ALRTA NEWS -17 August 2018


The NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, the Hon. Melinda Pavey MP, has announced improved access arrangements for heavy vehicles carrying supplies and stock to drought-affected areas.

The measures are outlined below.

The new NSW Class 3 Drought Assistance Dimension Exemption Notice will:

  • From 15 August 2018, allow eligible vehicles transporting baled or rolled hay to travel under notice and without a permit, including B-doubles up to 26 metres long:
    • Up to 2.83 metres wide on all approved roads.
    • Up to 4.6 metres high, on the approved 4.6 metre high network.

Operators can find relevant notices plus an operators guide here.

From 13 August 2018, The NSW Government will:

  • On a case-by-case basis, allow access permits for road trains on roads not currently approved for road trains.
  • An extra $15 million has already been committed for road maintenance.
  • On a case-by-case basis, provide access permits for trucks transporting loads of hay in excess of 4.6 metres high.
  • Refund National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and Roads and Maritime permit fees for drought relief applications.
  • Establish a dedicated hotline (1800 952 292) and website ( ) for any questions or queries transport operators or farmers may have.

The website above contains information tables about different combinations and allowable dimensions.

Prioritisation of Permits and Payment Exemption

The NHVR has introduced a permit payment exemption to operators transporting drought relief products to and from drought affected areas.

The following freight types will be accepted as part of the payment exemption:

  • fodder freight (can include fodder used in maintenance and feeding of cattle, sheep, goats, deer, pigs, chickens, working and breeding horses).
  • water cartage freight (includes water carted for stock and supply for emergency animal welfare needs).
  • stock relocating due to drought conditions.
  • emergency water infrastructure.

For more information about eligibility and documentation please read the Drought relief – Access permit payment exemption (PDF, 188KB).

The NHVR is also prioritising drought relief access permits.

In order for the NHVR to identify and prioritise your drought relief access request please ensure you list the word DROUGHT in your “Create a new permit application – Reference” and within the “Additional comments and declaration” field of your application.

All access permit applications can be made through the NHVR Portal.


Members are advised of the election results of the ALRTA AGM on 16 August 2018.

The National Executive for 2018-19 is:

  • National President: Stephen Marley (LRTAWA)
  • Vice President: Scott McDonald (LBRCA)
  • Vice President: John Beer (LRTAV)
  • Treasurer: Fiona Wild (LRTAQ)
  • Secretary: Grant Robins (LRTAWA)
  • ATA Representative: David Smith (LRTASA)
  • Immediate Past President: Kevin Keenan (LRTAV)

As per the ALRTA Constitution, the one-year term of each elected representative will commence on 1 October 2018.

Photo (L-R): ALRTA National President Elect Stephen Marley and Current ALRTA National President Kevin Keenan.

ALRTA acknowledges the excellent service of outgoing President Kevin Keenan over the past three years and congratulates incoming President Stephen Marley.  Stephen has been a valuable contributor on the ALRTA Council over many years and is a former LRTAWA President and TruckSafe Chair.

ALRTA also thanks outgoing Treasurer Ron Pattel for his enormous contribution in overseeing our association’s structural and financial reform process over the past six years.


Twenty two ALRTA state association and Member Chapter representatives and observers attended the ALRTA National Council meeting and Annual General Meeting in Melbourne, Victoria on 16 August 2018.

Photo: ALRTA National Council – 16 August 2018

Some of the topics discussed included:

  • Effluent:  Council considered the $400,000 grant offer from the Australian Government.
  • Heavy Vehicle Charging: Government proposals for independent charging decisions and a forward looking cost base were considered.
  • HVNL Review: Representatives from NTC presented an overview of the review process and proposed terms of reference.
  • National Ramp Standards: A representative from Standards Australia attended to discuss the standards development process.
  • Vehicle Standards Regulations: Council considered alternatives to the NTC proposals affecting compliance for technology fitted to trailers.
  • Other issues Council also considered live exports, TruckSafe, ALRTA review, privacy and data-sharing and national database.

