WELCOME TO 2022
Happy New Year to ALRTA Members & Partners
ALRTA acknowledges our National Partners for sticking by us during these unprecedented times, your partnership and support to our industry is invaluable and we are forever grateful.
ALRTA encourages all members to visit and engage with our National Partners.
ADBLUE CRISIS ABATING BUT MORE TO DO
ALRTA is pleased to report that the Adblue shortage appears to be abating with supplies returning in most areas, however high prices and quotas to prevent hoarding remain an issue. With support from the Federal Government, Incitec Pivot are now producing around 3 millions litres weekly, with supply prioritised for regional hotspots.
Incitec Pivot have deferred production of technical grade urea for now while imports are improving and the focus remains on Adblue production.
If you are experiencing local Adblue supply problems, please contact the ALRTA Secretariat via firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID WRECKS SUPPLY CHAINS
ALRTA is aware that the Omicron variant is playing havoc with our transport businesses and domestic supply chains. While Eastern states have removed (or are removing) permits and testing requirements and booster shots are being rolled out, there remains a critical shortage of rapid antigen test kits, a blow out in PCR test result timeframes, widespread staff absences and knock-on effects for transporters as processors are unable to maintain peak production.
A visit to my local Woolworths this week demonstrated that 70% of normal meat supplies were absent, and what remained was exceptionally expensive.
ALRTA is in regular discussions with Federal and State and Territory Governments to address these issues. Solutions proposed relate to prioritisation of RATs, practical isolation requirements for critical workers, no mandation of boosters, access to international drivers and competency based licencing (see next article).
Click here for border requirements.
NATIONAL CABINET REJECTS FORKLIFT OPERATOR AGE PROPOSAL
National Cabinet has rejected an industry proposal to reduce the age limit on forklift drivers from 18 years to 16 years. The proposal was taken to National Cabinet by Prime Minister Morrison as one of a number of options for reducing labour shortages in the face of acute supply chain shortages.
Given that 16 year olds can already ride motor cycles, drive cars and fly planes subject to strict requirements for training, supervision and demonstrating competency, it would make sense to establish a similar structured learning pathway for forklift drivers. Unfortunately, widespread politically motivated social media hysteria about ‘children driving forklifts’ appears to have scuttled the idea for now.
National Cabinet did however endorse proposals to move away from the current time-based heavy vehicle licencing system to an experience-based system. As we have long said, it’s not about how long you’ve had your licence, it’s about the time spent in the driver’s seat. There is some hope that an experience and competency-based system will deliver safer drivers sooner. However, given that there is already a related AustRoads project underway, and that any changes will need to be endorsed and legislated at the state level, we are likely some years away from meaningful changes.
Kudos to the Australian Trucking Association for ensuring these proposals were on the National Cabinet agenda.
MINISTERS PROPOSE 2.75% CHARGING INCREASE FOR 2022-23
Australian Infrastructure and Transport Ministers have proposed to increase heavy vehicle charges by 2.75 per cent in 2022-23. In order to balance business disruptions caused by COVID while aiming to move back to fair cost recovery, ALRTA had proposed an increase of 2.5 per cent in 2022-23, followed by two consecutive increases of 3.0 per cent.
Further decisions relating to National Transport Commission (NTC) proposals to refine the PAYGO charging model and enshrine multi-year price pathing have been postponed until the next Ministerial Council meeting, expected in early 2022.
The NTC will undertake further public consultation on the 2.75 per cent proposal.
LAND TRANSPORT OF HORSES
ALRTA is pleased to advise members that several highly concerning proposed changes to the Land Transport Standards for Horses will not proceed. Among these were proposals that would reduce maximum time off water from 24hrs to just 4 hours, prohibitions on assembling horses for loading above 27 degrees Celsius, a massive reduction in loading densities and requirements for onboard watering systems and active trailer ventilation.
ALRTA consulted members and advocated strongly against these proposals which were unnecessary and impractical. It is likely that maximum time off water limits will be set at 12 hours, with other concerning proposals abandoned or converted to guidelines.
There are however many other sensible changes likely to be imposed with the support of industry such as improvements to record keeping, fit-to-load, foal transport, prohibition on multi-deck transport, shoe removal and comfort in transit.
ALRTA expects that a decision regulatory impact statement will be released during 2022 with Australian Agriculture Ministers to consider endorsing a final position later in the year. Each state will then move to legislate the changes.
DONT #UCK WITH A TRUCK CAMPAIGN
The NHVR has launched a new major road safety awareness campaign titled “Don’t #uck With A Truck” targeting Learner (L) and Provisional (P) licence holders.
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the campaign demonstrates how L and P licence holders can drive safely around trucks, including rules to follow when trucks are turning, stopping and how to overtake a truck.
“The campaign is intentionally provocative and is designed to grab the target audience’s attention and start important conversations around road safety,” Sal said
Read more here.
REFORMS NEEDED FOR ELECTRIC TRUCKS
In an Australian first, the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) and the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) have collaborated to develop the policies necessary to drive Australian trucking into a bright electric future.
Electrification would assist trucking businesses and supply chains by ending volatile diesel costs, reducing maintenance costs, improving urban efficiency, and delivering better conditions for truck drivers. However, Australia currently lags most of the world in the electrification of trucks making the need for reform urgent. Of the 58 electric truck models available in North America, Europe, and China only 14 are available to the Australian market.
Key recommendations from the new EVC/ATA policy agreement include exempting electric trucks from urban curfews, changing Australian weight and width limits to accommodate batteries, and exempting electric trucks from stamp duty.
“Every government in Australia has committed to net-zero, but this can’t be achieved without decarbonising the transport sector,” Mr Jafari said.
