ALRTA NATIONAL PARTNER
HEAVY VEHICLE CHARGES 2022-23
The National Transport Commission has commenced consultation proposed heavy vehicle charges affecting vehicle registration and the road user charge (RUC). Ministers have proposed increasing charges by 2.75 per cent in 2022-23.
ALRTA National Council has considered this issue and resolved to stick with our already established position that charges should increase by no more than 2.5 per cent in 2022-23. Now is not the time for steep charging increases as the nation recovers from several natural disasters. On top of that, we are facing an acute driver shortage which means that some vehicles are not fully productive and livestock numbers remain low while herds recover to normal levels. ALRTA is also disappointed that Ministers have not adopted a multi-year price path to give our member operators certainty on charges over the next three years.
The NTC consultation page is available here.
TRANSPORT MINISTERIAL COUNCIL
Australian Ministers for Transport and Infrastructure met today to consider a range of issues including progress of the Heavy Vehicle National Law Review. ALRTA has made representations to Ministers and senior officials ahead of the meeting and we look forward to advising members of outcomes next week.
ALRTA NATIONAL EXECUTIVE
ALRTA National Executive met via Zoom this week to consider important operational matters relating to finance, partnerships, leasing and internal policies. Our Executive team is elected annually by member state associations at the ALRTA Annual General Meeting.
NATIONAL-STATE CONFERENCE 2022
The 2022 National-State Conference will be hosted by LRTAV and held in Bendigo Victoria 12-13 August. The ALRTA and LRTAV conference teams met via Zoom this week to commence planning for our annual showcase event.
This year’s theme will focus on innovation and we look forward to updating our members and partners on the program, speakers and social activities over coming months. After several years of unavoidable disruption due to the ongoing pandemic, we invite all members to consider attending an ALRTA or State conferences during 2022 in support of your colleagues, associations and industry.
ATA FEDERAL BUDGET SUBMISSION
The Australian Trucking Association has made a submission to the 2022-23 federal budget, calling for an end to the underfunding of the Australia’s crumbling road freight infrastructure and national leadership on the quality of our road network and rest areas.
The submission says the federal government must take responsibility for funding and operating all major freight roads through the national highways program.
It also says the government must take responsibility for granting access approvals for heavy vehicles on national highways.
The submission calls for our national freight roads to be upgraded to meet minimum safety star ratings as well as a funding boost to the woefully underfunded truck roads and rest areas program.
It also recommends the Australian Government introduce a net zero truck incentive plan so the industry can make the move to electric and hydrogen powered trucks.
You can read the full submission on the ATA website.
TAX DEDUCTIBLE COVID TESTS
The Australian government has announced COVID‑19 tests will be tax deductible when used for work related reasons.
This will apply to PCR and rapid antigen tests.
COVID-19 tests will also be exempt from fringe benefit tax for businesses if they provide COVID‑19 testing to their employees for work‑related purposes.
This change will take effect from the beginning of the 2021‑22 tax year.
STAGED REOPENING OF STUART HIGHWAY
ALRTA has welcomed the staged reopening of the Stuart Highway from 6 February 2022. Access across the water at Glendambo is only between sunrise and sunset with a speed limit of 20kph applicable.
NHVR notices facilitating temporary access for road trains not exceeding 53.5m on alternative routes remain in place. You can view relevant information here:
South Australia to Northern Territory (via QLD)
South Australia to Western Australia
ALRTA MEMBERS – BP – QANTAS POINTS
Earn up to 100,000 bonus Qantas Points.
Sign up to BP Plus by 31 March and your business could earn 10,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus earn an extra 10,000 bonus points when you fuel up each month for the first 9 months.
Use Code QBR100ALRTA. Min. fuel volume criteria & T&Cs apply
Sign up – https://www.bpplus.com.au/qbr
APPLICATIONS CLOSING: REMOTE ROADS
Applications to the Federal Government’s $150m Remote Roads Upgrade Pilot Program will close on Sunday 20 February 2022.
The program targets road improvements for regional communities, and addresses significant deficiencies on key regional and rural roads that limit community access, pose safety risks and impact the economic development of the surrounding area.
Applications are invited from state, territory and local governments. Members should approach their local authorities with upgrade proposals. ALRTA and our state member associations can assist in providing support for project applications.
For more information click here.
OWNER-DRIVERS VS EMPLOYEE DRIVERS
Bristow Legal are running a special Zoom webinar to discuss the implications of a recent High Court decision that considered whether or not two ‘owner drivers’ engaged by the same business for over 30 years were employees or contractors.
The Court has ruled that the terms of the contract at the time it is entered into are the key to determining whether drivers are employees or contractors. This means carefully drafted contracts can avoid uncertainty and the risk of drivers later being found to be employees. Written contracts also allow businesses to address other risks that are specific to the transport industry.
The webinar will discuss:
- What is the distinction between a contractor and an employee and how do you apply this to an owner driver scenario?
- What is the effect of having a written agreement and why is having a written agreement important?
- What needs to go into a written agreement and does that agreement need to be ‘fair’?
- Complications that arise where the principal contractor sells a vehicle to an owner driver
- What state and federal legislation applies to affect relationships with owner drivers?
The webinar will take place at midday (AEST)/1 pm (AEDT) on Thursday 17 February 2022 and will go for an hour. There will be opportunities to ask questions.
Tickets are available here.
SURVEY: COVID IMPACT ON YOUR BUSINESS
Through ALRTA’s membership of the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia, you have an opportunity to tell your story about the impact of COVID, your ability to manage energy bills and what supports and protection small business need from their energy provider.
COSBOA is specifically looking for businesses employing less than 49 staff operating in or around Sydney or Melbourne. 30 minute phone interviews will be conducted between 14-25 February 2022. All information is treated as confidential.
If you are able to participate, please send your name, email address and preferred date/time to: firstname.lastname@example.org
LRTAQ AWARD CLOSES 13 FEBRUARY 2022
Reminder: Nominations are open for the 2022 Young Person in Transport Award
Do you know an outstanding young person working in the livestock or rural transport industry? Nominate them today for the 2022 Young Person in Transport Award and recognise excellence in our industry.
The Award will be presented at the upcoming LRTAQ 2022 Annual Conference.
Who can be nominated?
All roles within the livestock and rural transport industry are eligible to be nominated. For example drivers, mechanics, schedulers, administration officers, shed hands, managers – are all eligible for nomination.
We are seeking nominations of individuals who display pride and professionalism in their career, have a passion for our industry and have a strong desire to advance within it.
Nominees must be
- Under 35 years of age
- Employed within, or contracted to a business which is a financial member of the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Queensland
- Able to attend the LRTAQ 2022 Annual Conference from 4 – 6 March 2022
What information do I need to supply with the nomination?
- Details of the nominee
- Two letters of recommendation
- Nominee’s resume
- Demonstrate how the nominee meets the criteria for the award (displaying pride and professionalism, willingness to go above and beyond, desire to advance their career)
Nominations close on 13 February 2022. Nominations should be submitted via the LRTAQ website.
SAVE THE DATES FOR 2022
LRTAQ (QLD) – 4-5 March 2022- Surfair Marcoola QLD – Information & Registration
LBRCA (NSW) -26 -28 May 2022 – Wagga Wagga NSW – Information & Registration
LRTASA (SA) -17-18 June 2022 – Adelaide SA
ALRTA/LRTAV National Combined Conference -12-13 August 2022 – All Seasons Bendigo VIC – Information