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Finding a voice in livestock transport

Graham Howell:
Graham Howell: "I'd rather go to 20 meetings rather than make one condolence call to a bereaved family.”

BIG Rigs spoke to Livestock and Rural Transporters' Association of Victoria (LRTAV) president Graham Howell to find out.

"There is a real need for more operators to get involved with their associations,” Graham said.

"It doesn't matter whether it is NatRoads or the ATA or us. The greater the numbers of members you've got, the greater power you have to lobby parliamentarians or the NHVR or whoever, to get things done.”

As a long-serving vice-president, Graham stepped into the LRTAV president's role from late 2016 and was re-elected to the role for a further 12 months at the LRTAV's annual conference in August.

Based out of Avoca in central Victoria, Graham has been in the industry since 1983. He runs three B-doubles, generally carrying sheep, cattle and pigs to and from just about anywhere.

His involvement with, and input to, the LRTAV varies by the day.

"Some things can be handled over the phone or via emails, but at times it means as much as a nearly week away for meetings, site visits and conferences,” he said.

Graham and his committee are all non-paid volunteers, so it's quite a commitment.

"Livestock curfews are another area we are working hard at achieving a resolution,” he said.

Graham related the story of a call he'd taken from a grain carrier who had rolled onto a farm to load grain and was confronted with a farm auger that had a smaller diameter than the exhaust pipe on his truck.

"That driver, instead of taking an hour and a bit to load one trailer, had to wait around for more than four hours. It is fatigue inducing,” he said.

"I'd rather go to 20 meetings to get an improvement in conditions for our industries than to be faced with having to make one phone call of condolence to a family who has lost a driver or who has had a family member injured through a workplace incident.”

Topics:  livestock transport

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