ALRTA NEWS – 20 November 2020

THANK YOU TO OUR NATIONAL SPONSOR
PACCAR & DEALER INDUSTRY FUND

In the 2020-21 Budget, the Federal Government announced further measures to stimulate Australia’s short-term economic recovery by promoting investment in new equipment while enabling business cash flow. Some of these measures relate directly to new and pre-owned truck purchases.

There’s never been a better time to buy an Australian made Kenworth and your local Kenworth Dealer can help make the Federal Budget’s tax savings work for you. Speak to your accountant about this great opportunity.

For more speak to your local dealer or visit kenworth.com.au/there-has-never-been-a-better-time-to-buy-a-kenworth

LATEST ON BORDER CONTROLS

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water there has been another COVID-19 outbreak, this time in South Australia. Governments are reacting very quickly so please keep an eye on changes to border and operating rules that may affect your business.
 
Please be patient and continue to adhere to your COVID-19 plans and testing regime. While there is good news on the horizon with two vaccine candidates proving to be more than 90% effective in phase 3 trials, now is not the time for complacency.
 
The latest update on the situation is included below (courtesy of NHVR).
 
Thursday 19 November – Victoria
In response to the COVID-19 cluster in South Australia that has seen that state introduce significant restrictions for at least the next six days, the Victorian Government has announced a “hard border” will be in place with South Australia from midnight tonight (Thursday) for 48 hours, before a permit system comes into effect from midnight on Saturday, 21 November.
 
Under this hard border arrangement, only freight drivers and those with medical or emergency reasons, animal welfare or as authorised by law will be permitted to enter Victoria. The Government is finalising details of the permit scheme and this will be explained once advice is received from Vic authorities. Check points on roads between SA and Vic will be established to authenticate reasons for cross border travel. Appropriate documentation and consignment notes should be carried verifying the reason for your travel.
 
From today, interstate truck drivers travelling through Victoria from South Australia will be offered extra testing at a site at Nhill on the Western Highway. Other testing sites are being activated at other major freight routes.
 
Drivers can also be tested at more than 193 other sites across Victoria – https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/getting-tested
 
The NHVR encourages all drivers to take advantage of voluntary testing sites to ensure your health. Remember to continue to practice appropriate social distancing, recording of close contacts and self-isolation whilst not working.
 
Wednesday 18 November – South Australia
At 11.59pm tonight South Australia goes into a hard 6 day lockdown. Essential freight workers will be required to adhere to the protocols currently in place for entry into SA, continuing to have the appropriate PPE, keeping close record contacts and self isolating when not working in their cab or accommodation. Drivers will also be required to carry supporting documentation such as con notes and delivery advices showing they are conducting essential freight activities.
 
Delivery and pick up from DC’s, ports and airports and other businesses that are allowed to remain open will still be permitted. Road houses and truck stops as well as fuel centres will also remain open.
 
Victoria has opened all of their public testing facilities to the heavy vehicle industry should drivers wish to be proactive and have a test conducted prior to crossing into SA. See Victoria’s response to South Australian outbreak.
 
For more information see SA Emergency Management (Stay at Home) (COVID-19) Direction 2020.
 
Wednesday 18 November – Queensland
20 local government areas in South Australia were declared as hotspots from 11.59pm on 16 November 2020.
 
Under the Border Restrictions Direction, anyone entering Queensland who has been in a hotspot in the last 14 days will be turned around at the border, except for those with permitted purposes.
 
However due to low risk, a class exemption has been published for people who were in a South Australia hotspot between 2 – 8 November 2020.
 
This means they may enter Queensland and are exempt from quarantine.
 
Below outlines the dates and general requirements for people who have been in a South Australia hotspot.

Date in South AustraliaRequirement
2 – 8 NovemberClass exemption applies – upload class exemption with border pass application
9 – 16 NovemberPeople should get tested and should quarantine, either in their own home, self-arranged accommodation or a hotel.
17 November ­– current datePeople can only enter Queensland for permitted purposes and must go into mandatory hotel quarantine.

 Further information about the Queensland border restrictions, including questions and answers, can be found on the Queensland Health website.
 
More Information
For the latest summary of border rules and testing sites click here.

ALRTA OPPOSES EXPANSION OF PRIMARY PRODUCER REGISTRATION

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has written to Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, the Hon. Mark Bailey MP, to opposing a proposal to extend the primary producer concession scheme for heavy vehicles. ALRTA understands that the Department of Transport and Main Roads is currently investigating options for sharing of concessionally registered vehicles between primary producers – effectively allowing concessionally registered vehicles to carry produce for some third parties on a commercial basis.
 
The advice to the Minister follows similar representations by the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Queensland (LRTAQ) and news that NHVR is now actively enforcing conditional registration conditions in some jurisdictions.
 
ALRTA National President Scott McDonald said that competitive pressures and lack of enforcement in jurisdictions that have not yet transitioned to NHVR enforcement services is resulting in abuse of concessional registration schemes.
 
“ALRTA is not opposed to concessional registration for primary producers when used as the law intends to carry their own produce.  However, our member operators report that vehicles registered with the benefit of primary producer exemptions and concessions are commonly observed operating on a commercial basis in the wider road freight transport industry,” said President McDonald.
 
“Misuse of concessional registration schemes has a fourfold impact:

  1. Primary producer vehicles compete unfairly with commercial carriers.
  2. Governments forgo revenue for infrastructure and regulatory purposes.
  3. Farm vehicles subject to less stringent safety checks travel longer distances on public roads.
  4. Persistent non-compliance risks discontinuation of such schemes which would disadvantage legitimate users in the agricultural sector.

