industry that improved safety can be best achieved by keeping livestock and people separated, a guiding principle that is reflected throughout the standard. By improving safety for workers, we also improve the safety and welfare of our livestock – the two go hand in hand.
“The standard is strongly supported by the livestock supply chain and based on the pre-existing Guide for Safe Design of Livestock Loading Ramps and Forcing Yards which was published by ALRTA in 2015. Those who have followed the guide will generally meet the standard,” said Mr Debenham.

ALRTA National President Scott McDonald said that there has never been a better time to invest in safer and more productive livestock ramps.
“After an unprecedented string of natural disasters, the rural sector is now enjoying a good season and minds will soon turn to investing profits in improved supply chain infrastructure,” said President McDonald.
“The Federal Government is encouraging new investment via instant asset write-off provisions announced in the 2020-21 Budget.  Until 30 June 2022, businesses can generally write off the full cost of depreciable assets in the first year of use or installation.
“I strongly encourage all ramp owners to undertake a safety risk, animal welfare and productivity assessment of their existing livestock ramps and take the opportunity to bring facilities into line with the national ramp standard while the investment incentives are in place. Farmers and depot managers purchasing new equipment should ask the manufacturer if the product meets the standard,” said President McDonald.
Copies of the standard can be obtained here.


New National Operation Advice (NOA) from the NHVR will remove the requirement to include registration numbers from Class 3 Livestock Vehicle permits.

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the NOA would be implemented from December 1 2020, following advocacy from the Australian Livestock and Rural Transport Association (ALRTA).

“Current provisions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law require that permits for Class 3 vehicles must include a description of the vehicle and a registration number,” Mr Buchholz said.

“However, it is common practice for farmers who have Class 3 permits to use a third-party operator to carry their livestock.

“Previously, if the permitted vehicle isn’t available at the right time, farmers needed to obtain a new permit, slowing down their ability to move livestock in a safe, timely manner.

“This simple change will cut this red tape, improving efficiency and animal welfare outcomes, without compromising on safety.”

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the NHVR was committed to working with stakeholders to improve efficiency and safety in the industry.

“This outcome has been driven by a partnership between the NHVR and the ALRTA, working together to improve things for our farmers,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“Farmers will now only need the permit to reflect the kind of vehicle, not the specific registration.

“This is a change that will have a tangible, immediate benefit for productivity as well as animal welfare and we were very happy to assist to put these new arrangements in place.”

ALRTA National President Scott McDonald welcomed the announcement.

“The livestock market is highly dynamic. Prices are constantly changing in response to seasonal conditions and regional supply and demand balances. Decisions to buy or sell livestock are often made at short notice to take advantage of new opportunities,” Mr McDonald said.

“That means decisions to move livestock are also made at short notice.

“However, farmers can’t be expected to know vehicle registration details in advance of engaging a commercial livestock carrier and so have not been able to pre-apply for Class 3 permits.

“Removal of the vehicle registration requirement will give farmers greater certainty, more choice and access to lower cost transport options.

“Carriers can immediately accept jobs without the red tape and delay of having to apply for their own permit.

“ALRTA warmly welcomes this change and I thank Assistant Minister Buchholz and the NHVR for recognising the potential benefits and driving ALRTA’s request forward in negotiations with all participating jurisdictions.”

More information


The Livestock Transporters Association of Tasmania (LTAT) will receive an $18,000 grant for attraction, recruitment, development and retention of a professional livestock transport workforce and assist with induction of new industry entrants.
The grant was announced by Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water, the Hon. Guy Barnett MP. 
The project will develop a modern and Tasmanian based training program for safe livestock loading and transport, through strong engagement and collaboration with key stakeholders including the Department of State Growth State Roads Division, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Biosecurity Tasmania, the livestock transport industry and the vocational education and training sector.


Increasing taxes on trucks would tax jobs, consumers and Australia’s economic recovery, Acting CEO of the Australian Trucking Association Bill McKinley said today.  

Mr McKinley was responding to an opinion piece by Australia Institute Chief Economist Richard Denniss, who proposed that instead of taxing electric cars, there should be increased taxes on trucks.

Mr McKinley said the Australia Institute proposal to increase taxes on trucks was an outrage – and factually incorrect, too.

Read more here


The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has lifted the prohibition notice issued to Melbourne-based Sidhu Investments (QLD) Pty Ltd, trading as Auswide Linehaul Services.

NHVR Executive Director Statutory Compliance Ray Hassall said the company had taken actions since the prohibition notice was issued.

Read more here.

Meanwhile in South Australia, NHVR has laid primary duties charges against an operator and company director in relation to a fatal incident at Clements Gap.

NHVR Executive Director Ray Hassall said the charges came as a result of an investigation by specialist Major Crash and Heavy Vehicle investigation sections of the South Australia Police.

Read more here.


The ALRTA National Council will meet via Zoom this week. This meeting was focussed on governance, finance, management and strategic issues including refresher training provided by the Associations Forum.  ALRTA National and State Presidents met prior to the meeting to ensure clarity on financial and governance issues ahead of the Council meeting.


Why are psychics useful on road trips?

They always read the signs.


The November 2020 update from the ALRTA has been posted to all members this week.

Included in the mailout is an ALRTA & Sponsors Crossword.  For your chance to win one of six overnight bags packed with goodies from our National Sponsors, complete the crossword and return it by COB 9 December 2020.

You can download the crossword by clicking on the photo above.


LRTAQ Conference – Roma QLD – 9-11 April 2021
LRTASA Conference – Adelaide SA –  18-19 June 2021
LBRCA Conference – March Postponed – Date TBA – Wagga Wagga NSW – The Range Function Centre