ALRTA News – 20 September 2019

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An attack on a Saudi Arabian oil facility has underscored the importance of securing the Australian liquid fuel supply.  The incident reduced Saudi oil production by more than 50 per cent and caused the price of Brent crude oil to spike 20 per cent.  
Australia is a signatory to an international treaty that requires a 90-day liquid fuel reserve.  However, a stocktake in December 2018 found that Australia had just 22 days liquid diesel supply. The ATA has been vocal in calling on the Australian Government to improve Australian liquid fuel security.
Australia’s emergency fuel reserves must be held in Australia, ATA Chair Geoff Crouch has said, following reports the Australian Government is seeking access to the United States’ strategic petroleum reserve.

“Liquid fuel is critical to trucking and critical for our economy,” Mr Crouch said.

“The United States is on the other side of a very wide ocean. The proposal to meet Australia’s fuel security obligations by tapping into the US reserve is, as a result, simply not viable,” he said.

The Australian Government’s interim fuel security report found that at the end of last year, Australia had just 18 consumption days of petrol and 22 consumption days of diesel in stock. 

The ATA and its members have been campaigning since 2014 about the need to prioritise Australia’s fuel security and this year made a detailed submission to the liquid fuel security review, concerned the government has unrealistic expectations about what would happen in a fuel shortage emergency. 

“Without trucks, Australia stops. Without fuel, supermarkets go empty, medicines don’t get delivered and waste services don’t get emptied,” Mr Crouch said.
Listen to comments by ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro, on Victorian County Hour last week.


The NHVR is seeking Expressions of Interest from owner operators and drivers to participate in a workshop to discuss the specific issues this group faces in relation to gaining flexibility through Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) accreditation. 
The NHVR would like to identify the barriers caused by the current AFM application process and Standards as well as what support information would be valuable to help make gaining AFM accreditation simpler. 
If you would like to participate, please email your full name, contact details, whether you will be attending in person or via phone and any dietary requirements to by 11 October 2019.  Confirmation of your attendance will be issued on 14 October 2019. 

  • Date: 25 October 2019
  • Time: 10am – 3pm (light lunch and refreshments provided)
  • Location: NHVR Office, Level 3, 76 Skying Terrace Newstead QLD. 

If you are unable to attend in person, you will be able to participate via teleconference or video conference via landline or mobile.


Following completion of a trail, NSW Minister for Transport and Roads, the Hon. Andrew Constance MP, has announced that changes will be made to laws that required drivers to slow down to 40km/h when passing stationary emergency vehicles with flashing blue or red lights.
From 26 September (in NSW):

  • Drivers will no longer need to slow down to 40km/h on roads with speed limits of 90km/h or over.
  • Drivers will continue to be required to slow down to 40 km/h on roads with speed limits of 80km/h or under.
  • The rule will be expanded to include tow trucks and breakdown assistance vehicles, which are displaying yellow flashing lights while stopped on the road.

 On roads with speed limits of 90km/h or over drivers will need to:

  • Slow to a speed which is safe and reasonable for the circumstances.
  • Give sufficient space between their vehicle and the breakdown assistance or emergency vehicle and workers.
  • On multi-lane roads, drivers must change lanes to keep the lane next to the vehicle free if it is safe to do so.

NSW Police have also adjusted their practices so officers are stopping in safer locations which are more visible to approaching drivers.
During the 12 month trial 926 infringements were issued for breaching the slow down rules.


Kudos to Frasers Livestock Transport on being the first heavy operator to travel down the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC) during the official opening on 8 September 2019.

Frasers Livestock Transport

The TSRC stretches 41km from the Warrego Highway at Helidon Spa in the east to the Gore Highway at Athol in the west, via Charlton.  All heavy vehicles are required to use the TSRC unless the vehicle has a local destination in Toowoomba or is travelling to, or from, the Warwick area via the New England Highway.

Information about applicable tolls can be found here.


ALRTA National and State Association Presidents met via teleconference this week to discuss ALRTA operations and policy positions.  The ALRTA National Member Chapter was also represented. The forums are held in between ALRTA Council meetings to ensure that our federation is always working together in the best interests of our 700 grass roots members.


Australia’s longest short cut, The Outback Way, stretches 2,700km from Laverton WA to Winton Qld. Taking a longer view, the route can take you all the way from Perth to Cairns.

