Find­ing a voice

What does a state LRT As­so­ci­a­tion do?

Big Rigs - - LIVESTOCK TRANSPORT ADVERTISING FEATURE - Bob Ri­ley con­trib­u­tors@bi­grigs.com.au

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.”

❝ The greater the numbers of mem­bers you’ve got, the greater power you have... — Gra­ham How­ell

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

BIG IS­SUES: Trans­port cur­fews are un­der dis­cus­sion in the live­stock trans­port in­dus­try in many states.

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

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