ALRTA News – 21 June 2019

We would like to thank our National Sponsors for their support at our National Conference last week in Adelaide, SA

Your continued support is greatly appreciated.






ALRTA and LRTASA are pleased to advise that last weekend’s combined national-state conference was a resounding success. The program was well attended with more than 300 people joining us for Saturday’s Gala Dinner and live auction.

On Friday, delegates warmed up with 9 holes of golf at North Adelaide Golf Course before heading along to our National Sponsors Cocktail Reception at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.  After thanking Goodyear for the drinks package, National President Stephen Marley introduced the keynote speaker, Federal Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, the Hon Scott Buchholz MP.

Photo (L-R): ALRTA President Marley, Minister Buchholz, Mat Munro and LRTASA President Smith. 

Minister Buchholz spoke of his personal involvement in heavy transport and recognised the crucial role of road transport in rural and regional economies. He underscored the Coalition’s commitment to improving safety and productivity in a low red-tape and taxation environment.

Photo (L-R): PACCAR’s Anthony Spence-Fletcher demonstrates the T610SAR to Minister Buchholz. 

Over the remainder of the evening, President Marley individually thanked each of our other National Sponsors for their generous support of our national and state associations: PACCAR & Dealer Industry Fund, PACCAR Parts, NTI, Cummins, Byrne Trailers, BP and Lowes Petroleum.  The roving magician mystified many delegates and the SA crumbed lamb cutlets were sensational!

Saturday kicked off strongly with an opening address by SA Shadow Treasurer, the Hon Stephen Mullighan MP, followed by an informative panel session covering access, safety and welfare.  The SA Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government, the Hon Stephan Knoll MP, delivered an address immediately prior to the second panel session dedicated to the HVNL review.

Photo: Minister Knoll delivers a Conference Session keynote address.

ALRTA and LRTASA were honoured to mark the 100 year anniversaries of Cummins and BP with a ‘happy birthday’ surprise ceremony involving two very special (and delicious) commemorative cakes.

Photo: Scott Alexander and Yiling Chen cut the 100th birthday cakes. 

The afternoon was rounded out with a session dedicated to association projects relating to ramp standards, user-pay unloading frames, effluent disposal, an industry code of practice and our Federal Election activities.

Photo: Brian McArdle questions the HVNL Review Panel.

As if that wasn’t enough, delegates dressed up in their finest for Saturday evening’s Gala Dinner and dug deep to raise money for our associations via the silent and live auctions.  Highlight of the evening was the sale of a Kenworth T610SAR thanks to PACCAR and Dealer Industry Fund, CMV Truck Centre and Goodyear.   The keynote address was given by Federal Senator for SA, Rex Patrick, who made it very clear that the Centre Alliance intends to play a key role in influencing Coalition Government policy during the current Parliament.

Photo: Senator Patrick delivers the Gala Dinner keynote address. 

ALRTA and LRTASA thanks all of our speakers, delegates, sponsors and organisers (especially Hayley and Colleen) for contributing to the outstanding success of this year’s event.


John Beer (ALRTA VP) and Mick Debenham (LRTAV) attended the first meeting of the Standards Australia Committee SF-054 – Safe Design of Livestock Ramps and Forcing Yards in Sydney this week.  The Committee has agreed to base the new National Standard on the ALRTA’s existing ramp guidelines.

Mr Beer said that a mandatory ramp standard will make the livestock industry safer.

“A lot of work went into developing the ALRTA ramps guide, but it is no substitute for a mandatory standard,” said Mr Beer.

“In 2019, we expect our drivers to come home from work safely, but people are still being killed or injured. A mandatory standard will draw a line in the sand to make sure that all new or significantly upgraded facilities meet modern expectations.”

“The committee includes representatives from across the supply chain.  It will now meet fortnightly to develop the new standard and I hope it can be in place as soon as possible,” said Mr Beer.


The NTC has released the third in a series of eight issues papers as part of the HVNL review.

The latest paper is titled “Easy Access to Suitable Routes”.  The purpose of the paper is to:

  • Summarise current access arrangements under the HVNL and in WA & NT;
  • Analyse issues with current access arrangements; and
  • Seek preliminary views on ways that access can be improved.

Athol Carter (LRTAQ) recently represented ALRTA at two important fatigue consultation workshops, one run by the ATA and another run by NTC.  Athol had this to say following the workshops:

“Having recently represented ALRTA & Trucksafe at the Heavy Vehicle National Law review –  ATA Co-Design  & NTC Heavy vehicle fatigue workshops, one thing is clearer than ever – our industry  is ready for change!

Through these collaborative sessions it has become quite apparent that everybody’s business needs and operating requirements are task specific adding to the complexity of these archaic laws, the common outcome is that we need flexibility to respond to the dynamic, uncertain and complex livestock and rural freight task.

