RURAL TRANSPORT RISING STAR AWARD
ALRTA National Partner bp and Media Partner PowerTorque, in association with ALRTA, is presenting the first ever Rural Transport Rising Star Award at the LRTAWA/ALRTA Combined National Conference in Busselton this year.
This is an initiative to celebrate and reward the young people building the rural transport industry of the future.
Find out more and nominate here
FEDERAL BUDGET HIKES CHARGES
The Federal Budget included news the road user charge rate for heavy vehicles will increase by six percent per year over the next three years.
The Budget was handed down on Tuesday night, with the following decision:
“The Government will increase the Heavy Vehicle Road User Charge rate from 27.2 cents per litre of diesel by six per cent per year over three years from 2023–24 to 32.4 cents per litre in 2025–26. This will decrease expenditure on the fuel tax credit by $1.1 billion over four years from 2023–24″.
The federal government says the charge will contribute to road maintenance and repair.
ATA Chair David Smith says the government needs to get the balance right.
‘The Australian Trucking Association has always accepted that it must pay its fair share of road maintenance and improvements.
But the basis of determining that fair share, the so-called PAYGO system, is broken.
Road user charge reform is desperately and urgently needed.’‘
DISMAL DOLLARS IN BUDGET FOR RURAL ROADS
Three peak bodies representing famers and transporters have raised concerns about the lack of sufficient additional funding in the Federal Budget to address the perilous state of flood impacted rural roads.
In the lead up to the Budget, GrainGrowers, National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) called for an emergency funding package of nearly $5.5 billion, a call the Government answered with just $250 million in new funding.
“Given the scale of the damage facing regional Australia, the road funding announced last night was a drop in the ocean in terms of what’s needed,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.
GrainGrowers Chair Rhys Turton added: “While we appreciate the financial constraints facing the Government, the current state of the roads is driving up inflation and putting regional drivers at risk.”
One of the key concerns was the lack of additional funding for the Roads to Recovery program which supports the construction and maintenance of the nation’s local road infrastructure assets, representing 87% of the nation’s road network.
“This budget increases heavy vehicle charges by $742m over three years while returning just $250m in new road funding. It is a backwards step likely to fuel inflation and hinder freight productivity for years to come,” ALRTA Executive Director Mathew Munro said.
With the 90-day review into the Infrastructure Investment Program underway, the organisations reiterated the importance of regional infrastructure.
“Rural roads must not be left behind in Australia’s $120 billion infrastructure investment pipeline,” added Mr Turton.
“We invite those making budget decisions in Canberra to come and drive these roads so they can see just what state they’re in,” concluded Mr Mahar.
FEDERAL BUDGET REPLY SPEECH
In response to the Albanese Government’s Federal Budget, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has announced that a Coalition Government would wind back the six per cent annual increase in the Heavy Vehicle Road User Charge and introduce a levy on imported containers to sustainably fund Australian biosecurity measures.
These announcements have no immediate effect while the Coalition is in opposition, however, they will form an important part of Coalition policy heading into the next Federal election.
ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro, attended a Budget in Reply function this week, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Leader of the Nationals, the Hon David Littleproud, Shadow Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Development, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, Former Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Michael McCormack, Shadow Minister for Resources & Northern Australia, Senator Susan McDonald and Member for Braddon, Gavin Pearce.
ALRTA MEMBER FORUM ON EMPLOYEE-LIKE WORK
ALRTA held an online member forum this week to consider the proposals contained in a government consultation paper on ‘Employee-like’ forms of work and stronger protections for independent contractors. Later in the same day ALRTA participated in a meeting of ATA members on the same topic.
Next week, ALRTA will meet with the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations to clarify key proposals. Federal Senator Glenn Sterle, a champion of the reforms, will address ALRTA National Council next week. Following that discussion, ALRTA will adopt formal positions and lodge a submission in response to the consultation paper.
MLA FIT TO LOAD CHECKLIST
Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) has published a new Fit to Load resource in the form of a checklist.
The check list refers users to the ‘Fit to Load Guide’.
INDUSTRY ROUNDTABLE WITH SENIOR OFFICIALS
ALRTA has participated in a roundtable meeting with the Senior Officials’ Committee that supports the Infrastructure and Transport Ministerial Council. The primary topics discussed were decarbonisation and interoperability of rail systems.
OPERATOR & DIRECTOR PROSECUTED
The NHVR has prosecuted a logging company and its Director based in Tasmania, following pleas of guilty to serious offences under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).
An extensive investigation by the NHVR revealed ongoing fatigue breaches by the company. Over a 12-month period, the company had 251 fatigue-related breaches which were undetected by the company and Director. Due to the management of these practices, charges were laid under sections 26G and 26H of the HVNL.
The Tasmanian Local Court issued two Supervisory Intervention Orders (SIOs) worth $100,000 to the company and Director, requiring them to address their faults in fatigue management. The court also ordered a fine of $80,000 and issued the Director a fine of $8,000.
NHVR Director of Prosecutions Belinda Hughes said both outcomes are significant as they will help improve safety across the industry.
“Both the company and the Director must now engage an accredited training provider to receive training in key areas like applying a fatigue risk management system and then administer that system,” said Ms Hughes.
Read the full article
SAVE THE DATES FOR 2023
- LRTASA – 16-17 June 2023 – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, ADELAIDE SA
- LRTAWA/NATIONAL Combined Conference – 4-5 August 2023 – Abbey Beach Resort, BUSSELTON WA
- LRTAV – 11-12 August 2023 – Mercure, BALLARAT VIC
- LRTAQ – 28-29 September 2023 – The Ville Resort, TOWNSVILLE – QLD
SAVE THE DATES FOR 2024
- LBRCA – 23-24 February 2024 – WAGGA WAGGA NSW
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