THANK YOU TO OUR NATIONAL SPONSOR
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The ADEPT™ package includes SmartTorque2 and SmartCoast.
ALRTA GIVES EVIDENCE AT SENATE INQUIRY
ALRTA National President, Scott McDonald, and Executive Director, Mat Munro, gave evidence to the Senate Inquiry into the Importance of a Viable, Safe, Sustainable and Efficient Road Transport Industry. The public hearing was held in Canberra on Wednesday 28 April 2021.
ALRTA National President Scott McDonald.
ALRTA has previously lodged a formal submission including 15 recommendations. Our opening statement highlighted the downward pressure exerted on freight rates arising from underpayment of award rates and unfair competition with primary producer registration and fuel concessions. We talked about the poor condition of rural roads, lack of rest areas, truck washes, effluent disposal facilities and persistent problems with last mile access.
In the wake of our recent national survey of 94 members involved in livestock transport, we informed the Inquiry that:
- 87% had experienced operator or staff injury while loading/unloading in the last 5 years;
- 69% experienced near misses ‘regularly’ or ‘often’; and
- 80% considered that reporting injuries or unsafe facilities would have a detrimental impact on work or repeat business.
Chain of responsibility laws have not been effective in addressing this situation due to the high cost of investigations when parties are presumed innocent. ALRTA has called for the re-introduction of deeming provisions that empower regulators to easily issue infringements to chain parties, without first having to conduct a full investigation in each instance. Each infringed party would still have the benefit of a reasonable steps defence.
With the aim of improving off-road safety, ALRTA championed the development of an Australian standard for ramps and forcing yards, published by Standards Australia in November 2020. The standard was based on a guide published by ALRTA in 2015. We granted a copyright licence to Standards Australia, for free, to fast-track development of the standard.
We have since become disappointed that potential users of the standard must pay $139 to access the document. Standards Australia is a not-for-profit entity operating under an MOU with the Commonwealth Government. According to annual reports, Standards Australia increased financial equity in their organisation from $180m to $316m between 2010 and 2020. We have asked the Senate Committee to consider whether the cost of the accessing Australian standards is reasonable given the current financial position of Standards Australia. In our view, once Standards Australia is financially secure, safety (and easy access to standards) must be prioritised over profit.
Click view to listen to ALRTA’s evidence (Rural & Regional Affairs & Transport [Part 1] – fast-forward to 12:26.
Chair of the Senate Committee conducting the Inquiry, Senator Glenn Sterle, certainly took on board ALRTA’s evidence describing unfair competition from primary producers as ‘stealing bread from the table of commercial carriers’. In a later session of the hearing, Senator Sterle also demanded that Safe Work Australia advise what they are doing about injuries involving livestock loading and unloading. The question was answered in general terms only and taken on notice for follow up.
See Safe Work Australia answer questions about livestock transport safety here. Fast forward to 14:47.
The Inquiry is due to report by 23 June 2021.
LTAT/NATIONAL COMBINED CONFERENCE
SAVE THE DATES – LTAT and ALRTA cordially invite you to save the dates for our 2021 combined State-National Conference.
The event will be held at Wrest Point Hobart, 22-23 October 2021.
More details will be provided at a later date
LRTAV RAMP STANDARD AWARENESS DAY
Former LRTAV President Mick Debenham has been busy presenting at events that have included opportunities to raise awareness of the Australian Ramp Standard. On 8 April 2021, Mick presented to twelve members of the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) at Grantville and again to 25 participants on 9 April 2021 at a Farm Safety Information day at Traralgon.
Photo: Mick Debenham explains the Australian Ramp Standard.
Mick explained the history of LRTAV and ALRTA working with the supply chain to develop the Ramp Standard, what is contains and how to access it. All participants were offered a free copy of the ALRTA Ramps Guide. Keep up the good work Mick!
LIVESTOCK TRANSPORTER FINED FOR NOT REPORTING INJURY
Members are reminded of statutory obligations to report serious workplace injuries.
A Queensland livestock transporter was recently fined $5,000 and ordered to pay $1,100 in costs after pleading guilty in the Magistrates Court. The worker spent seven days in hospital with a fractured skull after falling from a stationary tilt tray transporting a truck for repair. The worker reported the incident to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland around 15 months after the event.
HEART OF AUSTRALIA EXPANDS
A new era is being heralded for life-saving specialist medical services in rural and remote Queensland with the launch of a custom-built mobile medical clinic servicing towns from the Mackay region to Cape York Peninsula.
Heart of Australia’s new truck, dubbed HEART 4, will see specialists from all over the country unite to give residents in Sarina, Proserpine, Ayr, and Cooktown access to cardiology, sonography, cardiac monitoring, sleep diagnostics and respiratory services.
