ALRTA News – 5 February 2024

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Lowes Petroleum

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ALRTA Executive Director Update

Welcome to my weekly ED update.  Last week was busy with a lot of travel and stakeholder engagement. 

I caught up with Gavin Hill, General Manager Strategy and Delivery with Telematics Certification Australia (TCA).  We discussed the National Automated Access Scheme (NAAS) and HVNL reform, particularly regarding the collection and use of telematics data. Development of NAAS is continuing however, industry consultation is ongoing.  I advised the the system needs to be easy for operators and drivers to use, needs to be real time (or as close to real time as possible) and needs to increase industry productivity. Gavin will be presenting as part of a panel at the LRTAQ ALRTA Conference in Toowoomba.

I participated in a stakeholder roundtable with MLA on the National Livestock Identification Scheme (NLIS), there is still a significant program of work to undertake.  It was disappointing that some of the livestock carrier requirements have been deprioritised to ‘nice to have’ in the first phase, this will change in subsequent releases.

Divall’s Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage Museum

A big thank you to Bec Coleman, LBRCA for driving me to the Transport Women Australia Ltd (TWAL) event at Divall’s Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage in Goulburn on Wednesday evening.  Thank you to Andy Divall for hosting, it was a fun event! I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about their driver training programs and seeing how they have increased young and female participation in the transport industry.  I even got to jump in the driver simulator I did not do too badly, although I definitely need a booster seat!

Thursday was a big day, I travelled to Bendigo to participate in a Heavy Vehicle Roundtable hosted by Senator Bridget McKenzie, with Kevin Keenan and Alina Hawkins, LRTAV.  It was a highly valuable session discussing key industry issues such as: road funding and the state of the roads, workforce shortages, payment terms, heavy vehicle rest areas, level crossings and the HVNL review.  Senator McKenzie intends to host more stakeholder roundtables in the future which will provide a valuable engagement opportunity for industry.
Thank you to Mat Munro, ATA for inviting me to be part of the Trucking Australia 24 Program Committee, the agenda is set to be an exciting one. Watch this space as the program is confirmed!

Friday National Council met to discuss key policy and advocacy issues such as Closing Loopholes Bill before parliament, road funding and telematics plus general operational matters including existing and potential national partner agreements.  I’m looking forward to having Council in Toowoomba ahead of the conference in March. Thank you to Council members for taking time out of your busy schedules to attend Council on Friday, your feedback and guidance is appreciated.

I also had the opportunity to engage with the Department of Home Affairs via Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) on Friday regarding incoming Cyber Legislative reforms.  There will be reporting requirements for small business as part of the next tranche of reforms related to the reporting of when payments are made in the event of ransomware event.  More details to follow.  I suggested the government may need to investigate the cost of cyber insurance for businesses and how they can support small businesses meet their growing insurance costs.  Cyber and the protection of Critical Infrastructure Assets is an area to watch and key focus of the current Home Affairs Minister, Clare O’Neil.

I am looking forward to a week in Canberra this week, particularly with Parliament reconvening on Tuesday for 2024.  The government is facing significant community pressure on cost of living, so will be an exciting couple of weeks as they attempt to implement measures to provide relief.

On Saturday I am off to Shepparton for the NRFA conference, if you see me there, please make sure you say hi!

Don’t forget to register for the Lowe’s Webinar to see how you can maximise your benefits as a member of ALRTA across their offering. 

Until next week!

National Level Crossing Safety Strategy Released

Each year, people continue to lose their lives or are injured at Australia’s level crossings causing significant impacts on individuals, communities and businesses. Record investment in rail and road infrastructure, combined with growing passenger traffic and freight demand, is continuing to increase interactions at level crossings.

In 2023, Lara Jensen, representing 12 families who are campaigning for improved train lighting and passive level crossing safety, contacted ALRTA President Scott McDonald. ALRTA wholeheartedly agreed to join the campaign.

This strategy represents a commitment to reducing the incidence of fatalities and injuries across Australia’s level crossings.

The vision is zero harm at Australia’s level crossings.

Find out more.

ATA calls for $5 billion to fix freight roads

ATA is calling for the Australian Government to invest an extra $5 billion over ten years to fix freight roads, dangerous level crossings and to build more rest areas for truck drivers,.

Read the ATA’s 2024-25 pre-budget submission.

The submission argues that Australia must also invest in developing a defined all-weather network, with a supporting secondary network pre-approved for use, in the wake of road network closures due to fires, floods and crashes.

Western Queensland Road Closures

Due to major flooding, the following roads are currently closed: 

  • Flinders Highway between Cloncurry and Julia Creek (due to flooding Gilliat Channels).
  • Landsborough Highway between Winton and Cloncurry.
  • Wills Developmental Road from Julia Creek to the Burke and Wills Junction.
  • Burke Developmental Road from Normanton to Karumba.

Take care and please avoid any unnecessary travel at this time.

For the latest information and updates about road conditions, check here: QueenslandNew South WalesVictoriaSouth AustraliaWestern AustraliaTasmania

An honest day’s work at Fraser’s Livestock Transport

ROADBOSS has captured the blood, sweat and tears involved in transporting 600-odd head of cattle more than 800km from Central Western Queensland to a feedlot near Dalby – all in a day’s work for ALRTA member, Fraser’s Livestock Transport.

Check out some of the stunning photos taken by Sam Thies for this feature story here.

Tyres & Wheels Heavy Vehicle Toolbox Talk

The National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP) has released another Toolbox Talk including supporting resources, this time with a focus on tyres & wheels.

Appropriately maintained tyres & wheels play a critical role in road safety given they’re the only part of the vehicle in contact with the road surface.

Find out more.

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
  • LRTAWA – 3 August 2024 – WA
  • LRTAV – 16-17 August 2024 – SHEPPARTON VIC