ALRTA News – 23 April 2020


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The ALRTA National Council met via Zoom link this week, which included in an important consultation session on the development of a national driver competency framework.  The project is led by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia (CILTA), in collaboration with the Monash University Accident Research Centre, the National Road Safety Partnerships Program and the National Truck Accident Research Centre.

CILTA Chair Dr Kim Hassell facilitated the discussion, explaining that the project aims to develop an exemplar licensing framework for national implementation which will establish, for each class of heavy vehicle licence, the standard of safe driving and vehicle management skills, assessment criteria and enhancements required to:

  1. provide a uniform, national standard of heavy vehicle driver competence, training and assessment;
  2. improve road safety outcomes;
  3. improve public perception of the safety of heavy vehicle operations; and
  4. meet heavy vehicle industry needs for well-trained safe heavy vehicle drivers.

 ALRTA National Council also discussed changes in freight insurance regulation, future industry leaders, 2021 national conference, ramp standards and preliminary results of ALRTA’s national injury survey.  Council will next meet on 25 June 2021.


Transport operators and farmers will benefit from a new heavy vehicle access initiative which will bolster end-to-end transport access from the farm gate to market in six pilot areas across the State.

Supported by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, the Farm Gate Assess Network was developed in partnership between the NSW Government, Livestock Bulk and Rural Carriers Association (LBRCA), NSW Farmers and local government.

NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the Farm Gate Access Network pilot will improve access to the local road network across NSW for larger, modern trucks and cut red-tape for farmers and transport operators by reducing the need for access permits. 

“This pilot trial will provide conditional area-wide access for Higher Productivity Vehicles transporting grain or livestock on council roads in six Local Government Areas including Tamworth and Gunnedah,” Mr Toole said. 

“This is a huge step forward for farmers and freight operators, ensuring they can make use of safer, modern trucks to move stock and grain to market more efficiently and without the red tape.”

Mr Toole said eligible heavy vehicles were fitted with modern telematics technology, increasing the visibility of freight moving around the network.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said this information would be aggregated and shared with councils to help support decision making and planning about road maintenance and future upgrades.

“This initiative is a win-win for local communities – increased farm productivity and a better understanding of how the road network is used,” Mr Anderson said.

“It will bolster end-to-end heavy vehicle access, ensure vehicles can operate compliantly and help drive an increase in productivity for NSW transport operators”.

Livestock Bulk and Rural Carriers Association President Paul Pulver said the project will enable safer, more productive, and legal access when transporting primary products to and from rural properties using High Productivity Vehicles.

“Improving access to local road networks across NSW is a significant productivity gain for our industry.”

NSW Farmers President James Jackson said after years of drought this year’s bumper harvest has shown just how important it is to have improved and clear access to local road networks. Barriers to efficient transport add time and cost for grain growers and farmers.

“As heavy vehicles have become safer and technology is within reach of most carriers, it is important that regulation keeps pace. The information that these six pilots will generate will be invaluable to expand and improve farm gate access across regional NSW,” Mr Jackson said.

The scheme is being piloted in six local government areas:

  • Tamworth Regional Council
  • Gunnedah Shire Council
  • Junee Shire Council
  • Coolamon Shire Council
  • Narrandera Shire Council
  • Temora Shire Council. 

To determine the success of the program, the pilot will be assessed routinely in coming months.

For more information visit the RMS Farm Gate Access website.


A new cattle cross loading facility has opened in Roma, QLD at IOR’s Roma diesel stop.  The purpose-built cross loader is modelled on the Port Augusta facility and located at the end of a triple road train route near the largest livestock saleyard in the Southern Hemisphere.

Click on the image below to view a flyover of the facility.


Former LRTAV President, Graham Howell, has appeared before the Senate Inquiry into the Importance of a Viable, Safe, Sustainable and Efficient Road Transport Industry.  The public hearing was held in Melbourne on Monday 19 April 2021.
ALRTA President Scott McDonald and ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro, will give evidence at the public hearing in Canberra on Wednesday 28 April 2021.
For more information in the Inquiry, click here.


The NHVR’s Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project (SLGAAP) will fund more than 200 engineering assessments under Round 1.
NHVR Freight and Supply Chain Productivity Executive Director Peter Caprioli said the 232 assessments covered assets owned by 69 local governments.
“After a successful pilot where 100 assets were assessed, SLGAAP Round 1 is now underway with appointed engineering firms working closely with local governments in the asset assessment process,” Mr Caprioli said.
“Importantly the asset data collected by the project will provide valuable information to both road managers and industry.
“Currently, there is no central database of local government assets and the work undertaken by the Project is a starting point in compiling bridge and culvert data.
“The project will also produce engineering reports for each asset, and this will support road managers in their heavy vehicle access decision-making.
Click here for more information about the Strategic Government Assessment Project.


Motorists and the trucking industry have united in calls for the Federal Government to redraft the proposed new National Road Safety Strategy to ensure it addresses the severe lack of government accountability and that it includes clear road safety targets.

Responding to the draft 2021-30 National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS), the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) have come together in a united front to express their concern that the Federal Government is proposing a draft strategy that includes no measurable targets to address national fatality and injury rates on the nation’s roads.

The two organisations have also expressed concern that the draft strategy does not take into consideration the failings of the last ten years that independent inquiries found were largely due to a lack of Federal Government leadership and an oversight of road safety.

“The AAA and ATA submissions in response to the draft NRSS have highlighted the inadequacy of the proposed strategy and present a forceful case that it must be rewritten,” ATA CEO Andrew McKellar said.

“The NRSS must be supported by measurable targets, as well as clear identification of who will be held accountable to ensure they are being met.

“Each item must also set out specified sub targets so it is clear what needs to be done and how exactly these targets will be achieved,” he said.