“The current primary producer concession scheme for heavy vehicles is extremely generous. It would not be prudent for the Queensland Government to expand the scheme without also addressing our very serious concerns about consequential impacts on road safety, fair competition, infrastructure revenue, insurances, penalties and enforcement,” said President McDonald.

ATA SLAMS $3.6B TAX ON FREIGHT & JOBS

The ATA has slammed the Australian Logistics Council’s proposed operator licensing system, which would be a $3.6 billion tax on freight and jobs.  
 
In its response to the review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law, the ALC proposed a National Operator Standard, which would impose massive costs on trucking operators. 
 
“Under the ALC proposal, operators would be subject to mandatory electronic recording of driving hours and the location of every heavy vehicle. Every heavy vehicle operator would need to have a safety management system,” ATA Acting CEO Bill McKinley said.  
 
“The proposed standard would also tell businesses how to structure their finances by requiring them to hold a certain – but completely undefined – level of capital. 
 
“The National Operator Standard is just operator licensing under a new name.
 
“In the ATA’s view, operator licensing would be nothing more than an anti-competitive tax on hardworking small and family businesses,” he said. 
 
Read more here.

WEATHER AND ROAD CRASH RISK

This week the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) hosted a topical webinar called ‘Four Seasons in One Seminar – the Contribution of Adverse Weather in Road Crashes’.
 
While bracing ourselves for the prospect of searing heat and intense rainfall events in the coming months or reflecingt more generally on adverse weather around Australia throughout the year, this presentation looked at the contribution that various kinds of adverse weather make to road crashes. Wind and extreme heat events and the various forms of precipitation (rain/hail, ice, frost, snow) all have the potential to increase crash risk.

Presented by Paul Hillier, Principal Technology Leader, Transport Safety, ARRB and Adrian Runacres, Forensic Meteorologist, a UK based expert, the webinar focused on the risks associated with different weather conditions and highlighted a selection of mitigation measures.

While we can’t control the weather, there are things we can do to reduce the risk of a weather-related road crash.

  1. Information – drivers need advance warning about extreme weather events that can affect road safety and information about potentially hazardous road conditions at specific sites.
  2. Planning – Check the forecast for the route, use alternative routes, be aware of road closures in the event of flooding, bushfires etc.
  3. Driver behaviour – in general driver behaviour is difficult to change. If drivers would slow down in fog, smoke, dust storms and heavy precipitation etc that would reduce the crash risk. In high wind conditions, truck drivers may have difficulty steering and counter steering when their load is less than capacity.
  4. Technology – road managers were encouraged to employ roadside weather monitoring utilising roadside weather stations, sensors and thermal mapping. Variable messaging can be used to alert drivers to hazards in real time. Additional recommendations included safety barrier, audiotactile linemarking and linemarking that is effective in all weather conditions.
  5. Avoidance in the design phase – awareness of site-specific design factors:
    1. improved bridge design ie designed with high side barriers to deflect lateral wind, and to take the consequential extra load.
    2. roads rerouted to avoid areas prone to heavy fog and black ice eg the recent Mount Victoria to Lithgow upgrade.

NHVR TAKES OUT THE BIG STICK

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has issued a prohibition notice to Melbourne-based Punjab Roadtrains Pty Ltd trading as Auswide Transport Solutions following an investigation into fatigue management and other safety issues. The notice also applies to associated company Southern Cross Freight Lines Pty Ltd.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said that the notice would restrict the ability of the companies to operate, direct or schedule heavy vehicles until they undertake specified corrective processes.

“Driver fatigue is a serious safety issue and the NHVR will take the necessary actions to ensure that it is appropriately managed,” Mr Petroccitto said.

The notice, issued under s 576A of the HVNL, orders the company to cease operating until it has implemented controls for fatigue management and training, fitness for duty, and non-conformance management.

The NHVR is working with Punjab Roadtrains to ensure that perishable or other time-critical loads can be safely transported.

NHVR investigators previously entered the company premises in September this year.

Separately, the NHVR has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from Qube Ports Pty Ltd (Qube) that will see $137,000 put towards risk awareness education and other safety initiatives.

The EU stems from an allegation by Transport for NSW that on 19 November 2019 Qube failed to comply with the mass requirements as required by s 96(1)(c) of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

TMC ONLINE IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!



A FREE event, TMC Online will deliver 50+ live and on-demand sessions with 55+ speakers and 20+ exhibitors, plus lots of networking features, prizes and giveaways.
 
Register now at www.truck.net.au/tmc

NATIONAL ROAD SAFETY WEEK

This National Road Safety Week take the pledge to drive so others survive. Our roads and highways are a truck driver’s workplace.

TruckSafe gives peace of mind that you are keeping your drivers’ workplace safe and meeting your duty of care.

Learn more at www.trucksafe.com.au. Watch video here

ALRTA COUNCIL TO MEET NEXT WEEK

The ALRTA National Council will meet via Zoom next week. This meeting will be largely focussed on governance, finance, management and strategic issues including refresher training to be provided by the Associations Forum.

FRIDAY FUNNY

A truck has just overturned on the M2 loaded with Vicks vapour rub.

A police report confirmed that there will be no congestion for eight hours.

ALRTA STAFF AVAILABILITY AMIDST COVID19

ALRTA staff have progressed back to the office, to enable safe distancing there will be only two members of staff present at any one time.

Email office@alrta.org.au or call Colleen on the ALRTA mobile 0490 515 681 or Mathew (ED) on 0421 082 489.

SAVE THE DATES FOR 2021

LBRCA Conference – Wagga Wagga NSW – 4-6 March 2021 – The Range Function Centre
LRTAQ Conference – Roma QLD – 9-11 April 2021
LRTASA Conference – Adelaide SA –  18-19 June 2021