Australian Institute of Architects recognises two Geelong rest areas for their design and construction.
Two rest areas on Victoria’s Geelong Rind Road have been given the thumbs up by the Australian Institute of Architects.
Each area holds four truck holding bays, nine truck parking bays and 13 car parking bays including two disability parking spaces.
They were recognised at the 2014 Victorian Architecture Awards, winning the coveted Small Project Architecture Award.
Designed by BKK Architects and built by MMAP Constructions as part of the Waurn Ponds section of the Geelong Ring Road, the location was chosen to provide amenity to tourists heading to the Surf Coast and Great Ocean Road as well as freight operators.
VicRoads Project Director Tony Hedley says building the site was challenging as it wasn’t serviced, which therefore required a sustainable solution.
"This entire rest area facility is off the grid," Hedley says.
"All power is generated from solar panels, providing lighting and power for pumps and generators. Automatic lighting is also activated by movement which helps reduce the amount of power needed.
"A series of underground concrete tanks store water collected from the roof to feed the toilet cisterns and hand basins."
An onsite septic treatment has also been used, which provides treated water for landscape irrigation.
"We’re incredibly proud of this functional, environmentally sustainable and visually appealing design," Hedley adds.
"VicRoads’ research shows that around 20 per cent of fatal road accidents in Victoria involve driver fatigue and is the single most significant cause of road crashes involving heavy vehicles.
"This section of the Geelong Ring Road carries about 9,000 vehicles per day, including over 1,300 heavy vehicles."
The West Australian
A wheelchair-bound truck driver has admitted causing the horrific crash that killed a Kalgoorlie father and son in February.
Kevin Paki, 54, and his 21-year-old son Brian were in their car at a railway crossing on Great Eastern Highway near Kellerberrin when a prime mover truck smashed into the back of the vehicle.
Witnesses described how the car burst into flames as it was pushed through boom barriers, across the level crossing and off the edge of the opposite side of the highway by the truck.
Both men, who were returning home after taking another son to Perth to start university, were trapped inside the burning vehicle and died at the scene.
In Perth Magistrate's Court yesterday, NSW man Jeffrey Moyle, 45, pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving causing death.
The court had been told that Moyle, who was wheelchair-bound before the crash, was on a long-haul drive for JDH Transport when he failed to stop his truck.
A sentencing date in Perth's District Court will be set during a hearing in September.
Source: The West Australian
Queensland-based family business, AMS Mining Transportation Services, has added three new Cat CT630LS prime movers to its fleet. The purchase comes as the company responds to growing demand from mining and drilling companies.
The new Cat CT630LS is the latest purchase now in operation for the family-owned Queensland based company.
“We’d bought a couple of new small trucks in the past but we wanted our first new prime mover to be something special, particularly because I’d be the one driving it,” said AMS Company Principal, Ashley Dann.
“There’s a lot to like about this truck, especially for our type of work where no two days are the same and we’re always changing from one trailer to another."
Operating out of Moranbah, in the heart of Queensland’s coal-rich Bowen Basin, the new prime movers will transport a wide variety of loads via bitumen roads, mine access routes and rough bush tracks.
Source: Prime Mover
The bus industry’s views on the Fuel Indexation (Road Funding) Special Account Bill are clear
The bus industry is still pushing for more eligibility for fuel rebates and for the Australian Government to put more funding into public transport, after an appearance at the Australian Senate.
Bus Industry Confederation of Australia Executive Director Michael Apps appeared in front of the Economics Legislation Committee in early July.
He presented on the Fuel Indexation (Road Funding) Special Account Bill.
The bus industry receives the on-road diesel rebate in the same way as the trucking industry — all vehicles above 4.5 tonnes receive a 12.5 cents per litre rebate, according to Apps.
"The bus industry has the view that we should actually be eligible for the full excise rebate, similar to the mining industry, based on the fact that 80 per cent of the vehicles on the road are actually undertaking public transport or a school bus task," he says.
"They are actually taking cars off the road and are improving our environmental emissions and reducing congestion."
In the context of a road user charge, he says if you took into account those externalities, the bus industry would argue that they are eligible for the full 38 cents per litre rebate.
He says the BIC supports the increased indexation on the basis that those funds are hypothecated.
"We would argue that that revenue should be spent on public and active transport infrastructure — such as bus priority, bus rapid transit, park-and-ride facilities, cycling paths and pedestrian improvements," he says.
