ALRTA News – 19 July 2019

PACCAR & Dealer Industry Fund

With their own distinct styles, better efficiency, better visibility,better serviceability, better safety and better driver environment, the new T360 and T410 are more than just better trucks – they are the best in the business.
To find out more contact your local Kenworth dealer or visit


Two weeks ago, ALRTA reported that the Australian Government had introduced the Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 into Federal Parliament to establish two new offences relating to the incitement of trespass or property offences on agricultural land.
While ALRTA welcomes the bill, it could be improved by extending the new offences to also cover instances in which activists are incited to impede or interfere with trucks carrying agricultural produce to or from agricultural land.  As many of our members know only too well, trucks are an easy target for activists, and sometimes the only target when agricultural facilities have sufficient security arrangements to prevent activists entering the premises. 
The bill has been referred to a Parliamentary committee for review with submissions able to be made until 31 July 2019.  ALRTA is currently preparing a submission and is seeking your input.
Has your truck been targeted by activists? It would help our cause greatly if you could tell us:

  • When;
  • Where;
  • What type of truck;
  • What you were carrying;
  • What exactly did the activists do?;
  • What impact did the activist’s activity have on you? (safety, fatigue, stress, intimidation etc).

Please call our office (02) 6247 5434 or email


The ALRTA effluent code of practice working group met face-to-face in Melbourne to review a 1st draft effluent management code.  The code has been developed with reference to the stakeholder comments received during our six operator workshops, a whole-of-supply-chain and community workshop, plus other one-on-one consultations with individual stakeholders.

ALRTA will now revise the draft code to reflect the working group discussions before re-circulating to enable further out-of-session consideration in August 2019. The working group will next meet via teleconference in early September 2019.  A public consultation phase will occur later in the year.
The final code will assist parties in the livestock supply chain by advising of risks and potential controls for managing effluent. 


The ALRTA and our State Presidents attended a meeting of the NHVR Industry Operator Group in Brisbane. The group meets twice annually to discuss grass roots issues affecting our operators with senior NHVR staff. This time around the issues included: enforcement of primary producer registration, livestock supply chain review, HVNL review, harmonisation of notices, movement of drought affected livestock and the effluent code of practice.  
Our group also met jointly with the Agricultural Industry Operator Group which was keen to discuss many of the same issues.


ALRTA National and State Presidents met via teleconference this week to discuss governance, finance, sponsorships and other issues of the day.  ALRTA National Council has resolved to trial monthly catchups to improve our internal information flow.


Heavy vehicle charging reform is a major threat and opportunity for rural and regional road transport.  The decisions made by Australian and State and Territory Governments over the next 12 months could reshape the way road infrastructure is delivered, the way decisions are made and the amount you pay to the use the road.
Back in 2014, Transport Ministers rejected an NTC recommendation to reduce heavy vehicle registration charges by 6.3% and to reduce the RUC by 1.14cpl.  Since that time, heavy vehicle operators have been cumulatively over charged more than $1bn.  That’s, One. Billion. Dollars. Taken from your pocket and not spent on safer or more productive roads.
Rather than adhere to fair cost recovery principles under the current PAYGO charging model, Ministers instead decided to change the rules. 
Not only do Ministers hate charging systems that can result in tax revenue going down, they are also worried about a shift towards electric vehicles that do not pay fuel taxes at all.
So, what is the alternative?
The most likely replacement charging system will be a telematics-based distance charge.
Right now, governments are embarking on small scale trials of around 50 vehicles to test the reliability of current telematics systems for charging purposes.  Next year, a trial will commence involving up to 1,000 heavy vehicles.  In both trials, participating operators will supply information to government. Government will crunch numbers behind the scenes and supply a mock bill to the operator that compares charges under the current PAYGO model and the alternative model.
If the total heavy vehicle revenue target remains the same, distance-based charges will mean that trucks travelling longer distances will pay more, while trucks travelling shorter distances will pay less.  If the revenue target increases, everyone will pay more.
Distance charges might be a good thing if you are an owner operator who can only drive 12-14hrs per day. Companies that are ‘hot seating’ trucks almost 24/7 might get a rude of shock when their first distance-based bill comes in.
However, this is bureaucracy we are talking about so of course it is not that simple.
The idea behind direct user-pay charging is that charges should be based on the cost of providing the road asset and the service level provided. And therein lies the catch for rural and regional transporters. 
You are not exactly receiving excellent service on a dirt track or narrow, pot-holed, bitumen are you? So, you might expect to pay less. Well, according to some government economists you should pay more. 
Why? Because if you are the only one using the road, then you get slugged with the full cost.  On better roads with more traffic, distance-charges might be lower.
Fortunately, the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) and our six state associations is following this issue closely and fighting to ensure that rural and regional Australia is not disadvantaged.
Governments have accepted our view that they have an obligation to rural and regional communities to provide at least a basic level of road infrastructure.  Without roads, these communities cannot receive essential goods and services and would have no access to external markets for their produce. The burden should not fall on trucks to provide basic roads. AustRoads has produced a report exploring technical options for calculating a ‘Community Service Obligation’ for roads – but again, it is an economist’s paradise with no clear answers.
Ultimately, it is elected Federal and State and Territory governments that will make the final decision about heavy vehicle charging options on rural and regional roads.  ALRTA will make sure they know how the options under consideration will affect you and your communities.


