ALRTA News – 1 December 2023

Thank you to ALRTA National Partner
Byrne Trailers

Byrne Trailers is a proud Australian Family owned and operated business. Leading the way into the future in Livestock Transport design and engineering.

Visit the Byrne Trailers website.

ALRTA Executive Director Update

Welcome to another ED weekly update! It has been another busy week here in the office. 

ALRTA participated in a forum on HVNL review following NTC consultations.  The steering committee reported there has been delays in getting a package ready for Ministers to endorse ahead of the QLD elections next year (HVNL is legislated via QLD Parliament).  It is likely there will need to be an additional six months of consultation before the first stage of reforms is passed.  We are seeking clarity on what the work plan would look like and what support we can offer to progress these important reforms in a meaningful and impactful way.

It was great to meet with Veronique van Heeswijk, Senior Marketing Executive and Richard Hausmann, Cards Manager with Lowes. Both are fairly new to the business, Elanor and I are looking forward to working with them to maximise the benefits for both our organisations.  We discussed the upcoming conference schedule and opportunities to engage with members regarding their offering.  In February we will line up an online member meeting to provide an opportunity for members to learn about the full suite of Lowes offering including bulk fuel, lubricants and card offering.  Watch this space as we work through details.

I participated in a stakeholder session with National Coordination Mechanism, part of Emergency Management Australia (EMA), expertly facilitated by Joe Buffone.  I’ve had the privilege of working with Joe on many occasions to coordinate responses to weather events, COVID border restrictions, AdBlue and pallet shortages.  It was a large cohort however, I managed to ask about risk mitigating factors and highlighted the need for a national permit system, in the event of an animal disease outbreak and / or human pathogen (such as COVID) to ensure livestock keeps moving! 

Elanor and I met with a potential new partner this week, it was a very positive meeting, and we are both looking forward to working through the details to bring on this partner.

Wednesday evening was a busy one. I attended the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) networking drinks as a guest of their new CEO, Amy Crawford. It was great to see some familiar faces, Mat Munro, CEO of ATA, Sal Petroccitto CEO and Steve Smith, Manager Intergovernmental Relations, NHVR plus meet some new ones.

the Hon. David Littleproud, Senator Bridget McKenzie and Lydia Ciconte

I also attended the unveiling of a painting in Senator Bridget McKenzie’s office. Many representatives from red meat industry were in attendance including Alistair James, CEO of Red Meat Advisory Council.  There were many National Party Members and Senators including the Hon. David Littleproud, Senator Susan McDonald, Senator Richard Colbeck and Senator Anne Ruston.  The painting was commissioned by Senator McKenzie from Lydia Ciconte.  Lydia paints with her hands, doesn’t use tools or brushes, and depicted is a couple of high-country cattle.

It would be remiss of me to not mention, it was Sue’s birthday this week.  So we celebrated with a lovely lunch at the Canberra Yacht Club. 

I must say it was nice not to be travelling this week.  The next couple of weeks are looking to be busy, but always good to finish the year with a bang!

I’m looking forward to catching up with all the State Associations over the next two weeks and continuing planning the LRTAQ ALRTA Conference.

Until next week!

Famers back call for live sheep rethink

Farmers have backed in the WA Premier, Roger Cook, following his strongest comments yet calling on the Albanese Government to abandon its controversial plan to phase out live sheep exports by sea.

Speaking in the WA Parliament yesterday, Premier Cook said the ‘unnecessary’ policy should be reconsidered.

“We believe the welfare arrangements that are in place, the checks and balances that have been put in place as a result of the reforms around that are sufficient,” Mr Cook said.

National Farmers’ Federation President David Jochinke welcomed the support of the WA Premier in standing up for farmers and said it was time for the Albanese Government to listen.

“The evidence coming in continues to show there is no way to do this without destroying jobs, worsening welfare outcomes and testing our trading relationships.

“It’s appropriate now for the Albanese Government to say that putting an end date on the trade just isn’t responsible. The industry has improved and there is no longer a need for this policy,” Mr Jochinke said.

Read the NFF media release here.

Rural Transport Rising Star in the media

The inaugural winner of the Rural Transport Rising Star award 2023, Amy Throckmorton, Operations Manager for TGR Transport, was recently interviewed by Tim Giles from ALRTA’s media partner, PowerTorque, about her work in running a fleet of company trucks and subcontractors hauling various loads around the country.

In the PowerTorque article Amy talks about being constantly on the phone in this job and that she is able to work from home and says, “it’s fantastic!”. Amy also talks bout the ways in which she has coped with the challenges of her busy role and describes how her career in rural road transport has evolved.

Read the article here.

Amy Throckmorton at the LRTAWA/ALRTA Conference in Busselton WA.

A reminder: Nominations for the Rural Transport Rising Star Award 2024 are now open. Click here.

A snapshot of workers comp claims

Safe Work Australia recently published an interactive data set (based on the Beta Occupational Hazards Dataset analysis report) that shows road transport is an industry with a high rate of workplace injury incidents.

In the financial year 2021-22 the road transport industry had 4,477 workers compensation claims. On average the work category ‘truck drivers’ has the largest number of claims in Australia (4,787 annually). The median time lost has increased over the last 12 years from 5.8 weeks to 12.7 weeks, the median compensation paid in 2020-21 was $23,307.

You can get more details about the statistics on the Safe Work Australia website here.

While fatalities were largely attributed to heavy vehicle incidents, the most frequent injury mechanism for workers compensation claims was Body stressing (38.5% of claims) followed by Falls, slips and trips (26.5% of claims). Three percent of workers compensation claims in the road transport industry related to Mental stress.

If you’re a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) in road transport then it’s important to manage physical work health and safety risks around driving, loading and unloading and working around vehicles in general, as well as identifying and addressing psychosocial hazards – the risks to mental health.

Safe Work Australia has helpful information and resources on their website here. Or check out the guidance available from your state jurisdiction.

Farm safety online game for teens – ‘Calm Your Farm’ 

Adolescents are vulnerable to injury in the farm environment, frequently exposed to hazards not typically seen in the home. They are also often given on-farm work responsibilities, more and more as they get older. According to Dr Amy Peden, an injury prevention researcher at UNSW, teenagers are an underserved group when it comes to farm safety education which is often targeted to very young children or adults.

In a project supported by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, several universities joined forces to create an innovative solution to this problem – a free, online, interactive educational game called ‘Calm Your Farm’. The game enables teenagers to learn about potential hazards in the farm environment and ways to reduce injury risk.

‘Calm Your Farm’ is a curriculum-linked educational resource for the home and classroom, freely available online at This site includes information for parents and lesson plans for teachers.

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