ALRTA News – 20 February 2024

Thank you to ALRTA National Partner


ALRTA Executive Director Update

Welcome another weekly ED update!

It was another busy week here in Canberra, with further changes and amendments to the Closing the Loopholes Bill.  I know members have expressed concerns regarding the ‘right to disconnect’ clauses and potential impacts.  I met with Minister Burke’s office alongside ATA and WRF to discuss potential implications and can provide the following advice:

There was an amendment Bill that passed through the Parliament this week to remove the criminality element, which is a big relief for business owners and employers.
There is terminology and safeguards under development to define reasonable contact.  ALRTA will be part of the design of these provisions, examples put forward in the meeting included differences in time zones, operational requirements, health and wellbeing requirements, fatigue management etc. 
Any claim put forward by an employee of unreasonable contact to the FWC, will be assessed against these guidelines in the first instance.  The FWC will reject any claims where contact is clearly reasonable and / or those from vexatious employees. This assessment is anticipated to be completed within 24 hours of a claim being received.  This safeguard is an attempt to ensure that vexatious employees do not waste both the employer’s and the commission’s time.

In the meeting, I stressed that even with safeguards, these types of proceedings still have the potential to add cost to business, as employers and business owners will still need to take time away from their business to prepare to appear, even if that does not eventuate.

Watch this space as these conversations continue and guidelines developed.  Don’t forget there will be a members forum on this legislation on Tuesday 27 February 2024.  A Zoom link will be sent out later this week. 

I participated in a stakeholder meeting regarding the National Livestock Identification Scheme (NLIS) redesign and stressed the importance to include time off feed and water.  Importantly, ALRTA and its members are still considered to be a key stakeholder in the Scheme redesign and our participation is welcome. 

I met with a migration agent this week to discuss skilled migration lists for truck drivers, I’ll continue to liaise with the industry more broadly, government and other associations to advocate for the inclusion of truck drivers on a skilled migration list or for the government to develop an industry wide labour agreement that would enable truck drivers to migrate to Australia for work.

Importantly, I met with the Hon. David Littleproud, Leader of the Nationals this week to discuss issues affecting the industry.  Mr Littleproud and I discussed the Rural Transport Managed Deposit Scheme (RTMDS) and I have provided more information to his office on this.  ALRTA will continue to advocate for this scheme, designed by industry for industry, to provide critical financial support during times of hardship.

I also met with a potential partner in the brake space and look forward to progressing this partnership. Speaking of partners, it was great to catch up with long time partners, bp.  It was great to see ALRTA members have been taking up their fuel offer and we have achieved above our target for public fuel consumption. Thank you to bp for their long-term support.

Next week is a big week with ATA Council and National Animal Welfare Roundtable in Canberra before travelling to Wagga for the LBRCA conference.  I am looking forward to catching up with everyone face to face.

Until next week!

Building a Diverse and Sustainable Workforce

It is a well-known fact the transport industry is facing a skills shortage in Australia. Our domestic freight task is set to double by 2030, only 6 years away and yet we need 10,000 to 15,000 drivers to meet our current demand.

As our cities grow, the demand for food and fibre increases, as such the role of livestock and rural carriers increases, to move freight from farm gate to processors and supermarket shelves, and onto export markets.

ALRTA is highly supportive of moving to competency-based training and heavy vehicle apprenticeships to attract and retain candidates to livestock and rural transport. This would enable young persons to commence working in the industry from school age and move through structured learning and competencies to ensure they are able to safety and efficiently operate a heavy vehicle.

Diversity is key in ensuring the industry can retract and retain drivers, and as an industry we need to be looking at ways to attract school leavers, mid-career and those returning to the workforce or that require flexible work.

Read more.

Congratulations to the 2024 Daimler Truck Future Leaders

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and Daimler Truck have announced the 2024 Daimler Truck Future Leaders.

The 12 future leaders taking part in the program will receive training from experts in leadership, media management, social media and policy/advocacy. The program will culminate in a presentation to the delegates at Trucking Australia 2024.

ALRTA is proud to have nominated Ann Ferry (GDP Transport) into the program.

Read more.

A new award for young women in transport

Transport Women Australia Limited has announced a new industry award, the ‘Young Gunnette Award’ to be sponsored by longtime supporter Cummins.

The award will be offered to young women under the age of 30 who are going above and beyond in our transport industry, encouraging young females who are making strides early in their careers.

Read more.

Paccar crowns Kenworth and DAF dealers of the year

Kenworth DAF Wodonga has been named Kenworth Dealer of the Year for 2023, the eighth time it’s won the prestigious award.

Wodonga also added the 2023 Paccar Financial Dealer of the Year to its long list of achievements.

Read more.

Michael Long, Director Sales and Marketing Paccar Australia, David Burn, General Manager Kenworth DAF Wodonga, and Damian Smethurst, Managing Director Paccar Australia.

Save the dates for 2024

  • LBRCA – 23-24 February 2024 – WAGGA WAGGA NSW
  • LRTAQ/ALRTA National Combined Conference – 21-22 March 2024 – TOOWOOMBA QLD
  • LRTASA – May 31 – 1 June 2024 – ADELAIDE SA
  • LRTAWA – 3 August 2024 – WA
  • LRTAV – 16-17 August 2024 – SHEPPARTON VIC