ALRTA News – 21 December 2018

A special thanks to all of our National Sponsors who supported us in 2018!





The ALRTA National Council, State Associations and Secretariat Staff wish all members and road users a very safe and happy Christmas and New Year period.

We sincerely hope that you are able to take some well-earned rest and catch up with your family, friends and other important people that support you throughout the year.

See you in again in 2019!


As another busy year draws to a close it is timely to reflect on our achievements before taking a deep breath and gearing up for 2019.  Here is a summary of some important issues.

Electronic Stability Control
The ALRTA has influenced Australian Government decisions on mandatory electronic stability control.

In a regulatory impact statement released in early 2018, the Australian Government proposed to mandate ESC for prime movers only.  ALRTA responded that the technology should be mandated more broadly because it would deliver a safer outcome while still delivering net economic benefits.

The Australian Government subsequently agreed to extend the application of ESC – a decision that has the potential to save 126 lives and prevent more than 1,000 serious injuries.

The new requirement will now apply to selected categories of new model heavy trucks from 1 November 2020, and all new trucks in those categories from 1 November 2022. The requirement will apply to all new model heavy trailers weighing more than 10 tonnes from 1 July 2019 and all new heavy trailers weighing more than 10 tonnes from 1 November 2019.

Trailer Couplings
ALRTA strongly opposed a change to section 11 of the Heavy Vehicle (Vehicle Standards) National Regulation that would have required all mandatory equipment to be connected to a vehicle – or be automatically deemed non-compliant.   ALRTA considered the amendment to be unworkable because there are many situations when mandatory equipment fitted to heavy trailers cannot physically be plugged into a prime mover or leading trailer.

ALRTA proposed an alternative amendment which would only require equipment to be plugged in when compatible plugs are available.  The change has been accepted by the NTC which removes the threat of widespread inadvertent non-compliance with the original proposal.

Live Exports
ALRTA has lodged multiple submissions in response to reviews of the live export trade and we have written to and met with key members of Parliament and industry.  Multiple bills that have been introduced to ban the trade were defeated.  ALRTA has accepted a position on the Australian Government’s Live Export Animal Welfare Advisory Committee.

Mandatory Minimum Rates
ALRTA assisted the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria to respond to a Victorian Government proposal to increase industrial regulation of owner drivers. It has since been announced that new laws applicable to tippers will not apply to the rural supply chain.  We are now working with Coalition and Labour members to express your views about a possible re-introduction of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

Personal Use of a Heavy Vehicle
ALRTA has worked with the NHVR to establish the National Work and Rest Hours Exemption (Personal Use) Notice 2018 which allows up to one hour of personal use of a heavy vehicle prior to a long break and during a 24hr break.  Disappointingly this did not extend to BFM, however NHVR has agreed to reconsider.

Electronic Work Diaries
ALRTA has carefully considered an NHVR proposal to introduce voluntary EWDs. Our members have strong and differing views on this issue – some want to trial the technology (to reduce costs, reduce errors and improve compliance), while others are concerned that voluntary EWDs represent the first step toward mandatory EWDs.

The ALRTA National Council has resolved to support voluntary EWDs – however, we remain absolutely opposed to any prospect of mandatory EWDs.

Given rapid advances in technology and the likelihood that governments will eventually move to a telematics-based charging system, we are now calling for a full review of all regulations relating to fatigue and access, better application of chain of responsibility laws to ‘off road’ factors causing fatigue and urgent construction of more and better rest areas.

National Ramp Standard
On the recommendation of the Victorian Coroner and with the support of 13 other stakeholders, ALRTA has successfully applied to Standards Australia to commence the process for developing an enforceable National Standard for Livestock Loading and Unloading Ramps.

ALRTA has agreed that Standards Australia can use our voluntary ramps guide as the basis for further development and the process is expected to take around 18 months.

User-Pay Unloading Frame
A large processor in southern Queensland has agreed to host our user-pay unloading frame trial.  The frame has been constructed and fitted with a charging system.  We expect the data collection phase to commence in early 2019.

In 2018, ALRTA secured $400k in grant funding to establish Australia’s first roadside effluent disposal facility.  We are now working with QLD Transport and Main Roads to select a suitable site for the pilot project along the Warrego Highway.  We are also considering funding a second site if a suitable location can be found.