"We are concerned that funding going into this special account for roads should go to public transport but also, if it does go to roads, we can see that on the other side of the equation the government may find some savings in existing road funding and expenditure and cut it on the other side of the table."
A recent conference heard about the merits of electronic safety and braking systems on trucks and trailers.
Tony Cheyne says no electronic safety system is infallible.
Over recent years in Australia, the trucking industry has increasingly heard about and seen some amazing electronic safety technologies in trucks and trailers.
The suppliers often have different terms for the same technologies but they include rollover prevention; stability control to prevent sliding; blind spot detection; radar-controlled adaptive cruise control to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front; lane departure warning for when the rig is drifting; and tyre pressure monitoring.
What may surprise many is that these sorts of systems aren’t just available in brand new trucks and trailers; in many cases they can be retro-fitted.
After-market electronic safety and braking options were outlined at the recent Commercial Vehicle Engineering and Technical Conference (Comvec) in Brisbane. Comvec is organised by the Commercial Vehicle Industry Association of Queensland (CVIAQ).
One of the speakers was Tony Cheyne, who is the application engineering manager with the Australian arm of global commercial vehicle technology giant Wabco.
Cheyne had some interesting anecdotes about just how valuable electronic safety systems can be. One of them was a study done by Mercedes-Benz some years ago.
"They fitted up 500 Actroses with the full safety package for the driver as opposed to the standard Actros," Cheyne recounts.
"And what they found was that the full safety package vehicles were involved in 50 per cent less accidents than the ones with the standard safety pack, and when they were involved in an accident, the repair bill was 10 per cent of the other vehicles."
Closer to home, Cheyne spoke of a customer who uses a lane departure warning camera for a Sydney-Canberra run, with the usual driver activating the warning an average of three times per trip.
That driver had a couple of days off: "They put a relief driver on and he was getting 20 alerts, so they dragged him in for a bit of a ‘what's going on?’ and he actually admitted ‘I'm having real trouble staying awake’."
Cheyne adds it's important to realise that none of these sort of electronic systems are infallible: "If the driver absolutely wants to put the truck on its side, he can still do that."
"I had a customer recently that rolled a B-double full of fuel. His whole fleet has my EBS (electronic braking system) on his trailers, and I was waiting for the call from him to say ‘Why didn't your system stop that happening on my truck?’," Cheyne says.
"A couple of weeks after he had the fall I got brave and rang him and he said they did a download on the trailers and the B-double was going twice the advisory speed into the corner.
"They also found out from the download that it had been prevented from rolling 176 times. The closest one to that that I've seen was a guy that was prevented from rolling 30 times."
A TRUCK driver has been charged with drug possession and driving without a licence following a head-on crash in Melbourne's west that left a woman fighting for life.
THE crash occurred at Derrimut around 12.45pm on Wednesday when a prime mover crossed a medium strip and collided with a car, police say.
A 51-year-old Derrimut woman, the car's sole occupant, was trapped in the wreck for more than 40 minutes with life threatening injuries. She remains at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition. The truck driver, 49-year-old Fitzroy man Wirihana Tatana, will appear in the Melbourne Magistrate's Court on Thursday to answer multiple charges. He is charged with causing serious injury, possessing a drug of dependence and driving with a suspended licence. There are also two outstanding warrants relating to traffic offences.
Proposed scheme to inform operators about driver traffic history has been delayed
SARTA president Sharon Middleton says there is government intent to introduce a scheme to keep trucking operators informed about driver offences.
South Australian trucking operators may be in for a long wait for the introduction of scheme giving them access to information about a driver’s traffic history.
In a recent meeting with SA police minister Tony Piccolo, the South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) was told the department was far from finalising the procedures and processes needed to implement the proposal as promised in February.
Former police minister John Rau in February stated his department supported disclosing information and was in the process of finalising procedures.
However, Piccolo told SARTA president Sharon Middleton the department was still awaiting formal legal advice.
"We pressed this point with minister Piccolo and after rehearsing some of the points that we have had to slog through over the past three years on this, the minister is seeking advice as to exactly what the delay is and when it will be fixed," Middleton says.
"We are satisfied, despite our frustration, that the intent is there."
Outlaw bikies have used trucking companies to defraud the federal government of millions of dollars in fuel rebates, according to an Australian Taxation Office investigation.
But Tax Office insiders say federal law enforcement agencies have failed to act on evidence of a fraud network with national reach that has used dozens of haulage firms to siphon tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money into the pockets of motorcycle gang members.