AAA Managing Director Michael Bradley said the draft strategy ran the risk of undoing the good work of last year’s federal budget and appeared to ignore key recommendations from extensive relevant government and parliamentary inquiries.

“The Commonwealth last year took a major step forward, by attaching strings to the safety funding it hands to states, which was the first step needed to ensure state governments meet their safety-related obligations. Now is not the time to let that progress slip.

“It is also a concern that the draft strategy doesn’t propose to use the national road toll as a measure of its progress or success; and it fails to include any other agreed performance indicators.

“If governments endorse a 2021-30 strategy that contains the same shortcomings as its predecessor, then we should not be surprised if it too fails to deliver the reduced rates of death and injury that Australians deserve and desire,” he said.

The AAA and ATA said that while it is clear the draft NRSS had significant weaknesses, it was important the process of review and development continued.

“While we congratulate the government on establishing an Office of Road Safety and recognising the leadership role they have to play, it is more critical than ever they seize the opportunity to ensure the next NRSS has clear targets, clear responsibilities, clear actions and clear penalties for those jurisdictions that don’t pull their weight,” Mr Bradley said.

The ATA submission called for several additional measures for governments to adopt in the NRSS, including the need for speed management and post-crash care measures, as well as strengthened driver licencing and training for both heavy and light vehicle drivers.

“Stronger and more comprehensive truck driver licensing and training would result in safer roads, safer people, and safer companies,” Mr McKellar said.

“Training for novice car drivers in how to share the road safely with trucks would play a key role in improving driver behaviour and reducing the number of injuries and fatalities on our roads,” he said.

Mr Bradley and Mr McKellar were in agreement that serious action must be taken and the NRSS be properly established to build a strong foundation for the future of road safety in Australia.

“The draft NRSS still has a long way to go if we are going to achieve our goals of reduced fatalities and injuries on our roads, and it is critical we work together with government and take the time to get it right,” they said. 


Australians are being urged to be mindful of the dangers of driving when tired as we remember the lives lost to fatigue-related crashes on 23 April, which marks Driver Fatigue Awareness Day. The families of Todd Sligar, Ethan Hertslet and Mitchell Holloway have campaigned to promote greater understanding of the impacts of driver fatigue.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said Driver Fatigue Awareness Day reminds us how deadly driving while tired is and what road users can do to manage fatigue.

“Falling into a micro-sleep, even for a few seconds, can be fatal – a driver can travel more than 100 metres without any control at all over their vehicle,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Making sure we get enough sleep before driving, taking regular breaks, or pulling over to take a power nap when we feel fatigue setting in can be the difference to arriving at our destination alive.

“Working towards zero fatalities and serious injuries on Australian roads is a core priority for the Government.

“This is why we are delivering record levels of road safety and infrastructure spending right across the nation.

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said driver fatigue had been identified as one of the ‘Fatal Five’ road safety factors that contribute to road trauma, being a factor in up to 30 per cent of all deaths and severe injuries on our roads.

“Driver Reviver sites are critical in tackling driver fatigue to make our roads safer, which is why I am proud to be part of a Government that continues to invest in the program,” Assistant Minister Buchholz said.

“Initiatives such as the Driver Reviver Site Upgrade Program showcase what governments and communities can achieve when working together. Applications for Round Two of this $8 million program are now closed and being assessed.

Mr Buchholz said the Australian Government was making road safety a priority, with significant investments such as the $2 billion Road Safety Program to reduce risk across the country.

“These investments will deliver practical safety improvements such as shoulder sealing and rumble strips to help keep drivers on the road and in their lane. 

“This will help reduce the $30 billion annual cost of road crashes to the national economy,” Assistant Minister Buchholz said. 

“Most importantly, the program will reduce the amount of lives lost and the immeasurable suffering that follows for the families and friends affected.


The Queensland Government has put its weight behind 2021 Australian Heavy Vehicle Industry Week and the events under its umbrella, all taking place in Brisbane next month.

Minister Bailey said  “I would like to welcome you all to this year’s Brisbane Truck Show – an event we’ve been able to host because of your efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic – and congratulate the organisers for bringing together this industry despite the challenges of the pandemic.”

HVIA want to say thanks to our operators, so they have decided to extend an opportunity for ALRTA members to access discounted tickets. 
A single day Adult ticket will be reduced from $28 to just $10.  It also gives you complimentary access to the Civil Construction Field Day and Heavy Equipment and Machinery Show.  An ALRTA member might also walk away with the Morris Finance Ultimate VIP Experience Package valued at over $45,000.
To obtain your discounted tickets go to the Brisbane Truck Show Ticketing portal and provide the special access code ASSOC21.


Bob Taylor tried to sell his old truck.  He was having a lot of problems selling it as it had 350,000 kilometers on the odometer.

One day, he told his problem to a mate at the saleyards.

His mate said, “There is a possibility to make the truck easier to sell, but it’s not legal.”

“That doesn’t matter,” replied Bob, “I really need to sell the truck.”

“Okay,” said Bob’s mate. “Here is the address of a friend of mine.  He owns a mechanics.  Tell him I sent you and he will turn the odometer in your truck back to 50,000 kilometers. Then it should not be a problem to sell it anymore.”

The following weekend, Bob made the trip to the mechanic.

Two weeks later Bob’s mate asked him, “Did you sell your truck?”

“No,” replied Bob, “Why should I? It only has 50,000 kilometers on it!”


Brisbane Truck Show 13-16 May 2021 – ALRTA will have a booth
LRTASA Conference – Adelaide SA – 18-19 June 2021 – Register Here
LRTAQ Conference – Roma QLD – 16-17 July 2021 – Register Here
LRTAV Conference – Bendigo VIC – 20-21 August 2021