ALC and ATA release safety summit action points

Eight areas identified, including boosting master code relevance to smaller operators

ALC and ATA release safety summit action points
Presenters at the summit


The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) have identified seven major issues for further examination in the wake of this month’s joint Supply Chain Safety and Compliance Summit.

Well-timed in the lead-up to Chain Of Responsibility (COR) legislative changes due to come into effect on October 1, the summit focused heavily on industry-wide heavy-vehicle master industry code of practice but also covered more general areas of safety concern.

These included "opportunities to create a safer environment for heavy vehicle operators and for all road users by taking advantage of improving technology, promoting a positive safety culture in workplaces and ensuring everything possible is done to protect the physical and mental well-being of the dedicated professionals who keep the nation’s heavy vehicle fleets moving", the two peak transport and logistics bodies state.

Concerns about perceived weaknesses surrounding the master code were raised at the summit. Read them here

The major issues and areas for further action identified are:

  • end-to-end supply chain collaboration on safety is crucial. More needs to be done to demonstrate that an effective approach to managing safety risks not only delivers better safety outcomes, but greater efficiencies for operators and for customers
  • the master code is relevant to all parts of the industry, including smaller operators. ALC and the ATA should continue working to demonstrate how the master code embodies a practical approach to the management of safety risks, which will help demystify many of these issues for smaller operators
  • increasing duplication throughout the auditing system for heavy vehicles is having a detrimental impact and must be addressed. Industry, customers and the wider community will be better served by a system that is less focussed on ‘box ticking’, and instead does more to embrace the practical, real-world experience of drivers in managing safety risks
  • jurisdictional inconsistencies in the enforcement of COR and the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) remain a significant frustration. Leading industry bodies such as ALC and the ATA should lead efforts to ensure compliance authorities understand how consignors and consignees are managing risks – and ensure those efforts are being recognised when it comes to enforcement
  • executive-level recognition of the importance of COR will drive better safety. When a company’s leadership shows they ‘get it’, it drives cultural change throughout an organisation. ALC and ATA can play a role in helping executives understand that demonstrating compliance with their safety obligations is not merely a legal requirement, but offers tangible business benefits
  • statistics on heavy vehicle safety need to be presented more effectively. The tendency to assume that the heavy vehicle is at fault in every incident has a bearing on the industry’s social licence. Industry should work with authorities to ensure the statistics present a more accurate picture, and develop strategies to ensure passenger vehicles share the road with heavy vehicles more safely
  • there needs to be far more honest conversation about mental health in the industry. Driving is a solitary activity that necessitates a lot of time away from homes and families. Industry organisations need to work collaboratively on initiatives that remove the stigma around talking about mental health challenges. Developing programs that equip the industry’s workforce with tools needed to deal with mental health issues effectively must be a top priority
  • improving technology should be embraced by all in the effort to save lives on our roads. This includes promoting much greater uptake of telematics, in-vehicle cameras and the development of consistent data standards that will promote enhanced safety right though the supply chain, assist with business management and promote better infrastructure investment (including rest stops).

"The priorities set out above emerged thanks to two days of vigorous and honest discussions by summit attendees of the major safety challenges facing those who operate and work with heavy vehicles throughout our supply chains, the ALC and ATA says.

"Through our respective policy and advocacy activities, ALC and the ATA will work to promote the development of practical solutions to the challenges identified – and will work to build on the collaborative spirit that was a hallmark of this summit."


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