After nearly a decade gathering evidence of a scheme allegedly run by Hells Angels bikie gangs and extending to least three states, investigators are frustrated that nobody had been arrested or charged.
They believe a larger organised crime operation operated unchecked for years while it systematically defrauded fuel subsidies
Internal Tax Office documents, obtained by Fairfax Media, show tax investigators working with Federal Police have built a case against one trucking company owner and Hells Angels associate from Adelaide accused of defrauding the Commonwealth of $5 million in a four-year period.
But Taxation insiders believe the Adelaide connection is just one link in a national network, cashing in on federal government subsidies to the trucking industry.
The nerve centre of the scheme is alleged to be an accounting firm in regional Victoria, owned for several years by Melbourne Hells Angels’ strongman Peter John "Skitzo" Hewat.
The alleged fraud is surprisingly simple. False claims provided to the Tax Office by bikies, sometimes using fake identities, claim generous Commonwealth rebates for diesel to run fictitious trucks owned by companies that only exist on paper.
Tax investigators even believe Victorian bikies had control of a post office in a country town in the state, giving them free rein to use the office’s PO boxes under false identities without arousing suspicion.
In documents filed in the Federal Court in Adelaide, it is alleged that Adelaide Hells Angels Associate Reginald George Roberts got the Tax Office to pay out millions of dollars to trucking companies he controlled either in his own name or through an alias between 2003 and 2006.
Trucking outfits nominally controlled by the convicted drug-runner claimed rebates on about $28 million worth of diesel between 2003 and 2006 but the Tax Office alleges that very little of the road haulage activity claimed by Mr Roberts' companies actually took place.
While the criminal investigation against the trucking industry identity has stalled, he is battling the Tax Office in the Federal Court as the government tries to use the civil law to get some of its money back.
In his court action, the Hells Angels associate denies any wrongdoing and says the Tax Office has accused him of fraud without evidence.
The truck company owner, who was jailed in Western Australia for using the road freight network to smuggle drugs, declined to comment.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has had a file of the tax investigation for more than 18 months but no charges have been laid and investigators are angry, saying no attempts have been made to look into the big picture of the tax fuel rebate fraud allegedly linked to the outlaw motorcycle gang.
The Tax Office has linked Mr Roberts to Mr Hewat and the Victorian Hells Angels through the Victorian accountants, which he once owned and whose premises were used as a mailing address for a company alleged to have been controlled by Mr Roberts through an alias.
The accountancy firm, which was raided by Federal Police as part of the investigation into Mr Roberts, is linked to at least 50 other trucking companies around the country suspected of rorts against the rebate scheme.
According to the case brief seen by Fairfax, Mr Hewat, former sergeant-at-arms of the Hells Angels’ East County Chapter in Melbourne, has owned transport firms in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria and has convictions for assault, handling stolen goods, attempting to pervert the course of justice and extortion with threat to inflict injury.
The senior bikie, who denies he is involved in criminal activity, no longer has an interest in the accounting firm which failed to respond to list of questions this week.
Sources close to the Tax Office investigation describe the ECGS and related schemes – the diesel and alternative fuel grants and fuel tax credits – as "massive revenue leaks because they were just so open to abuse".
The source blamed a "nine-to-five public service mentality" for the failure to follow up the compelling evidence of a much bigger organised crime network systematically defrauding the subsidy scheme.
The Commonwealth DPP refused to answer questions and Tax Office spokeswoman said the office would not comment on individual cases but defended its policing of the fuel rebate schemes.
"The ATO manages the risk of fraudulent claims as part of its overall risk management of the fuel tax credit scheme," the spokeswoman said,
"The ATO is concerned with any possible fraud against the energy grants claim scheme be it those associated with criminal organisations or not."
A truck rollover at Murrumba Downs spilled wood chips on the Bruce Highway and delayed traffic during the afternoon rush. Photo: Seven News
A truck rollover on the Bruce Highway closed southbound lanes and caused delays into the afternoon peak on Wednesday afternoon.
A semi-trailer tipped over at Murrumba Downs, north of Brisbane, spilling wood chips on the road.
Four other cars were also involved in the crash, with two people taken to hospital with chest pains.
A truck crash has spilled woodchips on the Bruce Highway. Photo: Nine News
At 2.30pm, southbound delays on the highway stretched back to Deception Bay.
Northbound traffic was banked up to Bald Hills on Gympie Arterial Road, while heavy traffic had built to Deagon Deviation on the Gateway Motorway.
Australian Traffic Network reporter Adam Smith said delays were likely to get worse during Wednesday night’s peak hour.