Mat Munro, Helen Lewis and Patrick Hill. 

The Outback Highway Development Council (OHDC) was formed in 1998 and has since secured $400m to upgrade the route: 2700km-1300km sealed and 1400km good formed gravel.  The Funding has lifted 70% of the gravel sections to a type 3 gravel road and with these sections being sealed –   300km further seal on priority sections along the entire route, will be completed 2021.
ALRTA was pleased to welcome to our Canberra office, Patrick Hill, Chairman of the OHCD, and Helen Lewis, General Manager, of the OHDC Secretariat.  Discussions centred around further funding support and promotion of industry and tourism opportunities.
You can read more about the Outback Way click here.


Grain Trade Australia (GTA) is seeking to establish a pilot truck wash dedicated to reducing cross-contamination of fertiliser residues in bulk grain tippers.  GTA pitched a business case to establish a pilot in the Geelong area but this was not supported by local Council and business interests.  The focus has now shifted to the area around the Port of Newcastle.

Mat Munro, Pat O’Shannassy and Tim Ross.

ALRTA was pleased to welcome to our Canberra office Pat O’Shannassy, GTA CEO, and Tim Ross, GTA Projects Manager.  Discussions focussed on gaining support for the truck wash pilot, NHVR review of Harvest Mass Management Schemes, chain of responsibility and the development of industry codes of practice.


Inconsistent defect notices and inspection policies must be fixed in the new truck laws, Chair of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), Geoff Crouch, said today. 

The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, we are committed to safety, professionalism and viability. 

Mr Crouch was releasing the ATA submission to the national truck law review on vehicle standards and safety, calling for major reform to inspection policies and vehicle defect notice process. 

“Defect notices are inconsistent, poorly structured and don’t always link to a significant safety issue,” Mr Crouch said. 

Mr Crouch said the ATA had called for defect notices and inspection policies to be fixed in 2014, with the need for action having only grown stronger since then. 

“The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and road agencies have ample powers backed by substantial penalties to prosecute through the court system if it is necessary,” Mr Crouch said. 

The ATA submission calls for significant reform, and says the new national truck laws should: 

  • Deliver enforceable standards that set out a consistent approach to defect notices and how they can be cleared
  • Take a risk-based approach that allows minor defects to be addressed by formal warnings, on the spot repairs and self-clearing processes
  • Provide a review mechanism for defect notices issued in error or that are inconsistent with National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s inspection and roadworthiness manuals, and
  • Deliver consistent and proportionate roadworthiness inspections. 

 “We’re also calling for the new laws to recognise the NHVR’s role as a national standard setting body and require it to comply with best practice regulation and consultation requirements,” Mr Crouch said. 

“The laws must also adopt a risk-based approach to heavy vehicle modifications and include third-party maintenance providers as parties in the chain of responsibility,” he said. 

The ATA will provide industry members the opportunity to share their thoughts on defect notices at its upcoming 2019 Technology and Maintenance Conference, held from 14-16 October in the Melbourne Docklands. 

“Our conference delegates can work together in our Teletrac Navman Collaboration Zone to provide input into the ATA’s position on how each type of defect should be categorised in future enforceable standards,” Mr Crouch said. 

“It is vital we gather feedback from those who experience these issues on a day-to-day basis to ensure the new laws are as fair and effective as possible,” he said. 

View the submission 


The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) has expressed disappointment over the Opposition’s decision to attempt to disallow a motion to create clarity for small businesses on casual employment. The disallowance was defeated by the government with support from key cross bench Senators.
The Chief Executive Officer of COSBOA, Peter Strong, said the organisation and its members believed that rather than using the legislative instrument of a disallowance motion, a simpler response from the Labor Party would have given small business much-needed clarity around employment and risk. This approach, however, was opposed.
“Not that long ago we had good dialogue with the ACTU and unions,” Mr Strong said.
“We disagreed on certain issues but sought to come together around the reality of what is needed in the workplace.
“Indeed it could be argued that the union support of the Accord back in the 1980s and its on-going campaigns for higher wages and better conditions based on productivity have put the Australian worker in a great place when it comes to earnings and conditions.
“But if the modern ACTU was to get its way those conditions would be affected and unemployment would grow quickly.
“It is now the Labor Party that needs to work out whether it is for unions and ideology, or for reality, small business people, and workers – there’s a stark difference.”
Mr Strong said COSBOA also noted the recent decision by the High Court that created great uncertainty for businesses around how a ‘day’ should be defined for workplace relations purposes and how leave accruals are to be determined.
“If the unions get their way then employing people in Australia will become even more problematic and expensive,” he said.
“Workplace relations do not have to be this complicated and the complexity only favours those with vested interest – the ACTU and some industry associations.
“We ask the Government and the Labor Party to seek and support the removal of complexity and not chase ideological dreams driven by failed policy.”


