ALRTA News – 22 September 2023


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Welcome to my weekly update. 

Consultation on HVNL reform is ongoing with the Consultation RIS (C-RIS) expected to be released in a couple of weeks. This will be a significant submission as the government has indicated they are seeking to undertake a Decision RIS (D-RIS) and issue drafting instructions by April 2024. This short timeframe is due to several factors, pressure to finalise the review and the impacts of caretaker modes of both Queensland and (speculated) Federal elections. 

Sue Davies has been participating in sessions with the NHVR regarding the review of the Master Code. I also met with Chris Hogarty from NTI about this issue last week, as well as the review of the Livestock Assist program, the Effluent Code Training Program and next steps in developing a biosecurity truck wash standard.  

Earlier this week I met with Kerry HannahSharon White and Jacob Wright from Lowes regarding their partnership agreement. It was a very positive discussion. The Lowes team advised they have a new team member joining next week who would focus on their Cards Program. ALRTA will facilitate the opportunity to do a virtual workshop with the team early in 2024, so watch this space.  

On Wednesday I participated in my first ATA Council meeting here in Canberra. It was great to put some faces to names and participate in the discussion. Duncan Gay and Sal Petroccitto from NHVR came to discuss their current program of work and how the regulator and industry could work more productively together. There were fruitful discussions on the Closing the Loophole Senate Inquiry (and the ATA submission), National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy (NFSCS) review and Safer Freight Package and Autonomous Vehicles. There are opportunities for ALRTA to provide feedback and the secretariat will continue to work with the ATA to do so.  

(Courtesy ATA): NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto, NHVR Chair the Hon Duncan Gay AM, ATA Chair David Smith, ATA CEO Mathew Munro

Speaking of submissions, over the comings weeks I will be drafting a submission to the Closing the Loophole Senate Inquiry and the National Freight and Supply Chain Review.  

Today the Driver and Animal Welfare Committee met to discuss Heavy Vehicle Rest Areas, Effluent Code Awareness Campaign and Infrastructure, and Biosecurity.  Dawn Lowe of Animal Angels provided a report on animal welfare in saleyards. I am meeting with Andrew Henderson from SAFEMEAT next week to discuss the fit to load declaration proposal. Sue has been working with Sharon Dundon from MLA regarding revised load densities and we will have an update regarding this in due course.  

Next week is set to be a busy one, I’m looking forward to travelling to Townsville to attend the LRTAQ Conference and meeting some more of the membership. From the look of the weather forecast, it’s going to be considerably warmer than Canberra! 

Until next week. 



In the wake of R U OK? Day it may be timely to talk about building resilience in the heavy vehicle transport industry.

Resilience has been defined as “the ability to adapt and thrive despite experiencing adversity”. Professional driving in the heavy vehicle industry is by nature a lonely activity. Loneliness and depression are among the most common concerns reported by drivers.

Given the number of hours they spend on the road and some of the remote locations they drive through, professional truck drivers may have to act as first respondents to road incidents.

The National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP) has developed a Toolbox Talk and supporting resources as a package for flexible delivery in a transport business.

This package contains:

  • A generic overview of Toolbox Talk Discussion and how it can be applied to work driving safety, including a step by step process to assist team leaders/managers and facilitators to lead a Toolbox Talk discussion.
  • Aid for the promotion of discussion
  • Topic background information and fact sheets, posters, PowerPoint slides and videos.
  • Discussion prompt sheet.

You can download the Toolbox Talk resources from the NRSPP website here


The NHVR recently added a new recruit to their heavy vehicle road safety campaign that reminds drivers, cyclists and pedestrians that we all need space to keep safe on the road.

Rugby league legend Sam Thaiday is helping the NHVR to spread this important safety message because even though on the field the opposition may not need space, on the road, trucks sure do!

You can watch Sam’s safety tips on YouTube here.


The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is warning that extreme heat could hit this spring and summer.

After months of anticipation, BOM has confirmed the world’s most consequential climate driver, the El Niño weather pattern, is active over the Pacific for the first time in eight years, and a “positive” Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), has also developed. 

The onset of the two major climate events means the remaining months of 2023 in Australia are likely to be hot and dry, particularly in the eastern states.

Combined with the background warming of climate change, Australia could be in for a summer of severe heat with an increase in fire danger and extremely hot days.

The ABC is helping prepare communities for an increase in fire and weather activity during the spring and summer months with an emergency information campaign across radio, online and social media. Audiences will be reminded of the ABC’s role as an emergency broadcaster and the support it provides to affected communities.

This includes the ABC Emergency website, which has important information including:

  • How to prepare for bushfires, floods, storms, cyclones and heatwaves.
  • Easy to follow guides on packing an emergency survival kit and safeguarding your home.
  • A link to set your local ABC Radio station in ABC Listen and find your nearest radio frequency.

You can also check out NTI’s tips on preparing a plan for severe weather here.


  • LRTAQ – 28-29 September 2023 – The Ville Resort, TOWNSVILLE – QLD
  • LBRCA – 23-24 February 2024 – WAGGA WAGGA NSW