This week ALRTA staff attended the ‘Associations Forum’ National Conference in Canberra.  Membership of the ‘Associations Forum’ comprises almost 500 industry associations of all types and sizes from around Australia.  All associations share much in common in terms of governance, managing finances, attracting members, attracting sponsors, providing training/services, advocating on behalf of members and delivering quality events.

During the two-day conference our staff had an opportunity to gain important insights on these core parts of your associations’ business activities and to network with other association professionals.  We are always aiming to improve our member services.
ALRTA was also fortunate enough to be invited to attend an intimate dinner at the NZ High Commission hosted by Her Excellency Dame Annette King.  A couple of years ago an ALRTA delegation travelled to NZ to inspect roadside effluent disposal facilities and meet with NZ Government officials.  The dinner was a great opportunity for ALRTA to acknowledge the great work of NZ in this area and opportunities for two-way learnings in the agricultural transport sector. 
As it happened, NZ was playing against England in the Cricket World Cup final during the dinner.  There was plenty of talk about cricket and all attendees were disappointed when NZ lost on a boundary count-back after drawing the game during regular play and again during the ‘super overs’. It’s not often you sit in a room full of Aussies barracking hard for the Black Caps!


Members are advised that the ATA has re-opened the electoral roll for the election of owner driver and small fleet operator representative positions to the ATA General Council.
While the next election is not due until early 2021, it is never too early to register yourself to vote – this may prove crucial for our chances of success if ALRTA member operators nominate to stand for the positions.
More information about ATA elections, including the voter registration form, can be accessed from the ATA website.
Direct link to the voter registration form
Any questions can be directed to


In July 2019, the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) will be taking the draft ideas from the Meat Industry Strategic Plan (MISP) 2030 to six locations across Australia.  At these locations, RMAC will seek out everyday people from across the supply chain to road-test whether the ideas in the emerging strategy resonate with the challenges and aspirations of the industry at a grass roots level. Are there gaps or changes RMAC need to make? Is it compelling enough to inspire action? Will it work?
Road transport is a vital part of the red meat supply chain.  If you would like to help re-shape the future of the red meat industry, you can attend a 2hr workshop at the following locations:

  • 23 July: Townsville, QLD.
  • 25 July: Longford, TAS.
  • 25 July: Dubbo, NS.

To attend, please contact:
For more information about the MISP, visit:


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has launched nominations for the 2019 Cummins Technology and Maintenance Conference Scholarships. 

The ATA represents the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. 

“The Cummins TMC Scholarships are an initiative that provides young heavy vehicle apprentices with the experience and tools needed to develop industry skills and knowledge,” ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said. 

Awarded to three heavy vehicle apprentices, the scholarships provide the opportunity to be hosted at the ATA’s 2019 Technology and Maintenance Conference (TMC), taking part in educational sessions and practical workshops relevant to their training and career, while building professional networks. 

“Not only will the scholarship winners be hosted at TMC, they will each be paired with an experienced industry mentor for support and assistance in making the most of their conference experience,” Mr Crouch said. 

“This is a unique opportunity to learn from some of Australia’s most knowledgeable trucking industry professionals,” he said. 

