ALRTA News – 26 August 2022



Gavin O’Sullivan’s strong support for rural trucking was acknowledged on Friday evening, 12 August 2022, as he was presented with an honorary life membership of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) at a National Conference in Bendigo.

Kevin Fechner (Left) and Scott McDonald (Right) congratulate Gavin O’Sullivan (Centre) on receiving an honorary Life Membership of ALRTA

Serving as the inaugural President of the (then) Livestock Transporters Association of Victoria, Gavin steered the state and national rural transport associations in their efforts to bring about many significant changes to improve the safety, working conditions and productivity of livestock transport.
He represented members to local, state and federal governments, lobbying them on important issues like volume loading and crate heights.
Presenting the award to Gavin was long time Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria (LRTAV) member Kevin Fechner who told the large audience about those early days in the association and Gavin’s ongoing and current personal support of the transport industry through participation in ALRTA’s Large and National Member Chapter.
Kevin said, “Gavin has been instrumental in the formation and growth of our state and national livestock transport industry associations.”
He told the audience how Gavin and his brother Peter built O’Sullivan’s Transport from a family small business carting sheep and cattle to and from farms, saleyards, feedlots and abattoirs, to a fleet of 70 predominantly Kenworth and Western Star prime movers carting a wide range of agricultural products across the nation.
It was an emotional moment when Kevin invited Gavin to the stage to accept the honour and say a few words before ALRTA President Scott McDonald congratulated Gavin and presented him with the Life Membership plaque amid the enthusiastic acknowledgement of the audience.
Gavin expressed his gratitude for the unexpected award and spoke highly of the valuable life-long friendships he had made with transporters right across Australia through active participation in the LRTAV and the ALRTA.


ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro, attended a Surface Transport Roundtable in Sydney Chaired by Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Catherine King MP.  The Meeting was also attended by the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Senator the Hon Carol Brown.
ALRTA advised Minister King and Assistant Minister Brown about the dire skills and labour shortage affecting rural transport. We remain critically short of:

  • Truck drivers
  • Forklift drivers
  • Schedulers/logistics professionals
  • Diesel motor mechanic
  • Fitter (general)
  • Automotive electrician
  • Welder (first class) metal fabricator

ALRTA proposed that, at the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit to be held 1-2 September and Chaired by Prime Minister Albanese, the Federal Government adopt a clear policy goal of truck driving becoming a competency-based skilled profession with a career path able to commence from age 16.
Adopting this policy would coordinate separate work that is progressing to establish a 2 year truck driver apprenticeship, a move towards competency-based truck driver licencing (rather than age/time progression) and upgrading truck driving into a skilled occupation category to facilitate skilled migration visas.
In addition, ALRTA proposed rationalising driver infringement penalties (to remove or reduce fines for non-safety related matters), as well as improving infrastructure related to rural roads, driver amenities and communications infrastructure – so we can improve ‘life on the road’ to attract new drivers and increase retention rates.


Austroads has released a consultation regulatory impact states (C-RIS) proposing changes to the National Heavy Vehicle Driver Competency Framework.

Four key areas of change are proposed:

  • Managing individual driver risk ensuring eligibility only for drivers without serious driving offences.
  • Strengthening skill and knowledge making competency requirements specific to each licence class, setting minimum course length, and recognising the extra skill needed to drive the most complex vehicles.
  • Embedding behind-the-wheel experience requiring minimum behind-the-wheel time pre-licence and supervised driving sessions post-licence.
  • Introducing experience-based progression options enabling those drivers who can demonstrate driving and work experience to progress to higher licence classes more rapidly.

The C-RIS is out for comment until 28 October.

ALRTA will consider the proposals and provide an industry response. Please contact your State Member Association to provide input on this issue.

Alternatively, you can:

Register here for an online webinar to be held on 14 September 2022.
Download the C-RIS here.


