ALRTA News – 12 February 2024

Thank you to ALRTA National Partner


Sentencing of a transport boss under Heavy Vehicle National Law is being described as “ground-breaking” by transport experts who warn it sends a strong message to executives across the country.

On 23 January 2024, the National Operations Manager of a transport company was sentenced to three years’ jail time, $100,000+ in penalties and costs, and a 12-month prohibition from acting in similar transport roles. It was in relation to a 2020 crash on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway which saw four police officers killed by a heavy vehicle being driven by an impaired driver.

It is the first time in Australia an employee of a company has been found guilty and sentenced of a category one offence, the most serious under Heavy Vehicle National Law.

Read more.

ALRTA pays tribute to Jack Evans

It is with great sadness, ALRTA informs its members that Jack Evans passed away earlier this year after a short illness. 

Jack worked at the ALRTA Secretariat for more than 30 years of service. Jack has worked with ALRTA in multiple capacities over the years, including as Finance Manager. 

Jack was a highly valued team member and industry contributor. ALRTA, our six state member associations, our grass roots members, and staff, recognise Jack’s dedication over three decades; he was integral to the progress of our industry. 

After leading the land transport division of the federal Department of Transport, Jack joined a Canberra-based consulting firm, Resolution, in 1987.

In late 1989, after the Grafton truck and bus tragedy, Jack was asked to chair a meeting of four trucking associations in an Ansett Airlines hangar at Sydney Airport.

“He was a very capable person who could be relied on to act impartially in what may well have proved to be a very antagonistic atmosphere,” the ATA’s corporate history recalled.

Jack told the associations at the meeting that the industry was not perceived as being serious about safety. He said it needed a co-ordinated approach. The result was the creation of the Road Transport Industry Forum, which later became the Road Transport Forum and then the ATA.

ATA CEO and former Executive Director ALRTA, Mathew Munro knew Jack well and worked with him at ALRTA for 10 years.
“Jack was a trusted adviser on organisational history, policy, finance and politics.  His ability to recall details was astounding. This extended into all areas of his life, including the key moments of cricket or soccer matches played decades ago,” Mathew said.

“With important roles in the Department of Transport, ATA, ALRTA and LBRCA, he devoted his working life to promoting a safer and fairer trucking industry,” he said.

Jack is survived by his spouse, Di, children John and Megan, and five grandchildren.

Jack’s family and friends will gather in Canberra on 16 February to celebrate his life. Email Mathew Munro, for more information.

ALRTA Executive Director Update

I will start my weekly update acknowledging the sad passing of Jack Evans.  Jack made enormous contributions to ALRTA over 30 years of service.  Our thoughts are with his family and friends.  A celebration of Jack’s life will be held in Canberra on Friday 16 February, Mat Munro CEO ATA can be contacted for details.

The first week of Parliamentary Sitting was eventful as expected with the Government managing to gain the support of both houses to pass their industrial relations reform, Closing Loopholes Bill.  There are some significant all of economy changes as a result and some specific to road transport.  Livestock transport will be exempt via regulations, ALRTA will negotiate with the Government as to the regulatory framework that defines livestock transport.  ALRTA will be hosting an all members webinar with IR Lawyer Richard Calver, on Tuesday 27 February 2024, please watch out for further details in next week’snewsletter. It is important to note, the legislation has been passed however, no detail has been released regarding the regulatory framework that sits below the legislation.  ALRTA will continue to proactively engage with the government on this important piece of legislation.

ALRTA Media Release can be found here.
The livestock exemption is a massive win for rural transport. Thank you for your support to get to this point.

I met with Gavin Hill and John Gordon from Transport Certification Australia (TCA) regarding the design and implementation of Heavy Vehicle Access Management System (HVAMS) and National Automated Access System (NAAS).  I will follow through with some questions for members regarding what members would like to see from the system, perhaps not in stage 1 but stage 2.  I provided feedback it needed to be real time, mobile accessible and ideally integrate with existing in-cab technology.  I did highlight systems need to be used friendly, and that an alternate route function would be beneficial, or prompts to assist in getting an ‘all green’ route.  Please watch this space. 

Sue Davies and I have been investigating some project ideas to apply for funding under the National Road Safety Program Initiative with National Meat Industry Training Advisory Council (MINTRAC) and HVSI grant funding in partnership with National Bulk Tankers Association (NBTA) regarding tyre pressure monitoring. It would be helpful to have a member who monitors tyre pressure to support this project, if you can assist, please email

Potential partnership discussions continue and I hope to be able to update members shortly new partnership agreements.

Speaking of partnerships, on Friday ALRTA hosted a members webinar with Lowes to discuss their member offering outside of their bulk fuel offer.  Thank you to the members that attended and Lowes for making time to connect with the membership base.

Senator Glenn Sterle at NRFA Conference, Shepparton

Over the weekend I travelled to Shepparton to the NRFA conference as an invited guest.  Presentations from Senator Bridget McKenzie, Senator Glenn Sterle, Sal Petroccitto CEO NHVR, the Hon. Sam Birrell MP Member for Nicholls and Deputy Nationals Whip and the Hon. Jenny Kathleen Aitchison, NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads

Industry Representatives Panel – Closing Loopholes 

There was a panel ‘Closing the Loopholes Bill – Industry Representatives’ with representatives from TWU, QTA, QRF, TTA, ARTIO, VTA and NFRA, this panel provided detailed insight into the aspirations of those involved in negotiating the Bill.  There was also a great presentation by Prof. Kym Hassall, CILT on heavy vehicle driver training and proposed training routes.

Michelle Harwood, LTAT and TTA

Michelle Harwood, LTAT and TTA, presented on some of the initiatives in Tasmania including driver welfare roadside program and HVAMS. Sal Petroccitto reflected on the first 10 years of HVNL and his time as CEO followed by Aaron de Rozario NTC presented on the HVNL Amendment and expected timeframes. It was a busy agenda and a lot of ground was covered, I will follow up with relevant Politicians and stakeholders with issues as related to ALRTA membership.

Another big week for Parliament this week and I look forward to providing an update on the happenings.
Until next week.

State of Australia’s Regions Report 2024

The Australian Government has released the 2024 State of Australia’s Regions report. This new report showcases data and insights on key issues and opportunities impacting Australia’s regions and supports the federal government’s commitment to targeted, effective and efficient regional investment that works better for people and for regions.

The report is structured under the four priority areas of the Regional Investment Framework – people, places, services, and industries and local economies.  

Read the full report here.

A random act of kindness

A grateful truckie has shared how a random act of kindness brightened up his day on a recent run to Adelaide from Sydney. 

Interstate driver Nick Fenton stopped at the BP in Wagga Wagga, NSW on Sunday – only to be told his coffee had already been paid for by an anonymous motorcycle driver.

Read the full story here.

Women in Transport & Logistics Eligible for Leadership Development Scholarships

Partial scholarships are available for women in the Transport and Logistics industry ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 per person, for one of four leadership and workplace skill development programs.

WLA Transport Logistics_Scholarships_Square image.png

These scholarships are aimed at encouraging more women to increase their impact at work, progress their career, and step into leadership roles. 

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