Three young trucking apprentices will have an opportunity to further their careers and expand their industry knowledge, with the Australian Trucking Association today announcing the winners of the 2019 Cummins Technology and Maintenance Conference Scholarships. 

The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, we are committed to safety, professionalism and viability. 

“Thanks to Cummins, our three young apprentices will be given the experience and the tools needed to build their knowledge of the industry and develop practical skills,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said. 

“Not only will our scholarship recipients be hosted at TMC and professional networking events, they will each be paired with an experienced industry mentor for support and assistance in making the most of their conference experience,” he said. 

The 2019 Cummins TMC Scholarship recipients are: 

  • Kale Marsh, Richers Transport, Maryborough QLD
  • Renee Gibson, Volvo Commercial Vehicles, Prestons NSW
  • Cameron Pevitt, Midfield Meat Transport, Warrnambool VIC 

Thanks to Cummins South Pacific, each scholarship winner will be will receive full registration to the ATA’s 2019 Technology and Maintenance Conference including social events, pre-conference tour of Cummins Melbourne facility and a Cummins merchandise pack, an assigned conference mentor, and return airfares and accommodation. 

“Cummins is proud to continue our partnership with the ATA,” Cummins South Pacific Manager, On-Highway Sales & Customer Support, Scott Alexander said. 

“Today’s apprentices are the future of our industry, and this program is crucial in supporting the professional growth of young people entering the industry’s workshops,” he said. 

The 2019 Technology and Maintenance Conference will be held from 14-16 October at the Melbourne Docklands. The conference program features a range of hands-on workshops, job-specific presentations, interactive informational sessions and professional networking events. 

View the TMC program and register 


The trucking industry faces great change. To deal with it, we need a new generation of industry leaders.
In conjunction with Daimler Truck and Bus and the Australian Trucking Association, ALRTA is calling for nominations for the 2019 Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders’ Forum.
The Future Leaders’ Forum will deliver a career-defining professional development program to a hand-picked group of 18-40 year old trucking business owners and employees.
The highly successful forum is now entering its third year.  
The ALRTA’s 2018 representative was Wade Lewis who over the past 12 years has been a driver, logistics manager, intermodal manager and trainer, as well as LBRCA representative to the NHVR and a member of the NSW Freight Connectivity Committee. 
The ALRTA’s 2019 representative was Angela Mumma who has extensive experience in the transport and logistics industries, particularly the heavy vehicle freight sector.  While working at Stockmaster, she has negotiated KPIs with key customers, introduced a new accounting system and overseen the rollout of safer new technology such as EBS across the fleet.
The 2020 program will consist of:

  • Two days of intensive workshops in Canberra on 25-26 November 2019
  • A take-home leadership project
  • A digital check-in meeting
  • Participation in Trucking Australia 2020, to be held in Cairns from 1-3 April 2020.

 Participants will:

  • Learn how government policy is developed and how businesses and industry associations can have an influence in an effective and ethical way
  • Learn how to handle media interviews
  • Develop a leadership project on a key industry issue with facilitation and mentoring from Wisdom Learning. Participants will present the results at Trucking Australia 2020
  • Development a strong professional network with like-minded industry leaders

 Daimler Truck and Bus will pay the full cost of the program, including travel, accommodation, delegate fees and meals.

To apply for the ALRTA vacancy in the program, send an email to your State Member Association (LRTAQ, LBRCA, LRTAV, LTAT, LRTASA or LRTAWA) by 3 October 2018 with the following:

  • Your full contact details
  • Your age
  • The outline of a leadership project you would like to undertake.

 Visit for more details.