The proposals supported by Ministers for reforming the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) have been released.  The proposals were developed by independent consultant Ken Kanofski after extensive government and industry consultations over recent months.
Some of the key proposals include:

  • Raising general access from GML to CML, 19 to 20m length and 4.3m to 4.6m (subject to a RIS).
  • The object of the law to continue to include productivity.
  • The law will be risk-based / outcomes based.
  • More detail will be lowered to regulations and codes of practice.
  • Adopting a Tasmanian-style access system.
  • Exploring a business case for opening up as-of-right key parts of the National Road Transport Network is proposed.
  • Improving PBS.
  • More flexibility for the fatigue general schedule including a 10hr break reset option.
  • Possible expansion of fatigue laws to include all 4.5t+ vehicles.
  • BFM and AFM will essentially be merged – operators that can demonstrate better risk management systems will get more flexibility.
  • Fatigue record keeping will be moved to regs to make it easier to change the prescriptive requirements (there will be incentives to adopt EWDs).
  • Fatigue enforcement to focus on immediate risks, not historic offences.
  • Regular review of penalties and enforcement practices – likely a new approach to overall risk profiling and lower/removed penalties for minor offences.
  • New fitness to drive requirements.
  • A singular voluntary accreditation system run by NHVR.
  • A national audit standard.
  • Operators can rely on official networks maps rather than gazette notices.
  • Improved tech and data standards.
  • New head of power to establish Heavy Vehicle Safety Obligations.
  • A new power for prescriptive requirements and specific offences for off-road parties.
  • Monthly rego charges to be considered by all jurisdictions.
  • Delegation of powers to the NHVR Board and a review of the Board skills mix.
  • Codes of practice to be developed by the NHVR rather than industry.
  • Vehicle classifications to be moved to regulations.
  • A legal requirement for NHVR to consult industry.

 ALRTA looks forward to participating in work to progress the proposals.
Check out the full set of proposals here.


Proway’s Bill Thomas and LRTAV’s Trevor Fry were recognised for their contributions to the rural transport industry at the ALRTA-LRTAV Combined National Conference Gala Dinner on 13 August 2022.
Bill Thomas was named the winner of the 2022 Shane Knight Memorial Award, presented by Shane’s wife, Jeanine. Jeanine said she was privileged to present the award which recognized a commitment to safety to Bill, who had worked alongside her late husband for many years with a united vision for the industry.

Former LRTAV Executive Committee member Trevor Fry was recognized for his 27+ year commitment to the association and was named an LRTAV Life Member.

Merv Hughes and Trevor Fry at the 2022 LRTAV Gala Dinner


A Message from the NSW Chief Animal Welfare Officer (courtsey of DPI NSW).

In May 2022, an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) was reported in Indonesia. Spread of this outbreak into Bali was confirmed in July 2022. FMD affects all cloven-hooved animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, camelids and deer.

Strict quarantine, surveillance and biosecurity conditions are in place to prevent FMD entering Australia. 

It is critical that all livestock owners in Australia know what FMD looks like, and that they check their animals regularly for any unusual signs of disease. Signs of FMD may include lameness or reluctance to walk, fever, salivation (drooling), reduced appetite, and blisters may be present in and on the mouth, hooves (at the top of the hoof or between the toes, and on the heels), and teats of female animals. If you suspect any signs of FMD it must be reported to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 or a local veterinarian immediately. 

More information on FMD, updates on NSW preparedness and answers to commonly asked questions can be found here:


ALRTA congratulates the following officer bearers elected at the LRTAV AGM on 13 August 2022:

  • President: Russell Borchard
  • Vice President Livestock: Wayne Beer
  • Vice President Bulk: Angus Karger
  • Treasurer: Alina Hawkins
  • Secretary: Graham Howell

Former LRTAV Vice President Alan McKenzie was elected as ALRTA Treasurer the previous day.


ALRTA National Council met in Bendigo Victoria on 12 August 2022. The agenda included important issues such as biosecurity, harmonisation of  livestock loading schemes and an effluent code of practice. Council also developed a strategic plan for 2022-23 and agreed on an enhanced role for the ALRTA Executive in managing ALRTA governance.
ALRTA National Council will next meet face-to-face in Melbourne in October 2022.  For more details please contact the ALRTA Secretariat via  


LRTAWA (WA) – 3 September 2022 – Industry Day – Burswood on Swan – Perth WA – Registration