The impact and final product of the HVNL 2.0 is still unknown however I encourage you all to have the conversation with your staff and work out what looks good taking into account the recent hard work of the ALRTA for safer outcomes, including:

  • Animal Welfare Notice
  • 160km work diary exemptions
  • Personal private use of a Heavy Vehicle
  • AFM Templates

We only get one chance at this, which will no doubt be an historic moment for our industry. Please provide feedback to your state associations and or the ALRTA. Together everyone achieves more.”

John Beer (LRTAV) and Marla Stone (LRTAV) also attended the ATA workshop.  The ALRTA National Council considered the review on 13 June 2019 and a special forum was held at the ALRTA-LRTASA Combined Conference on 15 June 2019.

To get involved in the HVNL review please contact your state association to have your say.  Alternately, contact the ALRTA or respond directly to the NTC here.


ALRTA congratulates Bruce McIver and Kevin Pattel who were recently appointed Members of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Mr McIver was the inaugural President of LRTAQ and inaugural President of the ALRTA 1985-1990.  He co-founded the ATA in 1989 and held the Chair position 1991-1994, remaining an ATA Trust Director until 2015.

Mr Pattel was the founder of KT and JE Pattel Livestock Transport in North Queensland.  The Pattels were are pioneering droving family that helped establish the cattle haulage industry of today, including the introduction of volumetric loading.


Livestock transport industry pioneer Edna Fraser has died in the 75th anniversary year of the company she co-founded with her husband, the late Charlie Fraser, at Warwick in Queensland in 1944.

Now headed by ALRTA Chapter Member Ross Fraser OAM, with co-directors Les and Peter Fraser, Frasers Livestock Transport operates across the eastern states of Australia.

From inception, Frasers have specialised in livestock transport, branching out from Warwick head office to establish depots in Goondiwindi, Toowoomba, Roma and Rockhampton.

Ross Fraser said his mother had been the face of Frasers during early years of the business.

“Like many women in this industry, she was the driving force, bringing up the family while keeping the books, answering the phone, giving instructions to drivers and often feeding them. Dad was the driver and Mum was in charge of the rest,” said Mr Fraser.

A strong and resilient woman, Edna Fraser was prominent also in family polocrosse and community interests during her 94 years. In retirement, she enjoyed thoroughbred breeding and racing pursuits in partnership with husband Charlie.


The NHVR has determined that chain of responsibility laws do not require the installation and operation of fixed weighing systems at NSW Saleyards.  The NHVR review was commenced in the wake of mass breaches issued to transport operators and saleyard owners by RMS at Forbes and Dubbo.

NHVR has instructed saleyard owners and agents to conduct routine compliance observations to ensure that top-deck loading is undertaken safely.  Importantly, NHVR has determined that the owner of the saleyard is a ‘loading manager’ whether operating the saleyard or not.

NHVR has now commenced a broader review of chain of responsibility in the livestock supply chain.  ALRTA met with NHVR for a pre-liminary discussion last week and further meetings are planned.


The ALRTA congratulates the following office bearers elected at the LRTASA AGM on 14 June 2019:

  • President: David Smith
  • Vice President: Adam Pengelly
  • Vice President: Xavier Bienke
  • Treasurer/Secretary: Hayley Masson


Last week was Men’s Health Week – a week to raise awareness about men’s health challenges and the assistance that is available.

Did you know that:

  • A boy born in Australia in 2010 has a life expectancy five years less than a girl born at the same time.
  • One in eight Australian men will experience depression in their lifetime and one in five will experience an anxiety condition; and
  • Australian men take their own lives at four times the rate of women.

Mental health is an important, but often neglected health issue. Depression and anxiety can affect anyone.  Please check out the story of John Sudholz – a farmer from the Wimmera in Western Victoria.

John’s story is moving because he has come to terms with his condition, and most importantly, he sought help. Having social connections, good personal relationships and being part of a community are vital to maintaining good mental health and aiding recovery.  Just talking with someone about how they’re feeling can really make a difference to somebody who’s struggling.

Depression and anxiety are treatable conditions and effective treatments are available.  These days, there are plenty of resources online or over the phone from organisations like Beyond BlueLifelineHeads Up and the OzHelp Foundation.

If you need help, or know someone who does, ALRTA encourages you to reach out sooner rather than later.


The ALRTA National Council met in Adelaide last week.  Representatives were present from all six state member associations and the National Member Chapter.  Issues discussed included national partnerships, effluent management, HVNL review, operations and finance.  The meeting was also attended by representatives from NTI and Byrne Trailers.

The ALRTA National Member Chapter met via teleconference two days prior to the meeting and again this week to discuss Council decisions.

The next ALRTA National Council meeting and AGM will be held Thursday, 15 August 2019 in Melbourne, VIC.


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) will restructure to increase its focus on safety, ATA CEO Ben Maguire has announced.

In the restructure, the ATA will combine its TruckSafe, Safety Truck, safety promotion and safety research activities into a single section within the organisation.

