ALRTA News – 22 January 2021


Happy New Year to all our members.

ALRTA acknowledges our National Sponsors for sticking by us during these unprecedented times, we are forever grateful for their support.

We encourage ALRTA members to visit and engage with our National Sponsors.

Visit ALRTA website


The team at ALRTA are now back on deck for 2021. We hope you have managed to have a well-deserved break or will find time to have one soon.  Fingers crossed that we have a dose of normality sometime this year with several COVID-19 vaccines now approved and rolling out across the globe.  
Looking ahead, the ALRTA National Council will meet via Zoom on 19 February 2021 and our Driver and Animal Welfare Committee will meet on 26 February 2021. ATA Council will meet via Zoom on 24 February 2021.  If you have any major new issues you would like to raise, please let either ALRTA or your state association know prior to these dates.
Like last year, our conference schedule will be subject to COVID-19 developments, but at this stage we are hopeful that LRTAQ will hold an event in Roma QLD 9-11 April 2021.  LBRCA has indefinitely postponed their Wagga Wagga event while LRTASA and LRTAV have pencilled in dates for June and August respectively. We will bring you more detailed information closer to each event.


It has been a rough Christmas and New Year holiday period for some people in COVID-19 hotspots in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. As expected, governments have responded with new restrictions that, thankfully, are now beginning to wind down.  ALRTA will continue to advise you of changing restrictions.
Monday 18 January – Victoria update
Today Victoria has announced that due to reduced exposure risk and low community transmission that a number of NSW Local Government Areas (LGAs) would transition from red to orange zones and a number of NSW LGA’s in orange zones would transition to green zones commencing at 6pm 18 January 2021.
Check zone listings here
Commercial Freight Workers entering Victoria from an orange zone still require a border permit, but will not have to go into self-isolation after entering Victorian or while waiting for COVID-19 test results. Testing requirements remain the same at every 7 days or produce a negative test result if required by an authority. Essential freight workers are still required to work in accordance with your COVID Safe Plan.
Commercial Freight workers entering Victoria from a green zone still require a border permit that can be obtained at
If an essential freight worker enters Vic from a green zone, and has not been in an orange or red zone in the preceding 14 days, they will be considered as exempt from Covid19 testing. They still must adhere to the requirements of the freight protocol and health directions in place.”
Please note any current valid border pass will still be honoured until it expires.
More Information
For the latest summary of border rules and testing sites click here.


The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released a Heavy Vehicle Charges Consultation Report proposing to increase the heavy vehicle road user charge (RUC) and registration charge by 2.5 percent from 1 July 2021.  Under this proposal, the RUC would increase from 25.8 cents per litre to 26.4 cents per litre.

The report notes that road expenditure has increased significantly in recent years while charges have remained relatively static. This has occurred for two reasons:

  1. Governments were over-charging industry for several years from 2012-13 and so decided to ‘freeze’ charges  until road expenditure caught up.
  2. Soon after Governments agreed to increase charges by 2.5 percent, COVID-19 hit the economy and the freeze was extended.

These events have resulted in road expenditure now exceeding charging revenue by 13.4 per cent. However, as illustrated in the graph below, it is probably fair to say that cumulative overcharging in the period 2012-13 to 2017-18 is approximately equal to overcharging that has occurred since 2017-18.  Let’s just say, the ledger appears to have balanced out.

The critical consideration now is how to achieve a smooth and predictable price path over the next few years to get the system back into balance.  It will no doubt involve price increases, but what is reasonable in the current circumstances?  ALRTA National Council will consider this important issue on 19 February 2021. Submissions are due to NTC by 12 March 2021.


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has appointed international association executive Andrew McKellar as its new CEO. 

Mr McKellar was, most recently, the Paris-based Secretary General for Mobility at the International Automobile Federation (FIA). Before joining the FIA, Mr McKellar was CEO of the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI). 

In government, he was a senior adviser to successive Australian industry ministers from 1996 to 1998. He also worked as an economist and research officer in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Commonwealth Treasury and the Queensland Treasury. 

ATA Chair David Smith said Mr McKellar would lead the ATA to new levels of effectiveness and member service. 

