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ALRTA RESPONDS TO AUSTROADS LICENCING PROPOSALS
The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has supported a single national approach to heavy vehicle licencing, including a shift to competency-based training and assessment. ALRTA articulated 26 recommendations in response to reform proposals contained in a consultation regulatory impact statement published by Austroads.
ALRTA National President Scott McDonald said that a uniform national heavy vehicle driver competency framework had potential to deliver safer drivers, sooner.
“It is well known that our industry is desperately short of skilled drivers,” said President McDonald.
“The current age and time-based licencing system denies eager young people a viable pathway into a driving career. In the majority states and territories, a person is not eligible to drive our most productive freight vehicles until they are 24 years old.
“By that time, most have pursued other career opportunities or settled into lifestyle patterns incompatible with the road transport industry.
“ALRTA is strongly supportive of the proposal to offer alternative licence progression pathways. By focusing on training relevancy, practical skills development, accumulation of real-world driving experience and more rigorous competency assessment, we can deliver better drivers faster compared with the current licencing system.
“That’s a good outcome for road safety, business productivity and career development.
“We do however need to be careful not to overcook the new system. ALRTA is opposed to measures that would delay the point at which young people can commence learning, or that close off a career path because of a relatively minor driving offence. Requiring all in-house driving supervisors to obtain a formal qualification, or introducing too many new licence classes, would similarly introduce unnecessary learning and progression barriers.
“A better system does not need to be more complicated,” he said.
REFORMING HORSE TRANSPORT STANDARDS
The ALRTA National Driver and Animal Welfare Committee will meet next week to discuss proposals to reform the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines – Land Transport of Livestock 2012 as it applies to horses.
ALRTA has previously lodged a submission containing 24 recommendations in response to a government discussion paper. A consultation regulatory impact statement (C-RIS) examining refined proposals has since been released.
Generally, ALRTA is supportive of improving horse transport standards. The C-RIS has accommodated most of ALRTA’s concerns about the early proposals, particularly in relation to watering systems, record keeping, heat stress, fit-to-load rules, mixed loads and use of restraints. However, the refined proposals relating to journey times, loading densities and animal segregation introduce new concepts that require further consideration by our national committee.
ALRTA will lodge a follow-up submission in response to the C-RIS in due course.
NEWELL HIGHWAY CLOSED FOR 2 WEEKS
Members are advised that the Newell Highway is now closed between Forbes and Back Creek. Extensive flooding means the closure may remain in place for up to two weeks.
With widespread flooding affecting major freight routes along the east coast, please regularly check up-to-date traffic maps, available here:
- ACT – https://www.cityservices.act.gov.au/roads-and-paths/act_public_road_closures
- NSW – https://www.livetraffic.com/
- QLD – https://qldtraffic.qld.gov.au/index.html or the Heavy Vehicle Restriction Report
- SA – https://www.traffic.sa.gov.au/
- TAS – www.transport.tas.gov.au/projectsplanning/road_closures_and_delays
- VIC – https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/newsmedia/2022/transport-alert-travel-impacted-around-melbourne
PBS CHANGES FROM 14 NOVEMBER
Members are reminded that the NHVR will soon introduce changes to the PBS system. These are:
- Removal of Operator Name – This means that the PBS approval will apply to the vehicle regardless of ownership status. Buyers will no longer need to apply for a transfer.
- Simplification of Spec Table – To reduce detail and documentation length.
Removal of operator name will apply from 14 November. A transition period will apply for the spec table to enable certifiers to modify their systems.
Find more information here.
FEDERAL BUDGET 2022-23: THE FACTS
The ATA has released a Federal Budget 2022-23 Fact Sheet.
To read about key announcements affecting road transport businesses click here.
TRUCKING AUSTRALIA 2023
Dust off your calendars! The dates for Trucking Australia 2023 (TA23) have been announced.
Save the date for TA23 from 29-31 March 2023 at the beautiful Novotel Sunshine Coast, QLD.
Join us as we discuss the industry’s biggest challenges and spark solutions to shape the future of our industry – all powered by you.
Watch this space for more updates – registration will open in November 2022.
SAVE THE DATES FOR 2023
LBRCA – 9-11 March 2023 – TAMWORTH NSW
LRTAQ – 16-17 March 2023 – TOWNSVILLE QLD