After a conference over the weekend, this week has seen the livestock transporters lay out the issues they see facing the industry in the year ahead. The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association held its annual conference in Torquay in Victoria in which it identified its priority issues.
The topics identified include, effluent, establishing a national standard for low-volume road access, responding to the threat of the NSW General Carrier Contract Determination, improving driver and animal welfare and heavy vehicle charging.
“Over the past few years the ALRTA has been punching well above its weight,” said Kevin Keenan, ALRTA National President. “In partnership with government, industry and community stakeholders we have seen off the RSRT, broadened the coverage of chain of responsibility laws to better capture pre-transit livestock preparation, released National Guidelines for Ramps and Forcing Yards, extended the 160km log book exemption to all HVNL states, worked with NHVR to produce the first AFM templates and achieved an exemption from mandatory ABS for trailers operating in off-road conditions.
“The ALRTA will build upon this solid foundation during 2016-17. Effluent loss can be a problem for other road users as well as for the transmission of pests and diseases. We will seek to establish guidance material on how persons preparing livestock for transport can meet their duties under the new chain of responsibility laws.
“Like many across the industry, the ALRTA is gravely concerned about the prospect of RSRT-like requirements for owner drivers arising from the recent NSW General Carrier Contract Determination. We will work with other parties across the industry to convince decision-makers that rate setting simply does not work in the rural transport sector.
“The future of heavy vehicle charging is also high on our agenda. We can’t just sit back and let Governments continue to overcharge us by more than $200m a year while they beaver away in the background on a new user-pay system that could greatly disadvantage transport operators using second and third tier country roads. We will work to ensure that we get the best value from our taxes and charges and avoid an overly complex solution to the charging problem.”