Three nominees will be selected as winners of the 2019 Cummins TMC Scholarships, which include:

  • full registration to the 2019 Technology and Maintenance Conference including social events and VIP seating at the Castrol Vecton Gala Awards Dinner
  • return airfares and accommodation
  • pre-conference tour of Cummins Melbourne facility and Cummins merchandise pack
  • assigned conference mentor

 “The scholarships are an exclusive opportunity for heavy vehicle apprentices to get a valuable insight into our industry,” says Mike Fowler, Cummins South Pacific’s director of engine business. 

Cummins, a global technology leader, has been a pioneer in power systems technology for 100 years by adhering to its values and promise of innovation and dependability. Cummins has led the industry by consistently turning challenges into opportunities. 

Nominations for the 2019 Cummins TMC Scholarships close on 13 September 

View the selection criteria and nominate now

Register for the 2019 Technology and Maintenance Conference


Boosted safety and productivity for the trucking industry must be a priority in the national transport regulatory reforms, Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chief of Staff, Bill McKinley, said today. 

The ATA represents the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. 

Mr McKinley was releasing the ATA’s submission to the Productivity Commission National Transport Regulatory Reform issues paper, highlighting the need for measures to improve industry productivity and safety. 

“Fundamental reform is required for road access decisions under the national truck laws, to recognise that local roads are part of a wider network and that decisions to refuse access have significant impact on the economy,” Mr McKinley said. 

“The national truck laws and regulatory reforms have failed to boost trucking industry sector-wide productivity and there must be reform. 

“The laws were predicted to deliver up to $12.4 billion in economic benefits, but since their introduction in 2014, productivity has gone backward. 

“This is made clear in the independent report from Deloitte Access Economics that the ATA released in May this year,” he said. 

The ATA has called for the introduction of enforceable standards for access decision-makers, external reviews of decisions, reduced processing times and the expansion of as-of-right access. 

“Governments should also adopt supply side road funding reforms that set clear and measurable service level standards when building roads,” Mr McKinley said. 

Mr McKinley also highlighted the need to protect the productivity of Western Australian and Northern Territory trucking businesses. These businesses operate under their own state laws and not the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). 

“There is much to be learned from the successful truck laws in Western Australia and the Northern Territory,” he said. 

“There is no case for extending the HVNL to these states.” 

The ATA submission to the issues paper has called for improved safety measures, highlighting the need for governments to better understand why crashes occur. 

“The ATA believes an important step in improving industry safety is to see the introduction of independent, no-blame safety investigations for heavy vehicle crashes,” Mr McKinley said. 

Mr McKinley said the ATA was also calling for governments to act to increase the use of advanced safety technologies. 

“All new rigid trucks should be included in the Australian Government’s decision to mandate stability control, and autonomous emergency braking should be mandated for all new trucks,” he said. 

Mr McKinley said governments should also incentivise the purchase and use of new, safer heavy vehicles by removing stamp duty. 

“These measures will play a key role improving the safety of hardworking truck drivers and productivity across the industry,” he said. 

View the submission


On 1 July the NHVR officially took over heavy vehicle safety and compliance for the ACT, with the capital following South Australia and Tasmania who have already transitioned. Come along to the NHVR information session to find out what this means for you. 
With this transition comes a number of changes for operators travelling through the ACT. 
The NHVR’s Safety and Compliance Officers are now authorised to stop heavy vehicles to check compliance with the Heavy Vehicle National Law, driver licences, registrations and road rules. 
The NHVR now also has responsibility for issuing major, minor and self-clearing defects notices. Self-clearing defect notices – introduced to the ACT for the first time – can be issued for faults that don’t pose a safety risk but still need to be rectified as soon as practicable.  
Additionally, fatigue management provisions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law have now come into effect in the ACT.
To find out what these changes mean for the heavy vehicle industry, and also get an update on other work at the NHVR, you are invited to attend our free info session. 
Event details: 
The Dickson Tradies
Tuesday, 23 July, 2019 4pm-6pm
Event is free. Register with Eventbrite:
Who should attend: 

  • Anyone who owns a vehicle heavier than 4.5 tonnes GVM – whether you work around town with a small rigid truck or do line haul in an articulated truck combination, this session will be of interest to you.
  • Industries that use heavy vehicles.

NHVR will also be holding two Truckie Info Days in the ACT, where drivers can drop in and have a chat to us about the changes:

  • Wednesday 24 July at United at Eaglehawk on Federal Highway from 12.00pm to 6.00pm
  • Thursday 25 July at Caltex at Hume adjacent to Monaro Highway from 9.00am to 4.00pm

 For more information, please contact NHVR Stakeholder Specialist Tim Hansen at, (07) 3309 8601 or 0419 729 399.


