ALRTA News – 6 October 2023


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It’s been another busy week at ALRTA following a very successful LRTAQ conference in Townsville last week. I really enjoyed meeting members and partners face to face, engaging with industry is critical to ensuring ALRTA’s advocacy efforts are on point and informed.  

The team and I have been busy preparing for National Council next week which has a jampacked agenda and will be hosted in Melbourne near the airport.   

Critical issues such as: 

  • Road Access 
  • Phasing out of Live Sheep Export by Sea 
  • Biosecurity (developing a National Truck Wash Standard)  
  • Loading Densities  
  • ALRTA involvement in SAFEMEAT 
  • Effluent Code of Practice and how to best communicate with other parties in the chain. 

One issue front of mind is the government’s proposed IR reforms, particularly “Closing Loopholes Bill”.  The Senate Committee conducting the inquiry commenced public hearings this week.  With ATA appearing on Tuesday in Sydney and LRTAWA appearing today in Perth. At the ALRTA we are finalising our submission as we were granted a short extension and expect to appear at the public hearing slated for late November in Canberra.  This gives members and the ALRTA time to sharpen and prosecute our arguments regarding our concerns to relevant stakeholders.  

On the office front, I’ve started turning my mind to how we can demonstrate the value of rural transport to the economy and our regions, in dollar figures, jobs and community engagement.  Watch this space. I’ve also started working on our communications and advocacy strategies, including the website and communications channels we use.  

I’m looking forward to travelling to Melbourne next week where I will meet face to face with our National Partners PACCAR and Cummins. Plus catch up with some government department stakeholders and industry representatives. 

Until next week. 



The LRTAQ is supported by ALRTA Vice President Athol Carter in calling for Type 1 Road Trains to have access to the abattoirs in Rockhampton and Townsville 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

Athol Carter, ALRTA Vice President at the LRTAQ conference, Townsville (photo courtesy Queensland Country Life)

It is clear that the current curfew regime on routes to JBS and Teys in Rockhampton and JBS in Townsville is inefficient and leads to a loss of the productivity gains that can be achieved when using high productivity vehicles and road train combinations.

Quoted in a recent article in Queensland Country Life, Mr Carter said his primary concern is about driver safety and animal welfare as transporters have to leave trailers unattended during the day, and then cross load those cattle without any facilities at Gracemere, to then do two to three trips to town, depending on the configuration. 

“That can add anywhere from two to three hours (on to the trip) depending on traffic conditions and how many trailers they have,” he said.

The Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Queensland has been lobbying to allow B-Triple access through Rockhampton since Bryson Mayne died in August 2014 while de-coupling a road train at Gracemere.

A spokesperson is quoted as saying that TMR provided access to road trains along sections of the Bruce Highway to assist industry, however, hours of access were restricted during peak periods when high traffic volumes occur.


Last week, the federal government decided to increase the width limit for trucks fitted with a number of safety features from 2.5m to 2.55m which will allow for wider electric vehicles to be imported from the EU and the US.

Federal Assistant Transport Minister Carol Brown also announced that a number of safety devices and sensors will be able to be fitted to trucks without counting towards the width and length measurements.

Read the Safer Freight Vehicles media release here.


An updated draft of AS 7531 Rolling Stock Lighting and Visibility is available for public consultation until Friday 27 October 2023. Interested parties are being encouraged to provide comments on the draft document.

In response, Improve Train Lighting and Level Crossing Safety Group spokeswoman, Lara Jensen, is calling for the standard to be strengthened and to be mandatory for all train operators, to make the intersection of rail and road transport safer.

The group has called for better lighting on locomotives and wagons, specifically mandatory flashing beacons and side lighting, better colours and more conspicuous markings on trains and more visible wagons, with reflectors as well as side lights installed on both passenger and freight trains.

You can read the draft standard here.

And make a submission to the Rail Industry Safety and Standards (RISSB) in an email to Carly Wilson, Standards Development Manager, RISSB –

The National Level Crossing Safety Strategy 2023-2032 is available here.


To support the road freight industry to transition to zero emission vehicles, TfNSW is enabling access to the NSW state road network (noting exceptions such as load limited bridges) for the additional masses required for zero emission heavy vehicles, which weigh more due to their batteries. 

This will be introduced as a two year trial and provide access for zero emission vehicles with up to 8 tonne on a single steer axle and up to 18.5 tonnes on the drive axle, where the overall gross vehicle mass (GVM) of the prime mover does not exceed 26 tonnes.

The trial will enable broad access to support transition to EVs and provide the evidence-base to inform ongoing access and management of the network. 

At this stage, access is not available to assets owned or maintained by third party or local road managers. TfNSW said they will be working to progressively increase access.

You can download the NSW policy here.


  • LBRCA – 23-24 February 2024 – WAGGA WAGGA NSW
  • LRTAQ/ALRTA National Combined Conference – 21-22 March 2024 – TOOWOOMBA QLD