Photo: NTC HVNL Review team speak to ALRTA Council. 

The ALRTA National Council will next meet in Canberra on 26 October 2018.


ALRTA Finance Manager Jack Evans attended a consultation workshop on options for exploring independent charging decisions and implementing a forward-looking cost base.   Mr Evans has previously worked as an Assistant Secretary with the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport and has a long connection to attempted charging reform stretching back to the 1980s.

ALRTA National Council will consider charging issues this week.  Decisions will be taken to the ATA Council meeting scheduled for the week following.  Formal comments are due on the government regulatory impact statement (RIS) by 31 August 2018.

More information including a the RIS can be found here.


The Coalition Government is considering changes to Australian migration policy to force persons who arrive under the ‘Skilled Migration’ or ‘Regional Sponsored Migration’ Schemes to remain in regional areas for an additional amount of time.

Regional employers have long been concerned about the usual practice of sponsored migrants immediately moving to Sydney or Melbourne after visa conditions have expired. This leaves regional communities with perpetual skills shortages and places additional strain on infrastructure in our two biggest capital cities.

There are legal challenges in restricting freedom of movement in a nation like Australia, but this has been achieved for some occupations such as doctors where Medicare billing has been linked to a regional centre for up to 10 years.


Those of you who attended the LRTAQ Conference in 2017 will be familiar with Dr Gomes and Heart of Australia.

They are a remote healthcare operation that helps rural Australians. They have now taken delivery of a new Kenworth K200 prime mover and specialised trailer in Queensland.

ALRTA Platinum Partner PACCAR Australia is a longtime supporter of Heart of Australia as is longtime ALRTA member Frasers Livestock Transport and their help will assist in getting these services to more Australians in remote areas.

Due to visit 16 outback towns starting this month, the combination features extra consultation rooms for a range of specialist services, including gynaecology, neurology and endocrinology.

The mobile clinic is the second truck for Heart of Australia, which began in 2014 taking heart specialists to the bush in a custom built 18-wheeler clinic.

Brisbane cardiologist Dr Rolf Gomes mortgaged his home to build the first truck after being confronted by the health inequality facing Australians living in remote areas.

To find out more about the good work Heart of Australia is doing for our industry click here.


Hosted by prominent journalist and author Kerry O’Brien, Australian Industry Standards is holding a series of Industry Skills Forums around the country to explore current and future skills needs.

The forums will feature industry leaders in a Q&A panel discussion about future skilling in an age of digital transformation and new thinking about jobs and careers.

The Forums give you an opportunity to make a real contribution to shaping the skills and workforce priorities for your industry.

Forum dates:

Canberra – 11 September
Sydney – 26 September
Hobart – 9 October
Darwin – 16 October
Melbourne – 30 October
Perth – 8 November
Adelaide – 13 November

Resister here.


This week the ATA hosted a teleconference for CEOs and Executive Directors of member industry associations.  Some years ago these meetings were held regularly but were discontinued after several management changes occurred within ATA.

The meeting was a good opportunity to share information and discuss opportunities for closer cooperation on common issues for mutual benefit.  It was agreed that the meetings should continue on a regular basis.


Tony Sheldon has stepped down as TWU National Secretary to prepare to run for a Federal Senate position.  Mr Sheldon has been replaced by Michael Kaine who was the National Assistant Secretary.  Mr Kaine has been a long-time advocate of mandatory minimum rates for owner drivers so don’t expect too much the change at the TWU.


The ALRTA President and Executive Director are attending the LRTAV Conference in Bendigo Victoria this week.  Look out for a report next week.


There are several important events coming up in the next few months, including:

ATA & ALC Supply Chain Summit
When: 5-6 September 2018
Where: Melbourne
More information

Road Freight NSW Conference
When: 13 September 2018
Where: Rooty Hill RSL
More information

ATA Technology and Maintenance Conference
When: 15-17 October 2018
Where: TBC
More information