What is the Effluent Code?
In general, a code of practice is a way to share industry knowledge and experience about how to work safely. The Effluent Code is the short name for the Registered Industry Code of Practice (RICP) – Managing effluent in the livestock supply chain, an industry code of practice that is registered with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).
The Effluent Code is a practical guide that assists livestock transporters and off road parties to comply with their primary duty and other duties under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). It describes the controls that parties in the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) can implement to minimise the risk of livestock effluent spillage in transit.
Who developed the Effluent Code?
To develop the Effluent Code the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) consulted with a wide range of representative stakeholders, including livestock producers, transport operators and drivers, vehicle manufacturers, agents, saleyards, feedlot managers, processors, regulators, animal welfare advocates, government agencies and the community. The ALRTA collaborated with a stakeholder working group and NHVR Code Advisors, to register this Industry Code of Practice.
What risk(s) does the Effluent Code address?
When livestock are transported by road effluent is an unavoidable by-product. Livestock effluent spillage has the potential to impact the safety and amenity of road users and of residents in local communities. The Effluent Code focuses on measures to eliminate or minimise the risks of livestock effluent loss into a road corridor.
What it means for parties in the livestock supply chain
Transporters rely on other parties to prepare livestock for transport, provide them with accurate information and assist with the disposal of livestock effluent produced during the journey. Under the HVNL, failure to eliminate or minimise livestock effluent spillage would be a breach of the primary duty – a duty that applies to all parties in the CoR. The recommendations in the Effluent Code will assist parties to ensure the safety of their transport activities “so far as is reasonably practicable”.
Off road parties, including receivers of livestock, such as farms, livestock agents, feedlots and abattoirs, are able to influence effluent management through their operational activities and demands on livestock transporters, as well as through the provision and management of ancillary infrastructure, such as livestock effluent disposal facilities.
Publication of the Code does not impose any new legal duties on any party, but it is expected to raise awareness and influence the actions of all parties in the livestock supply chain.
What it means for livestock drivers and transporters
The Effluent Code assists transport operators and drivers to meet the loading requirements of s111 of the HVNL. It may also serve as a guide for training or as a point of reference for entities involved with livestock transport when negotiating how to share responsibilities.
Benefits of adopting the Effluent Code
In line with the objects of the HVNL, some of the potential benefits of adopting this code include:
- improved safety for all road users.
- improved animal welfare outcomes.
- improved public amenity.
- reduced risk of environmental damage, including the spreading of weeds, pests and disease.
- improved health and safety of workers involved in livestock handling.
- ongoing community support for the livestock industry.
The importance of implementing a risk management process
The Effluent Code recommends the use of a Safety Management System (SMS) to integrate all elements of risk management into a single system. See the NHVR website for more information about implementing an SMS or contact your state work health safety regulator for advice about risk management.
How the Effluent Code will be used by compliance officers and courts
The Managing Effluent in the Livestock Supply Chain RICP is freely available to all heavy vehicle operators and supply chain parties and, like any Registered Industry Code of Practice, can also be used in court as evidence of known risks and control methods.
Authorised officers and investigators may use an RICP to determine whether noncompliance incidents detected on the road have a root cause in actions of parties in the CoR. An RICP may also be referred to when issuing an improvement notice or prohibition notice.
Where to read the full document
Download the RICP Managing Effluent in the Livestock Supply Chain (Effluent Code) from the NHVR website here: www.nhvr.gov.au/safety-accreditation-compliance/industry-codes-of-practice/registered-industry-codes-of-practice
The NHVR relies on advice from industry participants to inform future development of industry codes and welcomes your feedback, addressed to The Manager, Codes of Practice at email@example.com. If you have any questions about the Effluent Code, contact the ALRTA Secretariat by telephone on 02 6247 5434 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Risk management controls proposed in the Effluent Code
The following pages detail the controls described in the Effluent Code for specific transport activities. The controls are recommended as best practice but are not mandatory. Consider the activities that you have responsibility for, and/or may influence, and implement controls that are reasonably practicable for your circumstances.
☐ Choosing a livestock transporter
☐ Preparing livestock for transport
☐ Forming contracts
☐ Choosing and managing a livestock transport vehicle
☐ Planning and scheduling the journey
☐ Loading livestock
☐ Transporting livestock
☐ Livestock transport training and driver monitoring
☐ Managing livestock transport destinations (farms, saleyards, feedlots, abattoirs)
☐ Assurance activities