ALRTA News – 3 November 2023


ALRTA and PowerTorque magazine are once again searching for a star, a

Rural Transport Rising Star for 2024.

The award is proudly supported by ALRTA National Partner bp, and is an initiative to celebrate and reward the young people building the rural transport industry of the future.

The award will be presented at the LRTAQ/ALRTA Combined Conference in Toowoomba on March 21 2024.



Another busy week in here in Canberra! 

The week kicked off with a meeting with Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds (HHTS) to foster collaboration to deliver critical mental health training and support to industry. It was great to reconnect with Melissa Weller, Director Industry Relations and Program Management.  We will seek to host an Accidental Counsellor workshop at the ALRTA LRTAQ Conference in March 2024.  

Sue and I participated in the second National Truck Wash Subcommittee meeting.  The guide is progressing well with next meeting set for two weeks’ time.  ALRTA will seek alignment to national biosecurity priorities and funding opportunities to support the development and promotion of the guide once finalised.  

I was elected to the Executive Committee of the ALRTA Building this week and am meeting with other EC members next week.   

Elanor and I were busy this week meeting with national partners and potential partners.  It was heartening to see the value our partners place on supporting ALRTA.  Repco is pleased with how the partnership is going and look out for Christmas specials including a ‘Truckie Pack’. 

I participated in a workshop with NHVR regarding proposed changes to Vehicle Inspection requirements.  There is a proposal to introduce inspections of heavy vehicles to promote better safety outcomes.  I put forward the position on behalf of ALRTA that the ROI on increased regulatory burden versus safety needs to be clearly defined and quantified before further steps are taken.  

A big shout out to Alina Hawkins, Chief Operating Officer of LRTAV for travelling to Canberra this week to support ALRTA advocacy efforts regarding the proposed reforms under the Closing Loopholes Bill.  Thank you to Alina for sharing her experience appearing before Remuneration and Safety Review Tribunal (RSRT).  As the most urbanised country in the world, it is imperative that ALRTA continues to represent the views of regional and rural carriers, ensuring our voice does not get lost in urban centric public policy debate.  We had two opportunities to meet with Senator David Pocock.  The first being as a member of COSBOA and the second as part of a community roundtable, where over 80 persons from across industry bodies, peaks and union representatives.  It was apparent there is large disconnect between the desired outcomes fo the proposed reforms and the unintended consequences.  The question asked consistently throughout the day was, ‘What is the problem the Government is trying to solve?’  ALRTA has asked for an exemption for rural and livestock carriers. 150 government amendments are being presented to the House on Monday 6 November. Expect an increased amount of public discord as these amendments are debated in the House.  

COSBOA Closing Loopholes Stakeholder Roundtable at Parliament House 

It was also great to catch up with Kate Carnell, Former ACT Chief Minister who went on to be the inaugural Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO). 

Rachel Smith, Executive Director ALRTA, Kate Carnell and Alina Hawkins COO LRTAV

I wound up the week travelling to Melbourne to participate in a workshop with National Transport Commission (NTC) on the C-RIS Consultation for Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) reform.  After many years of consultation on these reforms, there is no surprises in terms of what is proposed.  Considerations for proportionality of infringement actions and fines, vehicle heights and lengths and fatigue management. I discussed the need to link productivity uplift with any proposed reforms paritcularly with regard to height, length and mass requirements. 

NTC HVNL C-RIS Consultation Workshop

I am off to Hobart for the Tasmanian Transport Awards this weekend and also the Transport Women Australia Ltd (TWAL) luncheon, thank you again to Michelle for the invitation.  

Until next week!  



Australia’s fire and emergency services aim to provide timely and relevant information during emergencies.

The way the Australian Warning System displays incidents has changed. There is a new national approach to information and warnings during emergencies like bushfire, flood, storm, extreme heat and severe weather. The System uses a nationally consistent set of icons.  If you live in a Bushfire risk area, you may already be familiar with the new warnings – they were implemented across bushfire agencies in the lead up to the 20-21 Fire Season. Over time, the new system will be used for more types of incidents in more places around the country.

Refer to the up-to-date traffic maps available from each state for information about current incidents.


Bushfires can threaten suddenly, so be always ready to act.

Where possible operators should avoid travelling in flood and fire affected zones, however, if required be aware of local emergency access arrangements.

The NHVR may exempt a heavy vehicle from a prescribed requirement if the vehicle is being used in an emergency (for example, a fire, explosion or natural disaster):

  • to protect life or property.
  • to restore communication or the supply of energy or water or services.

More information about what to do if your journey is impacted by an emergency is on the NHVR website here.


A Regulatory Advice (RA) was published by the NHVR on 24 October 2023 talks about Local Government as a party in the CoR.

The RA provides examples of council services that rely on the use of heavy vehicles and provides information about  local government’s legal obligations as a CoR party.

Read the RA on the NHVR website here.


To get the most out of your tax in 2024, check out the myDeductions tool in the ATO app. It’s an easy way to store your records and receipts on the go, simply by snapping a photo.  

Find out more on the ATO website.


  • 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