“The board was very impressed by Andrew’s experience in international advocacy for road safety during his tenure at the FIA and his understanding of the emerging trends influencing safety, sustainability and competitiveness in road transport and mobility globally,” Mr Smith said.  

“Andrew’s extensive skills and experience in public policy and advocacy will be indispensable as he makes the case for improving our industry’s productivity, and as he protects the interests of trucking businesses in the discussions about truck charges that are ahead. 

“The board was also impressed by Andrew’s knowledge of association strategic planning and his dedication to leading the ATA in the interests of its members,” he said. 

Mr McKellar said that he looked forward to working to represent a sector that was so crucial to the future strength of Australia’s economic performance. 

“The trucking industry is part of the lifeblood of the Australian economy. I am dedicated to advancing the interests of those who rely on the industry for their livelihood and to promote the future vision of the industry,” he said. 

Mr McKellar will return to Australia in early February and start work at the ATA in mid-February. ATA Chief of Staff Bill McKinley will continue to act as CEO until Mr McKellar takes up his appointment. 


Make your voice heard in the 2021 ATA General Council election – at the ATA, in Parliament House, in government departments and at the regulator.

If you drive one truck or operate a small fleet (2-5 trucks), you are urged to register to vote.  It’s an opportunity to contribute to the ATA’s decisions and have your say on the critical issues affecting our industry.
You do not need to be in an ATA member association to vote and registering to vote is free. 
You could also be eligible to nominate for one of the two positions up for election. The elected representatives are entitled to attend and vote at ATA Council meetings and can join in the work of the ATA’s policy committees.
To nominate for the owner driver position, you must own, be purchasing or leasing one truck over 4.5 tonnes and drive it, be registered as a voter in ATA elections, and be a member of an ATA member association. 
To nominate for the small fleet position, you must own, be purchasing or leasing 2-5 trucks over 4.5 tonnes, be registered as a voter in ATA elections, and be a member of an ATA member association. 
Whether you choose to register as a voter or run for election, this is a great opportunity to contribute to the trucking industry and the ATA’s direction. 
Nominations and voter registrations close on 18 February 2021. 
Find out more, register to vote or nominate in the 2021 ATA General Council election at


New NHVAS Business Rules and Standards will apply from 22 February 2021 for any new NHVAS participants.  After 22 February 2021 existing participants will have one accreditation cycle to transition into the new NHVAS Business Rules and Standards.
NHVR has developed some fact sheets to help guide operators in relation to any new requirements:

Individual guides for each NHVAS module will soon be released to assist with understanding the requirements of each module.  Check here for the latest information.


The NHVR has approved two additional EWDs for use as an alternative to a written work diary.
The NHVR approved Netstar’s Garmin Fleet 7XX Series for use from January 11. Click here for the full statement.
MTData’s Talon and Swift system, running on either a Samsung Galaxy Active Tab or Samsung Galaxy Active Tab 2 will be available for use from January 18. Click here for the full statement.
They join the Step Global and Teletrac Navman systems, which have been available across Australia since December last year.
Any issues with EWDs can be reported to the NHVR by phone or through the website at
To stay up to date with approved EWDs and their conditions of use visit


Australia will celebrate 50 years of Kenworth manufacturing in 2021.

To be part of celebrating this milestone, they have invited industry to share stories, photos and specifications of older model Kenworths with them.

Inbox them on Facebook and your Australian Made rig could feature on their Flashback Friday post.


Women in Trucking Australia (WiTA) is dedicated to supporting women into trucking careers. Formed in 2019, the non-profit advocacy group encourages women considering a career in truck driving and works to encourage and support those already working in the industry.
The WiTA 2020 Annual Report quotes current figures from major road transport sector employer Workplace Gender Profile Reports indicating that women comprise just 1.6% of the heavy vehicle driver workforce. WiTA hopes to enhance awareness, interest, and the participation of females in the vocation of heavy vehicle driver through exploring and dismantling barriers and advocating for tangible employment outcomes for women.
By creating strong networks, WiTA strives to give female truckies a sense of community and ownership. WiTA CEO, Lyndal Denny, says that a key factor in the fledgling organisation’s success has been the buy in from experienced female drivers who have profiled their inspirational journeys into trucking careers. Male truckies have also stepped up and supported the organisation through paid membership.
WiTA’s priorities include connecting newly licensed female drivers with experienced female mentors, engaging with industry to identify new approaches to female recruitment, enhance training opportunities and improve career pathways to deliver greater numbers of safety-focused, professionally trained female truckies onto the nation’s roads.
The Women in Trucking (WiT) Report due for release in 2021 will provide further insights into female participation in trucking gathered from female heavy vehicle drivers. You can keep up to date with WiTA’s activities by checking out their website or following them on Facebook.


