ALRTA News – 26 November 2020




Former ALRTA National President Liz Schmidt has been appointed to the board of Infrastructure Australia.  Liz is also the former Mayor of Charters Towers, an ATA National Transport Woman of the Year and currently sits on the board of the Dalrymple Community Cultural Centre Trust.

Former Mayor of Tamworth Regional Council, Colin Murray, was appointed as Chair, with five other new board members also appointed.
Infrastructure Australia is Australia’s independent infrastructure advisor, providing research and advice to governments, industry and the community on the infrastructure investments and reforms that will benefit all Australians.


Applications are now open for Round 7 of the $5.6m Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI), giving community and industry groups the chance to share in this record funding pool.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the heavy vehicle industry plays a key role in driving Australia’s economy forward.
“Heavy vehicles move the goods and commodities Australians rely on to where they are needed – be that ports, supermarkets, or factories,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“When trucks stop, the nation stops. That’s why we continue to invest in road safety programs and initiatives that will ensure our trucks keep moving and the economy keeps growing.
“The Government is committed to working with industry to ensure this vital sector remains safe and productive. This funding will support initiatives that increase safety awareness, education and compliance across the sector.”
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the Federal Government had so far allocated around $33.6 million through the HVSI.
“It’s been great to see projects that tackle safety issues in sectors including agriculture, livestock and rural freight, and raise awareness about issues such as driver fatigue and mental health,” Assistant Minister Buchholz said.
“I’ve seen firsthand the safety solutions these projects deliver, such as the trial of a livestock Parallel Access Landing frame in Kilcoy, Queensland which prevents the risk of drivers climbing and falling from the vehicle crate or being struck when loading or unloading livestock.
“It’s crucial we continue to prioritise these types of projects to ensure a productive and safe future for the industry.”
National Heavy Vehicle Regulator Chief Executive Officer Sal Petroccitto said there were 74 applications submitted under the last round of the program, and he hoped to see even more quality projects put forward.
“I urge community and industry groups with tangible, effective ideas that align with the theme Safer Drivers, Safer Vehicles, Safer Road Use to submit your application and make a difference,” Mr Petroccitto said.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the industry to find solutions that make our roads safer.”
Applications for Round 7 funding are open until 14 February 2022. Projects must be implemented during the 2022-23 financial year and be completed within two years of commencement.
For more information or to view the submission guidelines visit


Chair of the ALRTA National Driver and Animal Welfare Committee, Graeme Hoare, and ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro, have delivered a presentation on the Australian Ramp Standard (AS 5340:2020) to a collection of livestock supply chain representatives.
Our presentation noted that:

  • Transport and agriculture are the two highest risk industries for workplace fatalities;
  • The recent ALRTA National Injury Survey found that 87% of respondents had been injured loading or unloading livestock in the past five years and 68% experience near-misses ‘regularly’ or ‘often’;
  • The Australian Ramp Standard was developed by a broad cross-section of livestock industry representatives and subject to a public consultation process;
  • The standard is applicable to around 85,000 agricultural businesses; and
  • Following the standard will improve both driver and animal welfare outcomes.

There are several existing regulations that already refer to safe construction or operation of yards or forcing pens. For example, the Australian Animal welfare Standards and Guidelines for Saleyards and Depots and the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock.
ALRTA is calling for all such references to be replaced with a reference to the Australian Ramp Standard. This will reduce regulatory overlap, improve consistency and improve awareness of the standard.


Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister, Hon David Basham officially opened the Mount Gambier and District Saleyard Ramp Redevelopment Project on Wednesday, November 24.

Mr Basham thanked all the staff who had put in countless hours to complete the works.

“This is an amazing facility to have these two amazing ramps here,” he said.

“As someone who has loaded many cattle onto trucks over the years, it’s not something that is always easy if your facilities aren’t great. To see these wonderful new ramps here and how much of an ease that must be to get the cattle on and off trucks, is great to see.”

The $965,000 project was jointly funded by the South Australian Government’s Regional Growth Fund ($385,000) and the District Council of Grant.

The new ramps are set to increase efficiencies and productivity when loading and unloading cattle.
In particular, the Proway ramps, will enhance animal husbandry practices leading to increased driver and animal welfare.

District Council of Grant Chief Executive, Darryl Whicker thanked saleyards manager, David Wallace and his team for their support.

“We are nothing without our staff. Without their devoted time and commitment, we wouldn’t be opening this wonderful facility,” he said.

“A project like this is a complete council effort.”

Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria Inc (LRTAV) representative, Mick Debenham played an integral role in the redevelopment of the saleyards over the years and congratulated the council, State Government and all involved in bringing the project to fruition.

“The livestock transport industry came here some years ago out of concerns some of our drivers had and it’s been a long journey, but what we see here today is a result of working together as a team to get an outcome that works for everybody,” Mr Debenham said.

“The outcome is fantastic and this saleyard – I’d be happy to be corrected – but I would say is by far the best equipped saleyard in eastern Australia.”

A new NBN tower is set to be erected before the end of the year which will service the yards directly and allow management to take the next steps towards digitizing livestock sales.

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association was represented at the opening by several LRTAV members who inspected the new ramps and PAL frames following the formalities.

Although a few functionality issues were found – which have been raised with management – all agreed the new facilities would improve safety and ease pressures for drivers and animals.


LBRCA local champion Stephen (Wilba) Haslem joined Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce for the official opening of the upgraded truck wash facility in Walcha last week.

Jointly funded by the Australian and NSW government’s Fixing Country Truck Washes program the upgraded truck wash boasts longer and wider wash bays to accommodate B-double vehicles, installation of improved waste and effluent treatment, improved lighting and increased security.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the existing Walcha truck wash facility was aged and couldn’t service larger vehicles whereas the upgraded truck wash will be open to all users 24/7 and includes additional lighting to improve safety for users’ day and night.

Prior to the upgrade B-double combinations had to travel further to use facilities at Armidale and Tamworth.  With an average of 85 trucks travelling through Walcha each day, each transporting more than 1700 tonnes of livestock combined, the upgraded facility will be an important piece of infrastructure for the region.

The facility is located on Saleyards Road and can be accessed by AvData at $0.85c per minute (minimum $5).


Providing valuable insights into Australia’s biosecurity, the recent 2021 National Biosecurity Forum attracted more than 1200 registrations nationally and internationally to hear from experts across government, industry and in the research field.
Recordings of the webinars will be made available soon at
DAWE (Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment) have also put together a range of biosecurity resources which you may be interested in:

  • – your first stop for biosecurity information
  • a National Biosecurity Forum website
  • Australian Biosecurity Awards website – information, current and past winners
  • Webinars – Australian biosecurity series – featuring a range of biosecurity topics. If you would like to receive information about these please email
  • Detect and Protect – an Australian biosecurity podcast series.

 If you have any questions or comments, please email DAWE at


After widespread rains across most of the country, members are urged to check road conditions in advance of trips. You can find a useful resource here.

As states and territories ease border restrictions, members are urged to check changing border requirements here.


SAVE THE DATES FOR 2022LBRCA Conference – Wagga Wagga NSW – 10-12 February 2022 – Registration
LRTAQ Conference – Sunshine Coast – 4-5 March 2022