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ALRTA call on COR relating to livestock transport

Effluent loss responsibility an issue long past needing reform, Keenan says


The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has called on transport regulators to get serious about the application of chain of responsibility (COR) to “livestock preparation”.

The call comes in response to a Queensland Parliamentary Transport and Utilities Committee report and cites Recommendation 2 that advises that Queensland’s transport minister should tackle the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) issues with other relevant Commonwealth and state ministers.

Specifically, the ministers should then ask the National Transport Commission (NTC) to give further consideration within the next 12 months towards making the national law more transparent and more easily understood, particularly as it relates to effluent loss.

The issue was highlighted as an action point at the body’s annual conference in August and has been a target for at least as long as COR reform has been touted.

ALRTA president Kevin Keenan says that the matter has remained unresolved for two decades and it is past time to get serious about the issue.

“The loss of effluent from a heavy vehicle is routinely treated as a load restraint breach under the HVNL,” Keenan says.  

“It is widely known that the primary cause is inadequate preparation of livestock by chain parties prior to transport.

“While COR laws have been in place since 1997 for the purpose of holding off-road chain parties to account when their actions or omissions result in on-road breaches, the provisions have been wholly ineffective in influencing stock preparation practices. 

“The law is not clear and there have been no known prosecutions of chain parties beyond the driver and operator in relation to effluent loss.”

“Poor effluent control can have implications for road safety, animal welfare, biosecurity, public amenity and the environment. 

“Trailer effluent tanks can only ever offer a partial solution because of their low capacity and the severe lack of managed dumping sites.”

“It is blatantly unfair to continue prosecuting drivers and operators for breaches caused by other parties in the chain. 

“Governments should either make the COR provisions clear and effective, or just exempt effluent from the HVNL load restraint provisions altogether.”

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