New fatigue scheme takes centre stage at annual livestock conference

The Livestock and Rural Transport Association of South Australia (LRTASA) and the Australian Livestock and Rural Transport Association (ALRTA) held their combined annual conference in Adelaide last week, with the incoming Livestock and Rural Transport Fatigue Management Scheme the major topic of discussion.

Guest speaker Phil Halton (pictured), General Manager of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) advised the conference the new fatigue management scheme, which will be put in place before the end of the year, will address a range of issues within the stock transport industry.

The Livestock and Rural Transport Fatigue Management Scheme (LRTFMS) has been developed to provide new opportunities for operators and drivers who become accredited with the NHVR. The scheme will commence by making 14 day rosters available to livestock and rural operators and is expected to expand to fortnightly cycles that will permit drivers to be scheduled for up to 12 consecutive days, so long as they finish work before midnight on all occasions and have an increased number of short breaks from driving.

Mr Halton said that the next step would be to accommodate those operators who need to run long distances from time to time such as when bringing a road train from an inland region to a regional port for live export. A proposed “rural time bank” is also very likely which will benefit rural operators whose transport task and road network access make it unrealistic to set or keep rigid and inflexible schedules.

In addition, life memberships of the ALRTA were presented to Mark Sullivan and David Smith in recognition of their many years of work in and for the industry. Following tributes by Ross Fraser and John Beer, former Minister for infrastructure Anthony Albanese MP presented the recipients with their commemorative plaques.

Other speakers of the livestock conference included South Australian Transport Minister Stephen Mulligan, Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure Jamie Briggs, National Transport Commissioner Paul Retter and Minister Albanese.

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