ALRTA has held six member-workshops at state conferences to inform development of an effluent code of practice. In November 2019, Ministers agreed to develop enforcement guidelines to assist in dealing with unavoidable non-safety related offences.

Heavy Vehicle Charging
ALRTA has met with the Minister and Department to discuss charging reform. During 2018 and 2019, Governments will undertake national and state trials of a direct charging system to replace registration and fuel charges.

Generally, we feel that Australian Governments are continuing to overcharge operators under the current PAYGO system to force the industry into a complex new system.  In a recent submission we have argued that governments need to build trust by stepping through simple reforms to decision-making, scrutiny, hypothecation and direct user charging well before introducing the high level of complexity that would come with a forward-looking cost base (pay before you use) and telematics-based charging system.

Heavy Vehicle Law Reform
For many years, ALRTA has championed a revision of CoR laws to be based on positive primary duties and the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.  After countless meetings, workshops, submissions and presentations to key decision-makers, these new laws came into effect on 1 October 2018.

In May 2018, ALRTA also asked Transport Ministers to bring forward a review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) by two years.  This was agreed and the National Transport Commission (NTC) will now conduct the review over the next 12 months.  The ALRTA Council has met with relevant NTC staff and we have made a formal submission on the proposed terms of reference.

Other Issues
ALRTA is actively engaged on many other issues including establishing consistent national notices for b-doubles, road trains and HML, reviewing the fit-to-load guide and advocating changes to National Vendor Declarations.

ALRTA Management Team
The new ALRTA Executive team commenced from 1 October 2018 with Stephen Marley elected as National President. The Executive team is:

  • National President – Stephen Marley
  • Vice-President – Scott McDonald
  • Vice President – John Beer
  • Treasurer – Fiona Wild
  • Secretary – Grant Robins
  • ATA Representative – David Smith
  • Immediate Past President – Kevin Keenan

ALRTA National Secretariat
The ALRTA National Secretariat has been restructured to more effectively deal with several major projects.  The team now consists of:

  • Executive Director – Mathew Munro
  • Finance Manager – Jack Evans
  • National Officer / Marketing Officer – Colleen Mays
  • Project Officer – Sue Davies

Looking Ahead
2019 will be another very busy year with a Federal Election, the HVNL review in full swing and work continuing on three major projects plus a national ramp standard.   The LRTASA-ALRTA Combined National Conference will be held in Adelaide 14-15 June 2019.

As always, ALRTA management and staff will be fighting on your behalf for a safer, fairer and more productive rural transport sector.


Latest truck crash statistics reveal 93% of multi-vehicle fatalities involving a heavy vehicle in Australia are caused by cars.

As record numbers of motorists hit the road this Christmas, the nation’s trucking industry leaders have united to urge all road users to put themselves in the driver’s seat.

National Transport Insurance (NTI) CEO, Tony Clark said the NTI data shows truck drivers are more often not at fault in high-profile accidents.

“We know there is often a negative public perception when it comes to truck safety and accidents however this data tells a different story. It’s important to remember trucks are the lifeblood of Australia,” Mr Clark said.

“As Australia’s number one truck insurer, NTI processes more than 13,000 claims from truck drivers each year and we have the nation’s most comprehensive data. Leading in to Christmas we face a 14% spike in claims.”

“Most truck drivers are professional, and many also have families waiting for them at home. The best gift from motorists this Christmas is to help everyone stay safe.”

The safety plea comes as new laws are introduced governing Australia’s trucking industry.
NHVR Acting Chief Executive Officer Ray Hassall says the recent Chain of Responsibility (CoR) changes make everyone involved with the trucking industry more accountable for safety.

“Any time a person or business sends or receives goods using a heavy vehicle they have a shared responsibility to ensure safety,” Mr Hassall said.

“If you’re a motorist, be aware that heavy vehicles require more distance to slow down, need more space when turning and need access to rest bays and truck stops.”

The NHVR and NTI today kicked off a Christmas social media campaign with tips for drivers to ensure they operate safely around heavy vehicles.