The Australian Government is investing $12 million to support and expand the Heart of Australia program, including the delivery of the service’s fourth mobile medical clinic to access the new route across northern Queensland.
SAFER LOADS FOR REGIONAL ROADS
A new safety campaign has been launched to reduce the number of dangerously loaded trucks operating on regional roads.
Deputy Prime Minister, Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack said he welcomed the project initiated by Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils and funded under the Federal Government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative.
“This is an important project following several local incidents and an increase in the volume of heavy vehicle traffic in the region,” Mr McCormack said.
“It will help educate transport operators, along with the farms and businesses they serve, in safe load restraint.
“Heavy vehicles help connect so much of regional Australia and projects such as this will ensure that vehicles and drivers act in a safe manner at all times.
“The Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils are to be congratulated for initiating this project and I hope more Councils follow their lead in an effort to enhance the safety of their local communities and those that travel through them.”
The project received $60,500 under the HVSI program, administered by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator with the support of the Federal Government.
The Load Restraint Public Education Campaign will see new ‘how to’ load restraint videos and factsheets shared with local businesses, as well as a social media awareness campaign and a series of load restraint information sessions across the three shires.
The strength of the region’s farming, mining, forestry and construction sectors has seen a steady growth in heavy vehicle traffic, with one truck passing through the townships of Forbes, Parkes and Peak Hill every minute.
Forbes Shire Council Mayor, Phyllis Miller OAM said local police had issued 72 notices for load restraint breaches in 2019.
“Safety is a high priority for the heavy vehicle industry, but there are still too many knowledge gaps when it comes to load restraint,” Ms Miller said.
“It’s important that all businesses recognise they have a part to play in heavy vehicle safety under 2018 Chain of Responsibility amendments.
“This project will aid in removing any doubts about how heavy vehicles should be loaded.”
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative had so far allocated $22.8m through 89 separate grants over the past five years.
“Improving heavy vehicle safety and safety for all drivers is the top priority of the NHVR,” Mr Petroccitto said.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Governments and stakeholder groups to ensure that heavy vehicles and those that operate them travel safely and arrive safely.”
Click on these links to check out the videos:
NHVR ‘S PLEDGE TO FIX PBS
HVIA’s urgent call to action for the NHVR to fix PBS approval timelines has seen a swift response.
CEO Todd Hacking said that within 48 hours, certifiers and assessors had an urgent briefing with the NHVR leadership and PBS assessment team.
“Following this constructive meeting, a communique was issued by the NHVR,” Mr Hacking said.
“A second follow-up meeting was proposed for other key stakeholders – for example: trailer manufacturers, who are often the meat in the sandwich.”
Mr Hacking said HVIA expressed the industry’s disappointment that this crisis had eventuated in the first place, but did express gratitude that urgent remedial actions were taking place. READ MORE
Q FEVER FACTS
Three key things to know about Q Fever:
- Q Fever is a notifiable, but preventable disease and is more serious than influenza
- The Q Fever and vaccine skin testing programs are currently not funded by government, so it’s important to check if your GP offers a Q Fever screening and a vaccination program. It’s also recommended that employers lobby with local members where possible to have this process added to funding initiatives.
- You must allow two GP visits to complete both the pre-vaccination screening, including a blood test and a skin test, before the actual vaccination. These visits should be seven days apart.
TruckSafe Animal Welfare provides a best practice standard for trucking operators transporting animals. Our TruckSafe standards also guide our workplace health and safety policies and procedures leading us to look after our staff to the highest standard.
There is a subject that links animal welfare and employee health and wellbeing. This is animal disease that spreads from animals to humans, known as zoonosis (or zoonotic diseases). There is one disease in particular that needs to be highlighted to industry -Q Fever. With several hundred cases diagnosed each year, Australia has one of the highest rates of Q Fever worldwide. The greatest number of people diagnosed are from Queensland and NSW.
For more information and to read the article written by TruckSafe Director Athol Carter click on – “What you need to know about Q Fever”
BRISBANE TRUCK SHOW – HVIA NATIONAL APPRENTICE CHALLENGE
Cheer for your team at the HVIA National Apprentice Challenge.
Three teams are set to compete at the HVIA National Apprentice Challenge, to be staged live at the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show.
The competition pits the best-of-the-best from all over the country, against each other and against the clock.
Apprentices sat a rigorous two-hour online test, set by TAFE Queensland SkillsTech, with the two highest results from each of the regions selected to compete in the intense challengeClick here to find out the teams.
SAVE THE DATES FOR 2021
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
LTAT/National Combined Conference – Hobart TAS – 22-23 October 2021