The section will be headed by a new Safety, Health and Wellbeing Director. Melissa Weller, currently the ATA’s Safety and Skills Adviser, has been appointed to the role.

“Until now, the ATA has operated TruckSafe as a separate business unit to the rest of the ATA. This has resulted in duplication. We have also missed out on opportunities to cross-promote what we do,” Mr Maguire said.

“The restructure will enable us to leverage more benefits from the expertise of the TruckSafe board and will place safety accreditation and promotion at the centre of the ATA’s work. It will bring TruckSafe into the mainstream of how we work as a team.

“The restructure emphasises our commitment to TruckSafe as an important part of the future of truck safety regulation. TruckSafe accredited operators do not receive the same regulatory concessions as NHVAS operators, even though they need to meet higher standards. This is not just unfair and anti competitive; it discourages operators from being in a higher quality scheme.

“Our first submission to the Heavy Vehicle National Law review proposes that safety-based schemes like TruckSafe should be formally recognised under the law, with the NHVR regulating safety schemes and auditors rather than trying to run one.”
The restructure follows Justin Fleming’s decision to leave the ATA after ten years with the organisation.

“Justin’s passion and commitment to TruckSafe and the industry is highly regarded by our team, sponsors, members, board and all the operators he deals with. Through Justin’s leadership, many a business has benefited from the business and safety improvements that TruckSafe offers. The industry is better for having people like Justin involved,” Mr Maguire said.

The Chair of the ATA, Geoff Crouch, said the board greatly appreciated Justin’s dedication and leadership.

“During Justin’s tenure at the ATA, he always demonstrated an unwavering commitment to promoting TruckSafe as the best safety management solution for Australian trucking operators, regardless of size. Justin’s dedication and passion have ensured that many companies have benefited from the TruckSafe product and improved their safety. Justin can be truly proud of this achievement,” Mr Crouch said.

“As the Chair of the ATA ‒ and as a TruckSafe accredited operator ‒ I’m looking forward to the future of TruckSafe. The restructure will deliver a compelling vision for the scheme’s future and a safer, healthier industry,” he said.

TruckSafe Chair Ferdie Kroon thanked Justin for his commitment.

“A large number of industry people, from all walks of life, have benefited and continue to benefit from Justin’s excellent work. All of us treasure Justin’s friendship, experience and skills.

“In conjunction with Justin, the TruckSafe board has worked very hard on the future of our product. At our next board meeting, in July, we’ll hear a pitch for a new digital platform. We’ll also work on how we can further simplify our standards and guidance material,” he said.

Mr Fleming said that TruckSafe was now in the best position it could possibly be to realise its full potential in the market.

“We have so many exciting developments that will be released in the near future to assist all our operators with not only compliance, but also to make sure they are the safest trucking businesses in Australia,” he said.

“I’ve had an incredible career in the trucking industry, and it’s been amazing because of the great people in the industry: the ATA and TruckSafe boards, our operators, our customers, our drivers and our support staff. I would like to thank everyone for their friendship during the last decade.

“I also want to thank TruckSafe Adviser Kevin Walsh for his support over many years.

“I now plan to concentrate on my agricultural businesses and to do some management consulting in the meat industry. I started my career as a trade-qualified butcher, so it will be fascinating to go back into the industry at a senior management level.

“I am leaving TruckSafe in a wonderful pair of capable hands, in Melissa Weller. I know that Melissa will take the business forward into the future,” Mr Fleming said.

Ms Weller said that her vision, as a safety practitioner, was everyone should get home safely, every day.

“Safety links to every aspect of business. You simply can’t have a productive and viable business if it is not a safe business. I am very excited to have this opportunity to lead the ATA’s safety communication, TruckSafe safety management system and safety, health and wellbeing education. We have started vital actions in these areas, and I am looking forward to getting results with our very motivated and safety focused ATA community,” Ms Weller said.

Melissa has managed safety projects for eight years. In 2016, Melissa was recognised by the Institute of Public Works and Engineering Association awards for excellence and was a 3M Diamond Road Safety Awards finalist for a safety project she coordinated across nine local government areas.
Melissa is leading the evidence-based redesign of the Volvo ATA Safety Truck education campaign. Melissa has a MR licence and has completed vocational training in fatigue management, traffic management and road safety auditing.

During her career, Melissa has held senior roles in strategy and policy development, road safety and business development. Melissa was recently elected to the Executive Committee of the Australasian College of Road Safety.

TruckSafe’s high level of service to accredited operators will not change as a result of the restructure. TruckSafe operators can contact Kevin Walsh on 02 6253 6927 or for support.

For more information about TruckSafe, visit


2019 LRTAWA Annual Conference

The 2019 LRTAWA Annual Conference will be held 26-27 July at Abbey Beach Resort, Busselton, WA.

For more information click here.

2019 LRTAV Annual Conference

The 2019 LRTAV Annual Conference will be held 16-17 August at All Seasons, Bendigo, VIC.

For more information click here.