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Extension of work diary exemption for rural carriers

Short-haul rural carriers of primary produce are celebrating another three-year extension to the work diary exemption rule.

The National Primary Production Work Diary Exemption Notice 2021 (No. 1) extends the 100km radius to 160km until October 4, 2024.

Scott McDonald, national president of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA), said that continuation is significant for rural carriers.

“The 160km work diary exemption reduces the unnecessary red tape burden on low-risk rural carriers and allows them focus on the job at hand,” said McDonald.

“It is recognised that drivers who take a break every two hours are at low risk of fatigue. More frequent breaks also mean more frequent record keeping requirements, so it makes sense to provide relief from the unnecessary red tape burden for low risk drivers.

“The general 100km radius exemption is a good approximation of up to two hours driving time in urban environments. However, in rural areas with lower traffic congestion and higher speed limits a 160km radius is more appropriate.

McDonald said the ALRTA worked closely with the NHVR to establish the 160km exemption in 2015.

“I am pleased to see the exemption renewed for a second time as it ensures regulatory equivalency for urban and rural road transporters.”

To be clear, added McDonald, if you’re driving a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle, transporting primary produce between a primary production facility and a point of sale, processing or distribution and are working within a 160km radius of your base, you are NOT required to keep and record information in a National Driver Work Diary under the exemption, but are still required to keep your own records.

“This exemption also covers the direct return journey after the primary produce has been offloaded.”

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