ALRTA CALLS FAIR &TRANSPARENT CHARGES
The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has called on Australian Transport Ministers to reject a proposal to increase heavy vehicle charges by 11.8% and instead return to fair and transparent charging processes. The total charge is made up increases of 6.0%, 3.0% and 2.4% respectively compounded over three years.
TRANSPORT MINISTERS MEET IN MELBOURNE
The Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council (TIC) met in Melbourne on Friday 22 November 2019. ALRTA Immediate Past President Kevin Keenan attended the officials dinner on Thursday night and the industry consultation session on Friday morning. Mr Keenan was also invited to participate in the TIC session during which heavy vehicle charges were considered.
Prior to the meeting, ALRTA wrote to all Federal and State and Territory Ministers urging a return to fair and transparent charges. We briefed Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, the Hon. Scott Buchholz MP and participated in a separate briefing with departmental officials. Many of our State Member Associations have contacted state ministers to raise concerns about the prospect of an 11.8% charging increase.
ALRTA also supplied a separate briefing paper in which we asked Ministers to task senior officials with investigating options for establishing a workable legislative environment for managing livestock effluent during road transport, including funding the construction and operation of supporting infrastructure on key livestock freight routes.
Look out for an update on TIC meeting outcomes in next week’s news.
ACTIVISTS STRIPPED OF CHARITY STATUS
ALRTA has welcomed the news that the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has stripped activist ‘Aussie Farms Inc’ of its charity status.
ALRTA wrote to the Commissioner seeking revocation of Aussie Farms Inc charity status in May 2019 after the organisation published information detailing the location of more than 3,000 livestock farms and processors where it alleges animal abuse is commercialised. Aussie Farms openly encourages individuals to capture images or videos at these sites to upload onto its online sharing platform.
The Charities Act 2013 disqualifies purposes such as ‘engaging in or promoting activities that are unlawful or against public policy’. ALRTA asserted that the true purpose of Aussie Farms Inc is to facilitate illegal acts such as break and enter, trespass and harassment against persons conducting legal farming and processing activities.
The decision means that Aussie Farms Inc has lost all of its tax concessions, including income tax exemption, GST concessions and FBT concessions.
INDUSTRY CELEBRATES MILESTONES
ALRTA representatives attended two important industry celebrations this week. On Saturday, the team from the ALRTA Secretariat (Mat, Colleen and Sue) travelled to Melbourne to attend a Gala Dinner to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Transport Women Australia. It was also great to see ALRTA Past President Liz Schmidt at the event.
On Tuesday, a “who’s who” gathered at Old Parliament House in Canberra to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA). Guests honoured at the event included notable ALRTA contributors Bruce McIver AM, Ross Fraser OAM, Andrew Higginson and Jack Evans.
HVNL REVIEW WORKSHOPS
ALRTA participated in two workshops hosted by the National Transport Commission (NTC) as part of the review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). The first workshop was held in Canberra to consider options for improving fatigue laws. Participants included key industry and government decision makers from around Australia. There was general agreement that fatigue laws must be simpler, more flexible and able to accommodate technological advances. Concerningly, there was also a push by some participants to extend coverage of the laws and to remove record-keeping exemptions – a path that will massively increase the administrative burden and cost of the law.
The second workshop was held in Melbourne and considered HVNL fundamentals such as the scope and object of the law. A key topic was whether or not safety should be the primary focus of the law – a proposal that was supported by most government attendees. Industry members however argued that the road transport industry exists to distribute freight throughout the Australian economy, so it is equally important for the HVNL to consider productivity alongside safety.
ALRTA will participate in two further workshops in early December that will address vehicles, access and legislative building blocks.
ALRTA STRENGTHENS PARTNERSHIPS
ALRTA National/Marketing Officer Colleen Mays had the opportunity to visit four of our National Sponsors this past week, Goodyear, PACCAR and Dealer Industry Fund, PACCAR Parts and Cummins.
Colleen had a successful meeting with Kelly at Goodyear before heading out to Bayswater to visit PACCAR and Dealer Industry Fund and PACCAR Parts. She was particularly impressed with her tour of the PACCAR factory where she got to see the manufacturing assembly line in action, Natalie and Nicole are a wealth of knowledge. Paula from PACCAR Parts popped in to say hi too.
Next stop was Scoresby and the Cummins office and warehouse to get a lesson in engines from Lora and Nofie. It was great to put faces to the voices that she interacts with regularly.
NTI LTD WINS AWARD
Congratulations to ALRTA National Sponsor NTI Ltd, Australia’s specialist transport and logistics insurer, who were awarded the Community Leadership Award at the Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) Awards Night last Friday 15 November 2019.
The award recognises HVIA members that have engaged positively with the community, and NTI was humbled to accept the award which acknowledged the 1946 Ford Jailbar restoration project ‘Roxanne’ that raised over $200,000 for Motor Neurone Disease.
BUILDING BETTER REGIONS
The $841.6 million Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) supports the Australian Government’s commitment to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future.
The fund invests in projects located in, or benefiting eligible areas outside the major capital cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, and Canberra.
The Australian Government announced $200 million in the 2019-20 Budget for Round Four of the BBRF. Round Four will support drought-affected regions by targeting projects that will benefit communities affected by drought.
Round Four of the BBRF is now open and further information can be found at the Building Better Regions Fund Website.
REMINDER: SAFETY FUNDING APPLICATIONS
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is calling for funding applications for round five of the federal government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI) program.
This week, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack announced a $5.48 million allocation for groups and projects delivering real safety benefits for the heavy vehicle industry and all road users.
Projects or programs, education or awareness campaigns, or materials that increase safety awareness and compliance that are in need of funding and support should consider applying.
Applications for round five funding are open until 21 February 2020.
Projects must be implementable, commence in the 2020-21 financial year and be completed by 30 June 2023.
For more information or to view the Submission Guidelines visit www.nhvr.gov.au/hvsi
If you have a great idea for a national heavy vehicle road safety project, contact the ALRTA Secretariat on (02) 6247 5434 or email email@example.com.
ATA – TRUCKING AUSTRALIA 2020
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UPCOMING EVENTS FOR 2020
LBRCA (NSW) on 6-7 March 2020 at Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Convention Centre NSW. Register Now
LRTAQ (QLD) on 19-21 March 2020 in Roma QLD.
LRTASA (SA) on 12-13 June 2020 at Adelaide Entertainment Centre SA.
LRTAWA/ALRTA (WA & National) on 24-25 July 2020. Location in WA to be advised.
LRTAV (VIC) on 14-15 August 2020 at All Seasons Resort Bendigo VIC.