He said people travelling north on Gympie Arterial Road should head via Gympie Road to Strathpine, Petrie and Kallangur before trying to get onto the Bruce Highway.
Mr Smith recommended drivers on the Gateway Motorway to take the Deagon Deviation to the Redcliffe area before returning back to the highway.
Source: Brisbane Times
Caltex Australia has commenced on-site diesel supply to Roy Hill in the Pilbara region of Western Australia as part of a two-year, $200 million contract with the emerging iron ore miner.
According to Caltex’s National Manager Business to Business Sales, Phil Amos, a safe and reliable supply of diesel was essential as Roy Hill, Australia’s biggest mining construction project, ramped up operations ahead of the first export shipment of ore targeted for 2015.
“Caltex is supplying about 120 million litres of diesel to Roy Hill over the course of the contract to meet all the mine’s fuel needs during this important start-up phase and as production is expanded,” he said.
“We recently commissioned on-site fuel storage infrastructure at Roy Hill as part of our commitment to manage all of the mine’s diesel requirements.
“Deploying a fleet of four dedicated road trains, we will transport diesel about 400 kilometres by road from Caltex’s 40 million litre storage terminal at Port Hedland to facilities at the Roy Hill mine.”
The diesel will be used to fuel on-site equipment, including mining trucks, and for some power generation. From 2015, Caltex will also supply fuel to the diesel-powered locomotives that will carry the iron ore to Port Hedland for export.
Source: Prime Mover
Industry urged to provide feedback to a draft truck survey in Melbourne’s west by the end of July.
A large number of trucks use inner-west residential streets to travel to and from the Port of Melbourne.
The Inner West Truck Survey report released last month is open for community response.
Established by VicRoads, Maribyrnong City Council, the Environment Protection Authority and the Victorian Department of Health, the survey is aimed at finding ways of better managing roads and traffic flow and reducing truck braking and acceleration in residential streets.
VicRoads regional director for metro north west Patricia Liew says a working group was established last year to work with the community and industry on addressing truck concerns.
"Since the formation of the working group in late 2013, the Victorian Government has committed funding for the western section of the East West Link and the Port Rail Shuttle," Liew says.
"It is expected both of these projects will have significant impact on truck movements in the inner west and change the landscape of how trucks and vehicles enter and exit the broader western suburbs.
"The Truck in the Inner West working group will be looking at short term options that will compliment and capitalise on these two projects into the future."
One of the short term options is to investigate an expansion of curfews across the road network, including Somerville Road and Moore Street.
"The investigation will consider alternative routes for trucks displaced by these curfews and must take into account the potential impact a new curfew may have on the adjacent area," Liew says.
Other possibilities to be investigated are the use of automatic cameras to support enforcement of truck curfews, curfew enforcement blitzes, reduced speed and greater use of high productivity vehicles.
Draft results will be presented at a community meeting in September.
POLICE will take no further action after intercepting a truck driving around Bendigo broadcasting the Islamic Call To Pray following noise complaints from the public.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the driver of the vehicle was pulled over by officers on Wednesday about 4pm and issued a warning.
The truck was adorned with Stop The Mosque signage.
UPDATE 4.45PM: The driver of a Stop The Mosque truck touring Bendigo broadcasting an Islamic Call To Prayer has told the Bendigo Advertiser he will be leaving the city on Thursday.
Queensland visitor Charles Mollison has been touring around the city using a truck and speakers he hired in Bendigo and signs made in Queensland to protest against the proposed mosque.
Mr Mollison told the Bendigo Advertiser police had intercepted his truck because of the noise.
"Their prime concern was the speakers and they really amazed me by saying they couldn't do anything about the signs but they didn't like it because it was discriminatory," he said.
"I said, "Hang on, hang on, are you trying to tell me if the sign said, Lets Build a Mosque, it would be okay," and they said, "Yes".
Mr Mollison said he was “concerned about the Islamisation of our society”.
“The building of mosques all over the countryside is the Muslim plan to Islamise Australia,” he said.
“There are only 147 Muslims in the whole of the Greater Bendigo area so you have to ask firstly, why would they want a huge mosque that would hold over 1000 people and secondly, you would have to ask for such a small Muslim community how can they raise $5 million and build a $3 million mosque.”
Mr Mollison said he wrote a letter to the City of Greater Bendigo to ask if he needed to apply for a permit to drive the truck around the city.
“The first thing I did was to write to council and ask them what the procedure was,” he said.
