ALRTA News – 13 October 2023



Australia’s largest transport, shipping and logistics insurance specialist, NTI, is urging business owners and operators to heed warnings of a potentially catastrophic fire season and prepare now.

For the first time in eight years, the Bureau of Meteorology has declared Australia will feel the effects of both El Nino and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), meaning increased risk of extreme temperatures and less rainfall.

NTI’s Logistics Risk Engineer, Kurt Herron, said now is the time to assess and update emergency contacts and processes, and business continuity plans.

Find out more.


This week the team travelled to Melbourne for National Council, thank you to Councillors who attended in person or dialled in, I understand it is hard to juggle the pressures and time away from your businesses and families.  

Given the discussions at National Council there is an ambitious work program set for ALRTA including HVNL reform, Effluent Code and interactions with broader chain of responsibility, road access, development of biosecurity truck wash code (then standard) building on the Code developed by LBRCA, changes in loading density and increased focus on animal welfare.  

This is by no means an exhaustive list as the secretariat is also working on the broader organisational strategy including communications, advocacy, membership and workforce development. It is an exciting time for the organisation as we address some of these current and future challenges. But it will be a bit like how to eat an elephant, one bite at a time. Thank you to members and council for their continued support. 

Repco representative Mark attended National Council to discuss the Repco partnership and how members can leverage their member offer. Repco will work with ALRTA in coming weeks to develop collateral that will enable members and their staff (and family) access special national pricing across all the Repco / Napa portfolio. Please watch this space. 

Mark Koplin presenting to ALRTA National Council

This week the NTC (National Transport Commission) released the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (C-RIS) for the HVNL (Heavy Vehicle National Law) for response. Submissions are due from industry by 24 November 2023. I will be taking part in a face-to-face workshop in Melbourne on the HVNL C-RIS in Melbourne on 3 November. Key areas the C-RIS is focusing on is:  

  • Fatigue Management  
  • Approach to record keeping requirements 
  • Enforcement options and processes (i.e., Enforcement of trivial administrative errors etc)  
  • Access policy options  
  • Enhanced operator assurance (i.e., reducing audit duplication through embedding of audit requirements in regulation) 

This submission will require considerable input as it is the final opportunity to supply feedback before the D-RIS (Decision Regulation Impact Statement) process which is due to begin at the end of this year. Watch this space over coming weeks as I seek feedback on this important reform piece.  

Being in Melbourne I had the opportunity to catch up with some of our national partners. I spent some time with the team, Scott, Isabel and Rebecca from Cummins. It was great to hear about their program of work and how ALRTA and Cummins can continue to partner for the betterment of the industry. Scott reminded me they have a pool of free resources available including the Cummins App, to assist you with your Cummins fault codes, extended warranty information, news and more.  

I met with Ryan and Nicole from PACCAR, we had a fruitful discussion and brainstormed some ideas on how we can progress the interests of the industry including workforce development and improved understanding of the economic value of the rural transport.  Ryan took me on a site tour of the plant. It was great to see the full manufacturing process including how automation and robotics are used reduce margins of error and supply opportunities for more highly skilled roles.  

Rachel Smith, Executive Director ALRTA and Ryan Hooper, Marketing Manager PACCAR

Thursday morning, I caught up with Praveen Reddy, Executive Director of Freight Victoria, it was great to reconnect with Praveen as we worked extensively together when I was with ALC (Australian Logistics Council). There are some exciting initiatives being driven by LRTAV (Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria) working alongside Freight Victoria.  

Until next week! 



At the LRTAQ state conference in Townsville ALRTA Vice President Athol Carter spoke to Queensland Country Life about the challenges facing livestock transporters in managing effluent during road transport. He called for producers to implement curfews when preparing livestock for transport. Mr Carter also called for roadside effluent disposal facilities and more and better wash down facilities to manage biosecurity threats and help prevent the spread of weeds.

ALRTA VP Athol Carter at Roma saleyards with a biosecurity truck wash sign

You can read the article in ‘Queensland Country Life’ here. There is a Paywall.

The Effluent Code, a Registered Industry Code of Practice, was on the agenda at the state conference with a presentation about the Code, and the Chain of Responsibility, delivered by ALRTA Project and Communications Officer Sue Davies and Ray Hassall from NHVR.  


Two new online courses that will help Fleet Managers to manage their heavy vehicle fleets have been launched by Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA).

The “Load Restraint Fundamentals” and “Best Practice Tyre Management” interactive courses are now available on the HVIA Training online platform.

A launch special for all purchases before the New Year reduces the cost from $99 to just $29 per person. To claim the discount, use the code “HVSI” at the checkout.

Both courses are funded by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI), and supported by the Australian Government.


The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has prosecuted a company for a breach of primary duty after a vehicle veered across a road, collided with trees, rolled back to the centre of the road and spilled its cargo of live chickens onto a road in Cardigan, Victoria.

The NHVR laid charges against the company and its supervisor following an investigation from Victoria Police for failing to have procedures in place to assess, monitor and manage a driver’s fitness for duty, including providing adequate training to prospective and current employees.

Both the company and a supervisor from the company pleaded guilty to a category 2 offence for the February 2020 incident, under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

The Court convicted and fined the company $35,000, while the supervisor was fined $6,500. This fine was imposed notwithstanding the fact that the company had spent more than $200,000 on improvements within the company since the offence.

The Magistrate remarked that general deterrence remained a significant sentencing factor given public safety was put at risk.

NHVR A/Director of Prosecutions Elim Chan said the incident could have been far worse and that the driver was lucky not to have been seriously injured or killed in the accident.

“This prosecution sends a strong message that the courts will take breaching your primary duty seriously, to ensure the safety of transport activities,” said Ms Chan.

“Fatigue is an issue we are seeing having a big impact on drivers, resulting in serious injuries or death. Take your rest breaks – it’s just not worth the risk.”

Read more on NHVR’s website here.


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