NTI has also introduced a new initiative to help industry operators adapt to the legislation reforms.


The ALRTA Executive Director (Mathew Munro) attended the first meeting of the Live Export Animal Welfare Advisory Group in Canberra.

The Australian Government has established the new group as part of a broad response to well documented incidents relating to live sheep exports to the Middle East in the Northern Hemi-sphere summer.  The response has also included re-establishing an Animal Welfare Branch in the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and an independent Inspector-General of Live Exports.

The first meeting of the group focussed on terms of reference, membership, work plans and future meetings.  The group will initially deal with live export matters and progressively broaden the focus to encompass all animal welfare matters.


The National Transport Commission is examining the effectiveness of the Australian Road Rules relating to driver distraction.

An issues paper has been released for public comment, which looks at responsibility for driver distractions, technologies that can assist and distract from the driving task, and prescriptive versus performance-based approaches to regulation.

Submission are due by 14 February 2019.


It comes as no surprise that the Australian Labor Party (ALP) has publicly re-committed to introducing mandatory minimum rates for owner drivers at the 48th ALP National Conference held 16-18 December 2018.

It was however surprising that ‘unsafe driving hours’ and ‘dangerous payment incentives’ were specifically mentioned by Bill Shorten when delivering his manifesto for an Australian Government that he leads.  Reading between the lines, it sounds as though minimum payment rates will just be the tip of the ice berg.


The ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee met via teleconference this week.  Issues discussed included: ramp standards, user-pay infrastructure, effluent, live exports and Q fever.


LRTAQ and ALRTA representatives met with QLD Transport and Main Roads (TMR) in Toowoomba last week to consider a short-list of site options for locating Australia’s first roadside effluent disposal facility.

Our representatives at the meeting included:

  • Ian Wild (LRTAQ President)
  • Fiona Wild (ALRTA Treasurer)
  • Graeme Hoare (LBRCA Vice President)
  • Mark Collins (LRTAQ Delegate)
  • Mathew Munro (ALRTA Executive Director)
  • Sue Davies (ALRTA Project Officer)

TMR has undertaken initial analysis of pros and cons at four sites on the Warrego Highway.  While there are some excellent potential locations, the primary constraints relate to the cost of additional road infrastructure or environmental considerations.

ALRTA has always expected that there would be challenges in delivering this major pilot project, so our Animal Welfare Committee and National Council will now consider the issues and devise a suitable strategy for progressing this vital initiative at the political and operational levels.


Preparations for the ATA’s 2019 elections are now underway.

The ALRTA encourages all members to register and use your vote in the election.

In the election, owner drivers with one truck and small fleet operators with 2-5 trucks will elect two representatives to the ATA’s General Council, which sets its strategic policy direction.  The council meets in Canberra at least 4 times a year and ALRTA is also represented directly on the council.

To register to vote in the election, you must own, be purchasing or leasing 1-5 trucks over 4.5 tonnes.  You will also need to provide a valid ABN and an email address that is unique to you.

You must be a member of an ATA member association, such as one of the ALRTA’s six state associations, to nominate for one of the positions.  Candidate nominations open on 4 January 2019 and a nomination form is available on the ATA website.

The election will be conducted entirely online, using a secure voting system.

Both voter registrations and candidate nominations close at 5pm AEDT, 31 January 2019.
Register to vote now

Background information about the 2017 ATA election

If potential or current voters or potential candidates have any questions, you can email

The current representatives to the ATA Council are:

  • John Beer (Owner Driver); and
  • Lynley Miners (Small Fleet).

Both candidates will nominate for re-election in 2019.

Owner Driver Candidate: John Beer
John Beer is a Livestock and Rural Transport Industry veteran of over 50 years.  He started out as a young driver hauling livestock as well as fencing posts, hay and grain.  Together with his wife Melva, he operates his own single-truck transport business J & M Beer Carrying Service Pty Ltd from Romsey in central Victoria.

John is a past President of the ALRTA and the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria.  In 2015, John was the first recipient of the ALRTA McIver Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Livestock and Rural Transport Industry and in 2016 was a finalist in the ATA Awards for Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry.

