21 April 2020
Published by Rebecca Niumeitolu
According to Meat and Livestock Australia’s 2019 State of the Industry Report, between 2017 and 2018, the red meat and livestock industry in Australia accounted for the direct or indirect employment of about 404,800 people. Moreover, exports of red meat and livestock were valued at $13.7 billion.
Needless to say, this significant industry relies heavily on on-road transport to keep its wheels-a-turnin’ and with that the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has determined in March to keep its eye on industry practices around compliance with the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) by calling for submissions to its issues paper, improving awareness and practices in the livestock supply chain.
It is certainly not the first time the red meat and livestock industry has been called into the regulatory spotlight. In July 2018, the NVHR issued an Effluent Load Restraint Consultation Report to manage effluent in on-road transport. In late 2019 the NVHR announced that it was going to review heavy vehicle safety around NSW saleyard.
The current issues paper takes on a new flavour, focusing on industry understandings of HVNL obligations, in particular mass obligations. The NVHR identifies that the review has arisen as a result of a series of livestock mass breach incidents, apparently related to the transportation of sheep and cattle. It also appears it has arisen off the back of concerns around:
Key players in the supply chain that play a role in influencing CoR compliance practices include:
The NVHR says that the focus of its review will be to identify “each party’s understanding of their roles and responsibilities in the transport supply chain” and to “Review the decision-making process and influencing factors for loading, transporting and reviewing livestock”.
Questions posed by page 11 of the NVHR’s issues paper include:
The NVHR anticipates that through submissions on its issues paper it will be able to evaluate current industry practices and risk mitigation strategies to better manage CoR party responsibilities under the HVNL. Strategies may include online inductions and signage informing attendants at saleyards of their various HVNL obligations. It may also involve a roll out of training programs by the NVHR much like those we saw in the broader agriculture industry.
Those interested to see industry input and strategies around effluent management will have to hold tight, as the review will exclude consideration of effluent management, loading schemes, legislative reform and fatigue.
Interested stakeholders should submit their submissions on the issues paper to the NHVR by 5 pm AEDT, 24 April 2020.
Author: Rebecca Niumeitolu
* This article was originally published in CoR Adviser. The article is © 2020 Portner Press Pty Ltd and has been reproduced with permission of Portner Press.
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Published by Rebecca Niumeitolu