Newcastle will play host this month to an industry and government debate on regional road freight challenges, as the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) and Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) join forces to host their 2013 National Conference at the Newcastle Jockey Club on Thursday 28 February - Saturday 2 March.
NSW Deputy Premier, The Hon Andrew Stoner will formally open the conference on Friday March 1, which will focus on improving road freight productivity, safety and efficiency reforms to deliver optimal grain and livestock freight networks.
Mr Stoner will be joined by NSW Minister for Roads, The Hon Duncan Gay and Shadow Federal Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, The Hon Warren Truss discussing their action plans for the regional road freight sector.
Over 250 transport operators and drivers, customers and industry suppliers will attend the event, with the conference taking a Q&A Style panel format designed to encourage a professional and honest exchange of ideas between industry and government and develop specific priority actions.
Importantly, an exclusive armchair discussion with key industry leaders including Ron Finemore AO (Ron Finemore Transport), Gordon Martin (The Martin Group), Ross Fraser OAM (Frasers Livestock Transport) and Jim Riordan (Riordan Grain Services) will be a key highlight of the event, providing conference delegates a rare opportunity to hear their views and find out the key factors that have led to their business success.
The industry's customer base and main regulators will also have high representation including senior representatives from GrainCorp, NHVR, TfNSW, RMS and HVCI and specifically:
- Rachel Johnson, Deputy Director-General, Freight and Regional Development, Transport NSW
- Peter Wells, Director Customer and Compliance, NSW Roads and Maritime Services;
- Richard Hancock, CEO, National Heavy Vehicle Regulator;
- Meena Naidu, Project Director, Heavy Vehicle and Charging Investment Reform.
LBCA President Barney Hayes (Orange NSW) says the joint National/State conference is a unique opportunity for the regional road freight sector, providing the chance to debate key National policy and local issues over the one weekend.
We have a great opportunity to work with Federal and State Governments, who are both keen to make regional Australia and NSW work again. What's more, with 2013 marking the start of a Federal election year we have a responsibility to ensure the interests of regional trucking are a priority. Key issues such as fatigue, excessive increases in charging and chain of responsibility laws are impacting all regional sectors and without making the effort to engage in genuine debate, the status quo will remain"
"This is an opportunity the industry can't afford to miss; if we want to be active and influence results in the next few years, then we need a productive two days at Conference to make sure rural freight and safety is not forgotten".
For further details about the Conference please contact the LBCA Secretariat on 02 6230 6290.