Small Fleet Candidate: Lynley Miners
Lynley Miners is the current President of the NSW based Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association, a role he has held since 2016.

Lynley has a deep association with the trucking industry as a successful operator and small business owner.  Lynley has 30 years’ experience driving a truck, growing up on a grazing property in the Snowy Mountains and working alongside his siblings in the family livestock transport business which is still in operation today under Lynley’s direction, are key to his success in this industry.

Holding several voluntary positions including Deputy Mayor of Snowy Monaro Regional Council, Lynley has a proven track record of working productively with a range of industry associations, businesses and government bodies.


The NHVR and heavy vehicle industry will establish an accreditation working group to respond to a comprehensive report into heavy vehicle accreditation schemes.

NHVR Executive Director of Productivity and Safety Geoff Casey said the Analysis of Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Schemes in Australia by respected consultant Peter Medlock provided a range of options for the future of heavy vehicle schemes.

“The Medlock analysis has made nine short, medium and long-term recommendations following a review of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme, TruckSafe, CraneSafe and Western Australian Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme,” Mr Casey said.

“Accreditation schemes are now utilised by more than 20 per cent of Australia’s heavy vehicle fleet and that means flow-on benefits such as increased safety and productivity for operators.

“The report will be assessed by a national working group and will include industry, government and NHVR representatives to map out a national accreditation framework to deliver more consistency across the schemes.”

Recommendations included the need to ensure robust audit requirements, greater consistency between schemes through alignment of standards, mutual recognition between schemes, development of a single national accreditation framework, regulatory concessions and expanding the membership of accreditation schemes.

Australian Trucking Association CEO Ben Maguire said the review recognised TruckSafe as a robust scheme and the report would establish a new basis for heavy vehicle accreditation in Australia.

“The review recognises that schemes which operate to a required set of robust standards should receive the same concessions as those in the NHVAS,” Mr Maguire said.

“The review also recommends that consideration be given to the NHVR focusing on its expanded compliance responsibilities and supervising alternative providers of industry accreditation.

“This is an exciting report with great potential to reform the heavy vehicle industry.”

Western Australian Main Roads Director Heavy Vehicles Services, Gary Player said the WA Heavy Vehicle Accreditation (WAHVA) scheme was established in 2002 and is compulsory for all restricted access vehicles and those operating on permits or concessions.

“The WAHVA scheme requires transport operators to have appropriate systems and processes in place to make heavy vehicle operations safer and we would support any efforts nationally that would lead to further improvements to heavy vehicle safety across Australia,” Mr Player said.

The NHVR appointed Mr Medlock in October 2017 to conduct the analysis.  Further consultation with government, industry groups and operators was undertaken during May and June, this year.

The Analysis of Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Schemes in Australia is available at here.


The Livestock Transporters Association of Tasmania met this week at the site of the new truck wash at Powranna.  The association has put a lot of hard work into this project and I’m sure it is more than satisfying to see it all come to fruition!


The NHVR offices will be closed from Tuesday 25 December 2018 to Tuesday 1 January 2019 inclusive.

The call centre will be closed on Public Holidays and open on all other business days from 8am–6pm (AEDT).  During this time, NHVR will continue to process access permit applications, but will not be processing or issuing any other types of applications (i.e. fatigue, NHVAS, PBS or vehicle standards).

The access permitting hours of state and territory road transport agencies during this period, are set out in the 2018-19 Christmas Hours – Access Permits table.  Please be aware that other Road Managers, such as local governments, may have limited or no services available during this period.


Over the Christmas and New Year period, there are travel restrictions in place for certain Class 1 heavy vehicles.  For vehicles operating under a permit, operators should check the permit’s conditions to establish whether Christmas or public holiday travel restrictions are listed or referenced in related notices.

For more information on travel restrictions click here.


Members and other interested parties are advised that the ALRTA National Secretariat will shut down over the Christmas and New Year period.  We will close at 5:00pm, Friday 21 December 2018 and re-open at 9:30am, Wednesday, 2 January 2019.

Our office expects to recommence our regular weekly newsletters from Friday, 25 January 2018.  We will issue a newsletter prior to this time if there are new developments that just can’t wait.

For urgent enquiries contact Mathew Munro on 0421 082 489 or