ALRTA News – 3 March 2023


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The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has responded to an Inquiry into the implications of severe weather events on the national regional, rural and remote road network.  The Inquiry is being undertaken by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Development, Infrastructure and Transport following a referral from the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Catherine King MP.

The terms of reference for the Inquiry include:

  • Road engineering and construction standards required to enhance the resiliency of future road construction;
  • Identification of climate resilient corridors suitable for future road construction projects;
  • Opportunities to enhance road resilience through the use of waterproof products in road construction;
  • The Commonwealth’s role in road resilience planning; and
  • Any related issues.

ALRTA National Council considered the terms of reference at a meeting on 17 February 2023. It was also important for Council to consider the nexus with a separate National Transport Commission consultation paper proposing to increase heavy vehicle charges between 6 – 10 percent annually for the next three years.

The ALRTA submission makes 11 recommendations as follows:

Recommendation 1: That Australian Governments increase the proportion of road funding spent on maintenance on national regional, rural and remote roads.

Recommendation 2: That Australian Governments fast-track work on road funding and supply-side reform to provide improved equity and certainty for local road managers in regional, rural and remote areas.

Recommendation 3: That Australian Governments ensure that road funding and supply-side reforms consider road quality objectives such as safety and economic utility, as well as whole-of-life infrastructure costs. 

Recommendation 4: That technical specifications for road base construction materials be reviewed and revised towards an outcomes-based model.

Recommendation 5: That the application of ‘green’ road surface emulsifications be abandoned pending a review of their effectiveness. Traditional tar-based products should instead be used.

Recommendation 6: That Australian Governments place greater emphasis on road drainage maintenance and clearance of problematic vegetation.

Recommendation 7: That road construction contracts are awarded only to accredited construction professionals with a greater focus on value for money and quality outcomes, as opposed to meeting minimum standards at the lowest cost.

Recommendation 8: That Australian Governments cooperate in planning and working towards improving the resilience of the Australian road freight network.

Recommendation 9: That the Australian Government allocate and emergency funding package totalling nearly $5.5 billion, including:

  •  A one-off injection of $1 billion over four years directed at regional road and infrastructure reconstruction for councils impacted by flooding and other natural disasters to ensure the rebuild is to a standard more resilient to future disaster events;
  • $800 million a year over four years for the Roads to Recovery Program;
  • $300 million a year over four years to address first and last mile freight productivity; and,

Targeted funding through the Roads of Strategic Importance program to improve the long-term climate resilience of freight networks.

Recommendation 10: That expenditure related to bushfire or flood damage be identified and quarantined from the cost-base applicable to heavy vehicles. Natural disaster related road expenditure must be a whole of community responsibility.

Recommendation 11: That heavy vehicle registration and Road User Charges be increased by 3 per cent in 2023-24, 2024-25 and 2025-26.

A copy of the ALRTA submission can be found here.


The Albanese Labor Government has today launched a consultation process to phase out live sheep exports by sea. In making the announcement, Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Murray Watt, named a panel to oversee the consultation process including:

  • Phillip Glyde – Former Murray-Darling Basin Authority CEO (Chair).
  • Heather Neil – Former RSPCA CEO.
  • Sue Middleton – WA rural advocate.
  • The Hon Warren Snowdon – former Labor Federal Minister.

LRTAWA and ALRTA participated in an online meeting with Minister Watt prior to the announcement, who assured participants that the ban will not take effect during the current term of Parliament and that sheep exports by air and live cattle exports are not included.

ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro, and Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry, Senator the Hon Murray Watt

The terms of reference for the consultation process include:

  • how the government should phase out live sheep exports by sea
  • the timeframe to implement the phase out
  • how the phase out will impact exporters, farmers and other businesses across the supply chain
  • support and adjustment options for those impacted by the phase out
  • opportunities, including options to expand domestic processing and increase sheep meat exports.

The consultation paper can be found here.  Comments are due 31 May 2023.
The Nationals Pledge to Reinstate Live Export
Separately, Leader of The Nationals, David Littleproud MP has made support for a future Coalition government contingent on reinstatement of the live export trade. Mr Littleproud has also extended an invitation to all crossbencher wanting to learn more about the trade to join him on a tour of the supply chain and facilities in WA. The invitation has been accepted by independent Senator David Pocock.

Farming Bodies to Boycott Consultation
In a joint letter to Minister Watt, 25 peak farming bodies have said that the proposed live export ban is a “red line that can’t be crossed”. The group has cited the loss of 3,000 jobs in WA and the empowerment of animal activists as key reasons for their opposition. Many have vowed to boycott phase out consultations. Signatories include the National Farmers Federation, Australian Live Exporters Council, Sheep Producers Australia and Australian Lot Feeders Association.

Industry Practices Demonstrably Improved
Since 2017, the live sheep export sector has overhauled practices. Mandatory reporting to parliament demonstrates that mortality rates on voyages have dropped by three quarters to 0.21 per cent.
Legislation Required to Implement Ban
Banning the trade cannot be done via export control orders because the industry has had a long-term permanent presence. Any new legislation entering the current Parliament is likely to require the support of several crossbenchers.  However, there are some Liberals including Sussan Ley, Sarah Henderson and Jason Wood have previously supported a ban (however Ms Ley has since reversed her position in light of improving industry standards).

ALRTA Position and Approach 
ALRTA will participate in the consultation process while remaining opposed to the ban. We will highlight impacts on the road transport sector and adjustment options, including compensation. 


The national greenhouse gas inventory quarterly update indicates that Australia’s emissions increased by 300,000 tonnes last year. While electricity emissions are falling due to more renewable energy coming online, agriculture and transport emissions are increasing.
The longer-term picture is however more positive. Australia’s overall emissions are now 21 per cent below 2005 levels (the base reference year under the 2030 Paris agreement).


Last year, an investigation found a company, managing director and scheduler failed to manage driver fatigue, speed and compliance with work and rest hours. The NHVR prosecuted these breaches in a sentence appeal at the New South Wales Supreme Court, where the company received a $180,000 fine, and the managing director and scheduler were each fined $15,000.

This case was significant as it is the only judgement of a superior court on the primary duty under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

In response to feedback from industry, the NHVR has released case learnings on the matter, which includes guidance for schedulers, operators and employers on how to meet their primary duty requirements under the HVNL.

Click here to read the case learnings

A special NHVR presentation on the case learnings will occur at next week’s LBRCA conference.


Australia’s leading specialist insurer, NTI, has announced its acquisition of the Australian Logistics Council’s Master Code auditing service, with plans to enhance its capabilities.
ALC’s Master Code Auditing Service (AMCAS) helps businesses to put in place safety management systems to support compliance monitor the safety of transport activities across the supply chain, including retailers, producers, suppliers, distribution centres, and logistics companies.
Chain of Responsibility (CoR) systems audit all aspects of business, including management and culture, timeframes, and loads.
The full media release can be found here.


LBRCA – 9-11 March 2023 – TAMWORTH NSW – Information & Registration
ATA TRUCKING AUSTRALIA 2023 – 29-31 March 2023 – SUNSHINE COAST QLD – Information & Registration
LRTASA – 16-17 June 2023 – Adelaide Entertainment Centre SA
LRTAWA/NATIONAL Combined Conference – 4-5 August 2023 – BUSSELTON – WA.
LRTAV – 11-12 August 2023 – BALLARAT – VIC
LRTAQ – 28-29 September 2023 – The Ville Resort, TOWNSVILLE – QLD