TruckSafe has welcomed McKelvey Livestock Haulage as A newly accredited member. 

Based in Cannon Valley, Queensland, McKelvey Livestock Haulage is a family business that uses the latest equipment to cover all cattle transport needs, safely and on time. 

An industry initiative, TruckSafe is a world-class business and risk management system aimed at improving the professionalism and safety of trucking operators nationwide and delivering competitive advantages to accredited operators. 

“In an industry that is constantly changing, there is no better way to keep up to date with compliance requirements than to be TruckSafe accredited,” TruckSafe Chair Ferdie Kroon said.   

“Becoming TruckSafe member means you are committed to safety and have best-practice systems in place. 

“While this year we have celebrated some of our longstanding members with 15 and 20-year TruckSafe awards, it’s great to see new members joining those who have been in the scheme for so long,” he said. 

For more information about TruckSafe or to join, visit


National Transport Insurance (NTI) is excited to announce the newly formed Sustainability Team as the next strategic evolution for Australia’s leading specialist insurer across transport and logistics.

The team has already made an impact with the recent announcement of NTI’s exclusive partnership with Seeing Machines – a global industry leader in developing driver monitoring systems designed to prevent fatigue events, as well as identify and manage distracted driving.

NTI’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tony Clark says one of the core values of NTI is to think beyond just the demands of the industry and customer today – and to imagine and deliver on the shape of the future.

“We never shy away from holding ourselves accountable and delivering on our promise and our purpose – which is to keep the Australian industry moving towards a safer and more sustainable future,” said Mr. Clark.

“Our vision is one of safety and sustainability; sustainability for our customers, for hard working business owners and operators, and the ever-changing industry that’s so heavily entwined in the lives of all Australians. This includes using our expertise to develop specialist solutions to help future proof businesses.

“To that end, we are taking the next step in shaping our structure to deliver and make that happen.”

Mr. Chris Hogarty, who formally led NTI’s Customer Team, will take on the leadership role of Chief Sustainability Officer.

“Our small, focussed team is made up of experts who through their experiences at NTI have developed a rich understanding and appreciation for our customer’s needs and their pain points across the transport, logistics and insurance industries,” he said.

“At NTI sustainability means safer people and stronger businesses. It’s about more than just our current and future NTI customers. This is about the industry as a whole, whether they are insured with us or not. A safer, better industry is everyone’s business.”


Roads and Maritime Services is planning to carry out essential maintenance work to lengthen the life span of Dry River Bridge on the Princes Highway at Quaama (30 kilometres north of Bega).
In preparation for this work, crews will be testing jacking equipment on the bridge on Sunday 21 July. During the test, the bridge will be lifted and lowered and will need to close to traffic between 7pm and 11pm while work is carried out. Attached is a formal notification letter with more information regarding this road closure.
There is no detour and it will not be possible for any vehicles to cross the bridge during the four-hour-long closure. 
We trust that this briefing will help in coordinating your operations to avoid delays during the closure period.
Additional night work to replace the old bridge bearings is now planned to start in August and will be carried out Sunday to Thursday evenings for approximately two weeks.
When work recommences in August, the bridge will again need to close to traffic each night between 7pm and 9pm and each morning between 3am and 5am.
You will receive another formal notification letter via email in the coming weeks.
We understand the impact this work and the closure will have on the efficiency of freight movement. However, this work is essential to ensure that the bridge is safe to use and will minimise the need for future maintenance activities and increase the lifespan of the almost 50 year old structure.
For more information, please contact us on


2019 LRTAWA Annual Conference
The 2019 LRTAWA Annual Conference will be held 26-27 July at Abbey Beach Resort, Busselton, WA.  For more information and to register click here.

ALRTA Council Meeting & AGM
An ALRTA Council Meeting & AGM will be held on 15 August 2019 at Best Western Motel and Convention Centre, ATTWOOD VIC. Contact ALRTA secretariat for more details.

2019 LRTAV Annual Conference
The 2019 LRTAV Annual Conference will be held 16-17 August at All Seasons, Bendigo, VIC. For more information and to register click here.

2020 LBRCA Annual Conference  – Tamworth 6-7 March 
The LBRCA has secured the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Convention Centre (TRECC) for their 2020 Annual Conference on 6-7March 2020.