ALRTA NATIONAL SPONSORS
ATA IN CRISIS TALKS WITH DEPUTY PM
The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) board was in crisis talks with the Deputy Prime Minister on Thursday morning following the collapse of an interstate agreement aimed at speeding the flow of freight.
Despite a National Cabinet agreement last week on a protocol for moving freight across borders and screening truck drivers for COVID every seven to 14 days, state governments have imposed inconsistent and unachievable testing requirements and failed to provide the necessary testing facilities.
COVID-19 OPERATIONAL PROBLEMS
ALRTA has participated meeting of industry representatives and Federal and State Governments to identify operational problems with current border crossing protocols and to consider possible solutions. The meeting followed on from the ATA Board’s crisis talks with the Deputy Prime Minister.
Prior to the meeting, ALRTA spoke with our state member associations who are speaking daily with concerned grass-roots members around Australia. There is widespread concern about the inconsistent, unclear and constantly changing ‘nationally consistent’ COVID-19 testing protocols.
Some of the industry concerns put to governments during the meeting include:
- National protocols are welcome, but these must be consistent and able to be complied with.
- A risk-based approach is sensible, but states are interpreting risk differently.
- Asymptomatic drivers who are required to be tested are being turned away.
- Isolation rules for asymptomatic persons who have been tested are unclear.
- Testing and isolation rules for drivers who do not cross borders are unclear.
- There is no cross-border recognition of tests or communication of testing results.
- There is no standard mechanism for communicating to enforcement officers that a test has occurred while the driver is still waiting for results.
- There are insufficient testing sites, poor choice of locations, poor access for heavy vehicles and inadequate hours of operation.
- Some testing locations are mixing asymptomatic and symptomatic persons (presenting for testing is a transmission risk in of itself).
- Testing requirements are impacting on driver fatigue and animal welfare.
There are however some good news stories. Some testing sites are working well and would be a good model for duplication in other parts of Australia.
So far, the requirement to have a COVIDSafe plan (scrutinised by health officials) to obtain a cross-border permit is working well with no evidence of transmission by freight drivers. This brings into question the need for blanket testing of all freight drivers – it may be better to undertake random sampling of freight drivers to provide ongoing assurance that the current approach is working and to discourage drivers from working when symptomatic, while at the same time providing free, accessible testing for all drivers who want to be checked regularly and voluntarily.
Only if random sampling indicates an emerging problem, should blanket testing be necessary.
ALRTA and other industry representatives have proposed a range of solutions to address the problems identified during the meeting. Industry, via the ATA, is also developing a handy reference table clearly showing the requirements in each jurisdiction which will be published and maintained.
If you are experiencing operational problems with the COVID-19 testing requirements or border permits, please contact the ALRTA Secretariat or your state association so we can document the problems and endeavor to improve the situation.
BORDER CROSSING REQUIREMENTS
The NHVR is maintain an online register of border crossing rules in each jurisdiction. To get the latest click here.
LISTEN TO LRTAQ GIVE EVIDENCE TO INQUIRY
Last week, LRTAQ President, Ian Wild, and LRTAQ Vice President, Mark Collins, gave evidence to the Senate Inquiry into the Road Transport Industry.
Click the image below to listen to the recording.
GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT INCENTIVES
Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme
The Australian Government is guaranteeing 50 percent of new unsecured loans to small and medium sized enterprises. Loans can be up to $1m over five years and used to fund a range of business investments including working capital.
For more information click here.
Instant Asset Write-Off
The $150,000 instant asset write off has been extended until 31 December 2020.
Under instant asset write-off eligible businesses can claim an immediate deduction for the business portion of the cost of an asset in the year the asset is first used, or installed ready for use.
Instant asset write-off can be used for:
- multiple assets as long as the cost of each individual asset is less than the relevant threshold
- new and second-hand assets.
It cannot be used for assets that are excluded from the simplified depreciation rules.
The instant asset write-off eligibility criteria and threshold have changed over time. You need to check your business’s eligibility and apply the correct threshold amount depending on when the asset was purchased, first used or installed ready for use.
For more information click here.
Eligible trucking businesses are currently able to deduct the cost of depreciating assets at an accelerated rate. In the first year that an asset is first used or installed, you can generally deduct at least 50% of the asset cost. There is no limit on the cost of the asset or the number of assets.
- If you are a small business with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $10m (and using simplified depreciation rules) you can deduct an amount equal to 57.5% of the business portion of a new asset.
- If you have an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500m, you can deduct 50% PLUS the amount of the usual depreciation deduction that would otherwise apply but calculated as if the cost or adjustable value of the asset were reduced by 50%.
For more information click here.
ALRTA recognises the role of the Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, the Hon Scott Buchholz MP, in championing these investment incentives.
PACCAR AUSTRALIA EMPLOYS MORE LOCAL MANUFACTURING STAFF
In a boost for Australian manufacturing and the local economy, PACCAR Australia is in the process of recruiting more than 120 people for its Bayswater manufacturing facility. Customer demand for trucks has driven the need for increased truck production in the coming months, resulting in growth in the factory workforce and related engineering and administrative support at its head office in Melbourne.
NHVR TRUCK DRIVER INFORMATION DAY
A burglar broke into a home.
He heard a soft voice say, “Jesus is watching you.” Thinking it was his imagination, he continued his search.
Again, he hears: “Jesus is watching you.”
He turned his flashlight around and saw a parrot in a cage.
He asked the parrot if he was the one talking. The parrot said, “Yes.” So he asked the parrot his name, and the parrot replied, “Moses.”
The burglar asked, “What kind of people would name a parrot Moses?”
The parrot replied, “The same kind of people who would name their pit bull, Jesus.”
ALRTA STAFF AVAILABILITY AMIDST COVID19
From 24 March 2020 the ALRTA staff – Mathew, Sue, Colleen and Jack have been working from home amidst COVID-19. We are gradually coming back into the office with only one staff member present at a time.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Colleen on the ALRTA mobile 0490 515 681 or Mathew (ED) on 0421 082 489.
UPDATE ON EVENTS FOR 2020
LRTAQ (QLD) on 19-21 March 2020 at Roma QLD. – CANCELLED for 2020
LTAT (TAS) on 2 May 2020 in Hobart TAS. – POSTPONED
LRTASA (SA)on 12-13 June 2020 at Adelaide Entertainment Centre SA. – CANCELLED for 2020
LRTAWA/ALRTA (WA & National) on 24-25 July 2020. Perth WA.- CANCELLED for 2020
LRTAV (VIC) on 14-15 August 2020 at All Seasons Resort Bendigo VIC – CANCELLED for 2020