ALRTA calls for ‘harmonised national livestock loading scheme’

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has responded to the NHVR’s Review of Livestock Mass, Dimension and Loading Arrangements.

Its submission makes 12 recommendations centred around a harmonised national livestock loading scheme in Heavy Vehicle National Law jurisdictions.

ALRTA national president Scott McDonald said that harmonisation of state livestock loading schemes would have implications for livestock transport for decades to come.

“Livestock transport is a truly national endeavour with integrated supply chains reaching across all states and territories of Australia. Trucks are routinely loaded in one state and unloaded in another state where livestock loading rules are different,” said McDonald.

“Reflecting the historic genesis of state-based of livestock loading schemes, rules vary concerning the livestock species that may be carried, eligible vehicles, accreditation of operators, training, allowable tare mass and approaches to gross vehicle or combination mass. All ALRTA member associations in HVNL jurisdictions support harmonisation of scheme rules.

“In preparing our submission, ALRTA has held multiple member forums with positions considered by our Driver and Animal Welfare Committee and National Council. Members have agreed on almost all parameters that would comprise a national livestock loading scheme. However, there remain some differences of opinion concerning the best approach to training and gross vehicle mass.

“This is to be expected given that business operations and equipment are now built around state schemes that have been in operation for decades.

“While reform will be challenging, harmonisation of state livestock loading schemes has potential to lift productivity and reduce non-compliance risk for multi-state operators. I encourage NHVR to boldly strive for a harmonised national approach, having particular regard to enhancing safety, animal welfare, competitive neutrality and facilitating full network and farm gate access.”

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