ALRTA News – 24 November 2023

Thank you to ALRTA National Partner NTI


A researcher from the Queensland Brain Institute working to find a treatment for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) will receive a grant funded through a record-breaking vintage truck raffle.

Funds for the 2024 NTI MND Research Grant were raised through raffling a restored hot-lava orange 1950s Chevrolet truck, named Daphne.

The truck was the sixth vehicle to be restored and raffled by Australia’s largest specialist insurance provider, NTI, and brings the total raised by the organisation for MND research to $2 million over six years!

Find out more

ALRTA Executive Director Update

Welcome to another ED update. I’ve now been in the role officially for three months, time flies when you’re having fun as they say!  

This week Sue, Athol, Adam (NTI) met with Anthony Germanchev, Executive Director of National Bulk Tankers Association (NBTA) regarding their telematics project being delivered under HVSI funding. They are using telematics data to identify rollover hot spots and drive conversations with government regarding road design and funding. ALRTA has agreed to share data and learnings from our own telematics project, although our telematics data is designed to inform driver behaviour to increase safety outcomes. Watch this space for the outcomes, there will be mutual benefits in sharing our collective learnings to increase driver safety, influence driver behaviour and inform advocacy to governments. I’ve also invited Anthony to present at ALRTA LRTAQ National Conference in March 2024 on his project and findings.  

I participated in ATA National Council meeting on Wednesday. It was great to reconnect with other industry representatives and share collective learnings and goals. It was particularly interesting to hear from Tony McMullen, CEO and Mark Hammond, Chief Technical Officer with Truck Industry Council (TIC) on decarbonisation in the transport industry and the mix of technologies, existing and in development, that will assist in the industry decarbonising. This presentation was supported by media coverage this week noting that Australia will not achieve its 2030 net zero targets through electrification alone.  

Paul Walsh, CEO of Industry Skills Australia (ISA) also presented on the objectives of Jobs and Skills Australia and how ISA is working with industry to developing training to meet the transport industry’s current and future requirements. Paul and I will catch up in coming weeks to discuss the specific needs of rural transport and industry led initiatives in this space.  

Rachel Smith, Executive Director and Sue Davies, Project Officer

On Thursday Sue and I travelled to Bendigo for the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) Updates event. It was great to hear LRTAV COO, Alina Hawkins present as part of a panel on eNVD requirements and broader issues faced by producers and the meat industry. Sue and I took the opportunity to discuss the ramp standard and requirements under the Effluent Code of Practice. The LBRCA (Livestock Bulk Rural Carriers Association) Glove Box booklet was extremely popular.  

Alina Hawkins, COO LRTAV on panel for eNVD

There were many questions from the audience and attendees around the announcement of the phasing out of live sheep export by sea. Mark Harvey-Sutton from Australian Live Export Council (ALEC) was on hand to answer some of the curlier questions.  

Penned sheep at MLA Updates 
Rachel Smith, Executive Director, Alina Hawkins, COO LRTAV and Sue Davies, Project Officer

I met with Dr Carol Sheridan, Assistant Secretary of Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment on issues pertaining to animal welfare and upcoming review of Animal Welfare Standard. There will be opportunities for ALRTA to engage in the consultation process, in a targeted manner in addition to public consultation forums. Watch this space.  

I’m in the last stages of finalising ALRTA submission to the HVNL (Heavy Vehicle National Law) review and then will start working on ALRTA submission to the ANZSCO review into truck driver classification and potential for inclusion on skilled migration list.  

Next week is the last full sitting week of the year, i.e. both House of Representatives and Senate, so is set to be a busy week with IR, release of prisoners following High Court review and cost of living pressures.  

Until next week! 


Operation Forager – police & NHVR focus on fatigue 

A national operation to combat fatigue related heavy vehicle crashes, Operation Forager, commenced on Monday November 20, and will run for four weeks across NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, ACT and TAS.

The joint operation is being run to raise greater awareness about the importance of managing fatigue when driving and providing information across the heavy vehicle industry in regard to on-road compliance and staying safe on the roads during the busy holiday period.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto OAM said heavy vehicle driver fatigue is one of the three biggest killers on our roads and the NHVR is reminding drivers to ensure they are well rested before setting out on their journey this holiday season. 

NHVR Chief Operations Officer Paul Salvati said NHVR on-road officers will be patrolling locations frequented by long haul intrastate and interstate heavy vehicles across the country.

“With the road toll in almost every state and territory still too high, the safety of all drivers on the road is our number one priority,” Mr Salvati said.

“As part of our inform, educate and enforce approach we are working with industry to raise better awareness of the extreme risk that fatigue presents” he said.

You can read the media release in full here.

Changes to federal funding of local roads & bridges 

Infrastructure Minister Catherine King recently announced that the Roads to Recovery program, that invests in councils’ local roads programs to improve safety and productivity, will rise from $500 million to $1 billion per year and that Black Spot funding will increase from the current annual commitment of $110 million to $150 million per year.

“We are also committed to delivering the funding local councils need to improve road safety and in a way that reduces the burden on them, allowing more money to be spent on projects and less on administration,” Minister King said

Labor will also merge the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP) and the Bridges Renewal Program (BRP) into a new Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program.

King said the changes have been recommended by the Independent Strategic Review of the Infrastructure Investment Program and the increases in funding will be phased in over the forward estimates to avoid putting pressure on inflation, supply costs and the construction labour market.

You can read Minister King’s media release in full here.

$25,700.00 Raised for the Royal Flying Doctor Service in WA

ALRTA is excited to announce that our combined national conference charity auction held in Busselton WA this year raised $25,700.00 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service in WA.
A huge thank you to our amazing and generous members, and ALRTA National Partners NTIPACCAR & Dealer Industry FundRepco Commercial and Cummins for donating items to be auctioned, and helping us make this fundraiser a success.
ALRTA is proud to support the Royal Flying Doctor Service in WA, who help 26 patients each day receive lifesaving aeromedical care, across more than 2.5 million square kilometres of WA.

Do you know an Icon of the Road?

Do you know an Icon who has worked in our industry for more than 25 years? Someone who loves to get behind the wheel of a Kenworth, and has helped make your business great and our livestock and rural transport industry a success?

Let’s give our Icons some well-deserved recognition. Nominate them here or find out more here.

Read about our first Icon of the Road – Graham (BINKY) Simpson here.

Save the dates for 2024

  • 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