“Curfew-free operations are a huge opportunity, creating benefits for operators optimising fleet operations and to the community through reducing peak hour traffic and congestion.
“We need the government to read these recommendations and get moving fast. If we implement them swiftly the benefits to Australian trucking, our economy, and our environment will be truly massive.
“The AdBlue shortage crisis was a potent warning about our extreme fuel insecurity. Why should Australia be dependent on China and the Middle East to keep itself moving when we could be using homegrown power? Being able to power our supply chains with local electricity is a surely a national sovereignty imperative.”
Australian Trucking Association Chair, David Smith says electric power will be a game changer for the industry.
“It costs about $117 to fuel a diesel truck for 300 kilometres, but just $18 for an electric truck,” Mr Smith said.
“If Australia gets left behind on the transition to electric and zero emission trucks, we risk our supply chains and exporters getting stuck with high, globally uncompetitive per km freight costs.”
“Trucking operators face a number of barriers to buy and use an electric truck and these must be addressed to lower freight costs, improve fuel security and reduce emissions.”
A full list of recommendations can be found here.
Register here to attend a briefing on the report.
LRTAQ YOUNG PERSON IN TRANSPORT AWARD 2022
Nominations are open for the LRTAQ Young Person in Transport Award 2022.
Do you know an outstanding young person working in the livestock or rural transport industry?
Nominate them for the 2022 LRTAQ Young Person in Transport Award and recognise excellence in our industry.
The finalists will be celebrated and the winner announced at the 2022 Annual Conference on 4-5 March.
We are seeking nominations of individuals who display pride and professionalism in their career, have a passion for our industry and have a strong desire to advance within it.
All roles within the livestock and rural transport industry are eligible to be nominated (for example drivers, mechanics, schedulers, administration officers, shed hands, managers – are all eligible for nomination).
LBRCA CONFERENCE POSTPONED TO 26-28 MAY 2022
Due to the continuing Covid-19 situation across the country, the LBRCA committee has made the decision to postpone the 2022 Annual Conference until 26-28 May 2022. The 3-day event was set to start on 10 February 2022 in Wagga Wagga NSW.
All registered delegates will automatically have their registration rolled over to the new event date. If this new date means that you won’t be able to attend please contact the LBRCA Secretariat and a refund will be arranged.
If you have secured accommodation through the conference provider Ozaccom, your existing booking will be automatically updated to the new conference dates. If you no longer require your accommodation booking for the new dates please contact Ozaccom on 07 3854 1611.
The LBRCA committee thanks everyone for their understanding and support in this difficult time.
If you have any questions please contact the LBRCA Secretariat on 0432 336 718.
LOWES INAUGURAL AWARDS
With more than 250 drivers delivering millions of litres of fuel every year to country Australia, regional fuel transporter Lowes Petroleum recognised their commitment to safety with the introduction of their inaugural professional driver awards at the end of 2021.
Lowes Petroleum’s General Manager of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Bernie Morris said the company had been looking for a way to acknowledge the professionalism of their drivers.
Mr Morris said when the company threw its support behind the Australian Road Safety Foundation’s, annual national awareness campaign, Rural Road Safety Month, the natural addition and next step was the inaugural award.
“Every day we are receiving comments from customers and the public to ‘stop and go’ traffic people about our driver’s professionalism and this was the perfect way to acknowledge this,” he said. “Often there’s a perception that driving on country roads has less risk: that perception is wrong. As many as 94% of Australians utilise rural roads at least once a year.
“Our professional drivers share these roads and often see first-hand, road safety complacency. Most people go to work every day in an office or controlled environment, whereas for our drivers their office is the roads and highways.
“A loaded B-Double can weigh up to 50 times that of the average car, so trucks take more distance to stop,” he said. “People overtake in situations they shouldn’t, even on double lines and they speed in conditions where the road has a number of hidden obstacles.”
Lowes Petroleum drivers commit to best-practice standards. The inaugural winners exhibited both a professional attitude and behaviours in every aspect of their job. They are highly regarded amongst peers and customers and are drivers who have gone above and beyond in their duties, as a driver and for the business.
With operations across Australia’s east coast and Tasmania, five awards were presented to drivers from the company’s key regional operations including: region 1 Far North Queensland, Townsville’s David Gibson, Western Queensland, region 2, Miles’ Wal Giddins, New South Wales, region 3, Dubbo’s Roger Hint, region 4, Victoria’s John Hotker from Horsham and region 5 Tasmania’s Graeme Stokes.
Collectively the drivers chalk up over 100 years of truck driving experience.
With three decades on the road, John Hotker said Lowes Petroleum drivers committed to not only delivering the fuel safely to primary producers and regional businesses but also being vigilant about tank safety.
Speaking for the winners, Mr Hotker said all the drivers developed relationships with their customers: from taking responsibility to ensure gates are opened, then closed properly to keep livestock safe to bringing in a few essential items to farms isolated by flood.
“The lockdowns of Covid made you really appreciate being on the open road. The fact we get to deliver to a variety of people, sharing the ups and downs of living in regional Australia: all the while getting a bird’s eye view of the country from my cab.”
READ MORE ABOUT THE WINNERS
MEETING NOTICE: ALRTA COUNCIL
Members are advised that ALRTA Council will next meet via Zoom on Friday 4 February 2022.
Please contact the ALRTA Secretariat via email@example.com for details.
SAVE THE DATES FOR 2022
LRTAQ (QLD) – 4-5 March 2022- Surfair Marcoola QLD – Information & Registration
LBRCA (NSW) -26 -28 May 2022 – Wagga Wagga NSW
LRTASA (SA) -17-18 June 2022 – Adelaide SA
ALRTA/LRTAV National Combined Conference -12-13 August 2022 – All Seasons Bendigo VIC