The latest news from ALRTA: new President, NSW load restraint blitz, roadworthiness review and more. This newsletter is optimised for viewing on smart phones.
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ALRTA Weekly News - 22 August 2014
Representing hard-working, rural based road transport companies from all around Australia.

Thank you to the ALRTA sponsor of the week: 

Beaurepaires is a long time supporter of the ALRTA and offers special deals to all ALRTA members. Contact your local dealer or rep to find out more. 

Please support our national sponsors




Mr Grant Robins was elected National President of the ALRTA at our Annual General Meeting in Melbourne on 7 August 2014.  

Grant hails from Kulin almost 300km South East of Perth, WA. Grant owns and operates Kulin Transport which he started 26 years ago originally transporting fertiliser from rail.  In 2012 Kulin Transport sold its livestock crates and now concentrates on transporting other rural commodities including grain, fertiliser and lime. 
Grant was President of the Livestock and Rural Transport Association of Western Australia (LRTAWA) for seven years.   Grant has been Vice-President of the Australian Livestock Transporters Association (ALRTA) for several years.  In 2013 he was elected to the Kulin Shire in WA’s wheat belt.  Grant is married with two children and enjoys boating and fishing in his spare time.

Grant has hit the ground running leading a meeting of the ALRTA Executive this week and plans to be in Brisbane in the first week of September to meet with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the ALRTA’s National Sponsors NTI and BP.  


Operators travelling in NSW should be aware of an enforcement blitz underway in NSW apparently targeting effluent and other unrestrained loads.  We know of several confirmed cases right across the state.  Affected members can call the LBCA for advice on 02 6230 6290.

Effluent loss is a ‘whole of supply chain’ issue and we are advised that NSW RMS has been asking for NVDs to obtain information about load owners.  We are as yet unaware of any chain of responsibility prosecutions.  ALRTA and LBCA representatives hope to meet with farming representatives next week in Canberra to discuss the matter and we are also investigating legal and regulatory options for improving the situation. 


The NTC is currently reviewing a range of matters related to roadworthiness, including: general roadworthiness (inspection & NHVAS); defect clearance; and chain of responsibility relating to vehicle maintenance. We are expecting that NTC will make recommendations to the Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council in November.
The ALRTA has previously made a submission to NTC supporting the inclusion of vehicle maintenance under chain of responsibility.  Our National Council has recently discussed defect clearance processes and NHVAS auditing systems and we have this week advised of our position on these matters to both ATA and NTC. 
Defect Clearance
There is a lack of consistency in defect issuance and clearance between states and even within states. The industry desperately needs a nationally consistent set of rules and processes that provide:
  • Improved skills for enforcers – perhaps even removing powers from police except for major safety matters;
  • Increased use of formal warnings for non-critical issues;
  • Better interpretation of minor v major;
  • Systems which do not ‘hold up the trucks’ unnecessarily;
  • Self-clearance of minor defects (e.g. sign form and return);
  • Greater availability of good quality clearance services (and improved mechanisms for identifying and taking action against dodgy providers);
  • Better opportunities for the NHVR to review and overturn defects issued in error.
NHVAS Auditing
There are a range of problems with NHVAS audits mostly related to conflicts of interest or lack of oversight of auditors.  We think these could be addressed as follows:
  • All qualified auditors should be registered with the NHVR;
  • The NHVR should select a suitable auditor from the list to conduct an audit for an operator when it falls due;
  • NHVR should have regard for the location, expertise, availability and any previous dealings between the auditor and the operator;
  • One option would be for the NHVR to provide a list of three auditors from which the operator may choose;
  • Audit prices should be standardised as far as possible (taking into account travel distances, time spent etc);
  • Auditors should have minimum mechanical qualifications and physically inspect vehicles to check that maintenance work is being carried out;
  • Auditors should have some liability insurance against poor auditing performance, but should not be directly liable for actual vehicle defects;
  • The NHVR should be responsible for determining required qualifications and competency standards for listed auditors;
  • The NHVR should have the power to ‘de-list’ or otherwise sanction negligent or dishonest auditors;
  • All current state-based regulators that ‘audit the auditors’ should be disbanded and associated powers transferred to NHVR;
  • Operators who do not close out non-conformance reports are ineligible to be accredited and no longer enjoy the benefits of accreditation. Thus, no further sanctions should be required.


The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has issued its first safety and compliance alert to industry following early observations of investigators on the recent fatal fuel tanker crash in country Victoria.

NHVR Chief Executive, Sal Petroccitto, released the alert ahead of the completion of the investigation since it offered important and practical advice that operators could act on promptly.

“Our mission is to Facilitate, Innovate, Regulate and issuing timely safety advice to industry is one of the key tasks of a national Regulator,” said Mr Petroccitto.

 “Our advice to operators who are working with dog trailers, pig trailers and road train dollies is that they should read this safety advice closely and should consider actions they can take to assure the integrity of their trailer or dolly coupling systems, with a particular focus on the tow eye fitment.

“Our safety and compliance alert outlines the facts so far and identifies issues for operators to consider should they undertake inspections,” said Mr Petroccitto.

“I need to stress that the frontline investigation continues to be led by Victoria Police and we are providing this advice without comment as to any contributory cause to the collision.

“As a national Regulator, we are very aware that safety doesn’t stop at the border,” said Mr Petroccitto.

“We are working with our frontline compliance arms in all states to make sure the right information is shared across all agencies and to determine what coordinated action authorities can take to prevent this happening again.

“I acknowledge the support of Victoria Police and the Victorian Transport Industry Enforcement Liaison Committee for their support in preparing our first safety alert,” said Mr Petroccitto.

The NHVR Safety and Compliance Alert 1/2014, issued 19 August 2014, is available from the NHVR website at

Following annual elections held at the ALRTA AGM on Thursday, 7 August 2014, the ALRTA Executive positions for 2014-15 are:

President – Grant Robbins (LRTAWA) 
Immediate Past President – Liz Schmidt
Vice President – Kevin Keenan (LRTAV) 
Vice President – Graeme Hoare (LBCA)
Treasurer – Ron Pattel (LRTAQ)  
Secretary – John Beer (LRTAV)
ATA Rep – David Smith (LRTASA)
TruckCare Chair – Kevin Fechner (LRTAV)

TruckWeek 2014 will bring the trucking industry together to show Australia how we deliver. We carry 70 per cent of Australia’s freight and every item on the shelves of every supermarket. We do it safely, every day and every night.

TruckWeek is a time to celebrate what we do. It’s a time to honour our dedicated staff and tell the community how professional we are.

Everyone in the trucking industry can be a part of TruckWeek 2014 by holding or attending an event. We have some great event ideas for you to consider and all the resources you’ll need.

Once you’ve decided, register your event online. We’ll send you official logos and promote your event through the TruckWeek website, the media and our Twitter feed.
You can also see all the events that people are running as part of TruckWeek 2014.

Together, we can show Australia how trucking delivers.
Copyright © 2014 Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association, All rights reserved.

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