Applications for the Boosting Australia’s Diesel Storage program are now open, a project that will contribute to the government’s long-term fuel security goal to increase our domestic fuel storage that meets our needs during an emergency and into the future.

The program is set to provide up to $200 million in competitive grants over three years to support the construction of an additional 780 megalitres of onshore diesel storage, as well as assisting industry in meeting the new minimum stockholding obligation by 2024. The obligation will require industry to hold around 40 per cent more diesel than current levels. 

Successful projects will receive grants of up to $33.3 million, with the Government covering up to 50 per cent of total eligible project expenditure. Projects are expected to commence construction from mid-2021 and be completed within three years, and will target projects that enhance fuel security by being in a strategic regional location or that are connected to existing fuel infrastructure.

The ATA has been a longstanding advocate for the need to increase domestic fuelstocks, keeping reserves in Australia instead of on US soil.  In 2015, the ATA held a major fuel security exercise in conjunction with the national Trucking Australia conference which convinced the ATA to argue for stronger domestic fuel security, along with our member associations.

Applications close 22 February 2021


The Australian Government is inviting applications to its Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) that are investment ready, will drive economic growth, and provide social benefits for regional and remote areas. To be eligible, applicants must be from incorporated not-for-profit, local government agencies or non-distributing co-operatives. The close date for applications is 5 March 2021.

In BBRF Round Five, $100 million is dedicated to non-tourism infrastructure projects. Projects can be either construction of new infrastructure or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure.

For most projects grant funding of $20,000 to $10 million will cover up to either 50% or 75% of eligible project costs. Project location will determine the percentage of grant funding applicants can receive.

You may apply for a partial or full exemption to your contribution requirement if you can demonstrate that you are experiencing exceptional circumstances.

For more information, including the grant opportunity guidelines, see the BBRF website.


The Commonwealth Government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI) is now open for submissions, inviting project proposals that will lead to tangible improvements in road user, road and heavy vehicle safety. Round 6 funding relates to the 2021-2022 financial year and project must be completed by 30 June 2024. Submissions to HVSI Round 6 must be received on or before 12 February 2021.

It is recommended that submissions directly address one of the following three themes aimed at more closely aligning initiatives with the National Road Safety Strategy and associated state and territory road safety strategies, as well as the goals of the ongoing Heavy Vehicle National Law Review:

  • Safer drivers
  • Safer vehicles
  • Safer road use.

Page 5 of the Submission guidelines provides more details about these themes.
You can download the guidelines from the NHVR website.
For any enquiries, please contact


The NHVR is undertaking a five-yearly review of the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (NHVIM) and is seeking input on the revised draft – NHVIM 3.0.

feedback can be submitted until 29 January 2021 via the NHVIM feedback form.

Click here for draft NHVIM 3.0 and feedback form


If you have a “Funny” that we could publish in the ALRTA News please email it through to


Thank you to those that found the time to do the crossword – participants commented that they learnt a lot during their research for the answers.

The lucky 6 people to receive the prizes were:
Graham Howell – LRTAV
Athol Carter – LRTAQ
Smith Haulage – LRTASA
Jeremy Brent – LBRCA
Karl McEwan – LRTAV
Graeme Hoare – LBRCA & LRTAQ

All entries received BP polo shirts for participating.

The correct answers were:



LRTAQ Conference – Roma QLD – 9-11 April 2021
LRTASA Conference – Adelaide SA – 18-19 June 2021
LRTAV Conference – Bendigo VIC – 20-21 August 2021