ALRTA News – 27 October 2023


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It was another busy week here in sunny (but chilly) Canberra.

During the week I attended Fiona Simson’s (Immediate Past President of National Farmers Federation, last press club address.  It was great to hear about the work that NFF has achieved under her stewardship.   I must admit I took down some notes to see how we can continue to grow ALRTA’s sustainability and relevance in the coming years. 

Fiona Simon, Immediate Past President NFF

I also participated in the ATA General Council Corporate Governance and Competition Law Training. It was an interesting session and provided an introduction into some of the governance issues of industry associations and flagged some emerging issues that we as an industry should be across including psychological safety, cyber security and changes in addressing (or the definition of?) sexual discrimination.  I highly recommend, Councillors, if given the opportunity again to please put your hand up to participate.

On Thursday I attended the Council of Small Businesses of Australia (COSBOA) AGM and Council Day.  I unfortunately did not get elected as a Board Director (they’ve asked me to renominate next year) however, I have been asked to get involved in the Industrial Relations Expert Panel and Jobs and Skills Expert Panel.  Working collaboratively with COSBOA on key issues will assist in elevating our advocacy efforts and provide more access to key decision makers when required.

Matthew Addison, Chair COSBOA

Acting Productivity Commissioner, Alex Robson discussed the economy and pressures on increasing productivity.  This included embracing technology, looking at different workforce mixes and the challenges of Australia’s inherent service based economy.  Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, the Hon. Clare O’Neill attended via videoconference to provide an update on the Government’s latest announcements to prevent and reduce the impacts of cybercrime and ransomware attacks in Australia. 

Alex Robson, A/Productivity Commissioner

Sam Elsom, Federal Political Reporter for the Australian provided an informative presentation on the post referendum landscape and what we can expect from the government over the next 12 to 18 months leading up to the next election.  The Australian public can continue to see the government push its emissions reduction initiatives and there will most likely be a greater focus on productivity and cost of living.

Sam Elsom, Federal Political Reporter 

The COSBOA dinner was held that evening and was attended by Senator David Pocock, I managed to snag a photo with David (my mum is a massive fan and he played rugby with some mates of mine from school) but also to talk further about the proposed Closing Loopholes IR changes.  I will be attending a community roundtable with Senator Pocock next week to discuss these looming reforms.

Senator David Pocock and Rachel Smith, Executive Director 

ALRTA will be submitting its submission to the Closing the Loopholes inquiry today with a view to securing a place at the face-to-face hearing in Canberra on 22 November.
The COSBOA event provided an opportunity to meet with some potential sponsors and I’ve started a dialogue with a bank regarding doing some research into the economic value of small business in regional communities.  In addition to this, I’m looking at some national partners that can support our members to run their business, finance software etc.  Watch this space.

Luke Achterstraat, CEO COSBOA, Rachel Smith, Executive Director ALRTA and Matthew Addison, Chair COSBOA

The team have been working hard in the background.  Sue and I have identified some potential effluent disposal sites which could meet the requirements under the HVSI grant and have reached out to relevant councils.  I met with Graeme Hoare and John Beer on Heavy Vehicle Rest Area Steering Committee and John will provide an update to the next Driver and Animal Welfare Committee.
Sue has a meeting with a graphic designer next week to assist in designing collateral for the Effluent Code Education Campaign (with potential for future engagement on projects) and Elanor has been investigating some CRM and Website solutions. We think we have found a winner so will participate in a 60-day trial and assess if it meets the organisation’s requirements.
Next week I’m travelling to Melbourne for a face-to-face workshop with NTC on HVNL, an industry briefing with the Hon. Catherine King as a guest of DP World and then off to Hobart for the Tasmanian Transport Industry Gala Dinner and Awards, thank you Michelle Harwood for the very kind invitation.
Until next week!


Federal Minister for Transport, the Hon Catherine King MP recently announced that six projects will share in $2.8 million under Round 1 of the Research and Innovations Grants component of the Regional Australia Level Crossing Safety Program (RALCSP).

The grants support research and trials of low-cost, innovative level crossing safety improvements including rumble strips, flashing posts, solar powered wireless technology and data monitoring.

For more information see the Minister’s media release here.


Recently the NHVR Standards and Advice team & Codes of Practice Manager spent 3 days engaging with industry to understand the issues faced when transporting livestock. The team visited Roma Saleyards, Frasers Roma Transport Terminal, Dalby Saleyards, Grassdale Feedlot & Martins Depot Oakey and were Joined by Athol Carter, Graeme Hoare, Ben Fuller, John Rogers & Tammie Swalling.
The NHVR Standards and Advice team are seeking assistance in developing a new Livestock Regulatory Advice.
The purpose of this Regulatory Advice is to raise awareness among parties in the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) who participate in the movement of livestock about how to manage the safety of their transport activities and their legal obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).
The Regulatory Advice seeks to alleviate confusion surrounding how the HVNL and CoR obligations relate to livestock movement, and the associated facilities, as well as how shared responsibility applies between CoR parties.

Peter Rouse – NHVR, Athol Carter – ALRTA Vice President, Sophie Moore – NHVR, Ben Fuller – Mort & Co Transport (Photo and story supplied by LRTAQ)


Funding to support community events, training initiatives, community infrastructure, and development and learning initiatives that assist people to prepare for future droughts effectively is being made available through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund’s Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Imitative. Community based organisations across remote, rural and regional Australia are encouraged to apply.

Applications are now open for grants of up to $20,000 or $50,000 and close on 14 November 2023. A second round will open for applications in February 2024. 

For more information including eligibility criteria and how to apply visit the Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal website.


Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is installing a number of machine learning traffic counting and classifying cameras across the state. The units have radar sensors and cameras capable of taking high-definition pictures of heavy vehicles.

TfNSW says the technology will be used to better understand freight movements, inform long term transport network planning and to provide assurance that heavy vehicles are on the routes they are meant to be on.

Artificial intelligence within these units can tell the difference between different types of heavy vehicles, for example, a container carrying heavy vehicle, B-Double or Semi-trailer and then classify the vehicle and cargo in transit. They offer visibility on what heavy vehicles are using the roads and how.
You will find the new cameras installed at:

  • Harley Ave, Mount Victoria
  • Darling Causeway, Mount Victoria
  • Great Western Hwy, Little Hartley
  • Castlereagh Level Crossing, Dunedoo.

TfNSW says the cameras will not be used for enforcement or for monitoring people or private vehicles.

For more information see TfNSW freight hub .


  • LBRCA – 23-24 February 2024 – WAGGA WAGGA NSW
  • LRTAQ/ALRTA National Combined Conference – 21-22 March 2024 – TOOWOOMBA QLD
  • LRTASA – May 31 – 1 June 2024 – ADELAIDE SA