ALRTA News – 27 August 2021


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ALRTA has welcomed changes to the National Freight Code and Protocol that improves testing consistency and paves the way for the introduction of rapid antigen tests. The code now adopts rolling 7 day testing (noting that WA, SA and VIC will continue to apply shorter periods) and accepts rapid antigen tests, if these are recognised by state and territory authorities.  
The ALRTA National Council is however concerned about the prospect of mandatory vaccination requirements in future versions of the code. Our industry is already facing a shortage of drivers and at this stage of the vaccine rollout, not all drivers have had a chance to be vaccinated – especially in rural and regional areas. It is also the case that some drivers either do not want to be vaccinated or cannot be vaccinated due to an underlying health condition.
Over the past 18 months, our industry has proven that we can operate successfully under the current risk protocols, which require a COVID Safe plan, regular testing, venue check in, masks, daily symptom screening, minimising personal interactions and full compliance with health orders. 
While ALRTA fully supports the relaxation of these protocols for vaccinated individuals, we are opposed to mandatory vaccinations and believe that, if implemented in the national code, there would be a significant impact on Australia’s road freight capacity. Many trucking operators and drivers who have supported Australia through drought, fire, floods and pandemics would immediately lose their livelihoods.  Businesses and households relying on our truckies to deliver food, fuel, medicines and other essentials will suffer shortages due to reduced freight capacity.
ALRTA is alarmed that today the South Australian Government has today issued a new health order that requires all essential travellers to SA from restricted zones (currently all of NSW, VIC, ACT and parts of QLD and NT) to have had at least one vaccination from 12:01am, 24 September 2021.  
ALRTA will be making urgent representations to governments on this critical issue.


Scott McDonald has been elected ALRTA National President for a second term at today’s ALRTA Annual General Meeting.  Mr McDonald said that while ALRTA had achieved much during his first term, there are still significant challenges that lie ahead.

ALRTA 2020-21 AGM in full swing. 

“Over the past year the ALRTA has established an Australian ramp standard, built a new effluent disposal facility in South Australia, removed vehicle registration requirements from livestock permits, secured an exemption from proposed insurance laws and undertaken a major national injury survey. We have also advocated on a broad range of issues including the COVID response, heavy vehicle charging, road spending, animal welfare laws, primary producer concessions, driver training, mass tolerances and loading schemes,” said Mr McDonald.
“I am honoured to have been re-elected to the National President position. Over the next year ALRTA will continue to advocate on these issues and also increase efforts to address the critical skills and labour shortages now having a dire impact on our businesses and regions,” he said.
The ALRTA National Executive for 2021-22 is:

  • National President: Scott McDonald (LBRCA)
  • Vice President: Ian Wild (LRTAQ)
  • Vice President: Matt Henderson (LRTAWA)
  • Treasurer: Stephen Hopkins (LBRCA)
  • Secretary: Grant Robins (LRTAWA)
  • ATA Representative: Athol Carter (LRTAQ)
  • Immediate Past President: Stephen Marley (LRTAWA)

 “I acknowledge and thank outgoing ATA Representative John Beer for his significant contribution on the ATA Council over recent years. If there is anyone out there who fights for the little guy, it’s John Beer,” said Mr McDonald.
“At the same time, I congratulate Athol Carter of Frasers Livestock Transport on his election to the ATA representative position. Athol has been involved with several ATA committees and on the TruckSafe Board, especially since completing a prestigious national industry leadership training course.  I know he will be a strong contributor on the ATA Council,” said Mr McDonald.
All elected office bearers will commence their one-year appointment from 1 October 2021.


The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee has this week tabled a report in the Australian Senate titled ‘Without Trucks Australia Stops: the development of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry’.  The report follows and an Inquiry during which the ALRTA and several of our State Member Associations lodged written submissions and appeared in person to give evidence.

 ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro, gives evidence at the Inquiry.

Among other things, the committee recommends:

  • Establishing or empowering an independent body that will, in consultation with industry, set universal and binding standards (including binding standards with respect to pay) and to act as a dispute resolution body. Pay and standards decisions are to apply to all supply chain participants regardless of their employment or work status.
  • Initial priorities are that workers are paid for all time including demurrage and that payments occur on delivery.
  • Adequate resources and enforcement resources underpin the new regime.
  • Investigatory, reporting and data collection systems are expanded.
  • Improved licencing and career pathways.
  • Improved road infrastructure and driver facilities.
  • Recognition of new safety technologies.
  • A new market-based safety rating system.
  • A plan  and sustainable funding mechanism to establish managed roadside livestock effluent disposal sites in key freight routes in Australia.
  • A transport advisory group and dedicated Minister for Transport.

 ALRTA is currently considering the report and recommendations. We will have more to say on this issue in coming weeks.
Read the full report here.


The NHVR has released a simple 9 Step Safety Management System Roadmap to assist all parties across the heavy vehicle supply chain to support each other to operate safely.

The Roadmap can assist businesses to develop and improve their heavy vehicle safety systems.

Staff from the NHVR and other agencies will be out talking to grain producers and grain receivers in Queensland and NSW during August and September to discuss heavy vehicle safety during grain harvest season.
To read more about primary producer safety, click here


COVID-19 NSW Update: The current lockdown in Greater Sydney will be extended until the end of September 2021 and new restrictions will come into place in NSW. Commencing Saturday 28 August and Monday 30 August restrictions and permits come into place as well as vaccination requirements.

Truck stop opening information: NSW Police Force have advised that roadside trucking services such as service centres and roadhouses will be OPEN to ensure that drivers have the amenities they need to conduct operations safely and efficiently. This will include dining, showers and toilet amenities. Dining areas will not be available to the public and will be clearly marked as only available for essential heavy vehicle workers. These facilities will be required to develop COVID-safe plans to ensure that business operations can comply with Public Health Order restrictions. Drivers are reminded to check in using the QR code, adhere to mask requirements, practice social distancing and other hygiene requirements in line with the health protocol.

The most up to date information for the heavy vehicle industry relating to testing, vaccination and cross-border travel requirements, can be found by visiting the NHVR website.  


ALRTA congratulates officer bearers elected at the LRTAWA AGM on 14 Aug 2021:

  • President: David Fyfe
  • VP (Livestock): Peter Warburton
  • VP (Grain): Wade De Campo
  • Secretary: Matt Henderson
  • Treasurer: Darran Bairstow


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SAVE THE DATES FOR 2021 & 2022

LTAT/National Combined Conference – Hobart TAS – 22-23 October 2021
LBRCA Conference – Wagga Wagga NSW – 10-12 February 2022  – Registration
LRTAQ Conference – Sunshine Coast – 4-5 March 2022