“They asked me what I wanted to do, I told them.
“They wrote back and said, “Yes, okay, you don’t actually need a permit to do what you want to do, we have spoken to the police and it’s all cool”.
EARLIER: A police divisional van has intercepted a truck adorned with a Stop The Mosque sign in Bendigo's central business district.
Police officers spoke to the driver of the truck in Williamson Street for some time.
The truck was earlier travelling through the CBD broadcasting an Islamic Call To Prayer.
A crew from the Ten Network's The Project following the truck around Bendigo was also at the scene.
The Project is expected to air footage of the truck on Thursday night.
Source: Bendigo Advertiser
A central Australian livestock transport business is having its busiest season in five years.
The operations manager of Tanami Transport, Mark Castagna, says after a slow start, business has picked up.
"I haven't got enough trucks so we've brought in a couple of [subcontractors] to help us, and we're still flat out," Mr Castagna said.
"I think people must be restocking and the markets must be good, I think the Chinese are buying a fair bit [of boxed beef]."
Mr Castagna says cattle from the Red Centre are travelling north for live export, south-east to abattoirs and feedlots, and also to Western Australia.
He says the trend is now shifting towards sending younger cattle to feedlots, with some pastoralists choosing to sell direct from the paddock.
"It's good for the pastoralists because the buyer pays for the freight from the paddock, so that cuts out a bit of freight for the pastoralists."
Truck drivers spend days on some of the Northern Territory's unsealed roads, and Mr Castagna says they are in a worse than usual state.
"The Tanami Highway is as normal, rough as guts. The Plenty Highway isn't too bad but it could do with a bit of work.
"All the Territory's dirt roads are in a fairly bad state so could do with a bit more money.
"The rain and the traffic has picked up. More grey nomads are on the roads and because things are picking up a bit there are more trucks on the road as well."
Victorian intermodal operator will soon celebrate its 100th year anniversary, which not long ago seemed unimaginable.
Learning experience: Ken Wakefield says he learnt valuable lessons from Wakefield Transport's time in administration.
Victorian-based intermodal operator Wakefield Transport has shaken off turbulent times that pushed it into voluntary administration and is now going form strength to strength.
The Merbein company in Sunraysia is only three years from celebrating its 100th year anniversary, which not long ago seemed unimaginable.
Wakefield went into voluntary administration in 2008 amid accusations Victoria’s failing rail network had contributed to its financial dilemmas.
Some 57 per cent of its shares were purchased by three Seaway directors a year later.
Responsible for the warehousing and transportation of regional produce in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, Wakefield also handles containers, maintains and uses specialist transport equipment and provides storage facilities.
Last year’s installation of a rapid-chill facility at its premises was made possible thanks to its long-standing relationship with Mildura Fruit Company (MFC), which is one of its top three customers and has stood by Wakefield even during its struggles.
MFC’s loyalty has helped the company keep its head above the water, Wakefield managing director Ken Wakefield says.
"If they had left when we went into voluntary administration it would have been the end of Wakefield," he says.
Wakefield says he learnt a number of valuable lessons from the problems the company faced in 2008.
"The key things I learnt was to observe cash flow – that’s very important," he says.
"And being able to put contracts in place with customers to be able to buy assets as opposed to buying assets on a whim.
"If your customer has a requirement one day you need to find a way to fill that – you need to leverage the industry to be able to support you."
PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Australian nickel miner Poseidon has struck a deal with Russian major Norilsk Nickel to buy the Black Swan nickel operation, in Western Australia, for an undisclosed amount.
The Black Swan project consists of a 2.15-million-tonne-a-year plant and an openpit mine estimated to contain about 185 800 t of nickel.
Poseidon told shareholders on Monday that the company would have the option to either recommission the plant in its current location to process ore from its own Windarra operation, or to move the plant and relocate it to the Windarra site, creating considerable cost savings.
The ASX-listed nickel miner pointed out that the current location had the benefit of being connected to the power grid and a nearby workforce in Kalgoorlie. However, this benefit had to be weighed against the cost of trucking ore from the Windarra site to the current Black Swan plant.
“The acquisition of Black Swan represents a strong opportunity in line with our strategy and complements our objective of quickly getting the Mt Windarra project back into production at a much lower capital cost than previously announced, and more than doubles our nickel resource base,” said Poseidon MD and CEO David Singleton.
Poseidon has been working to refurbish the Mt Windara mine after revealing it was investigating options for toll treating the mine’s ore. It was hoped that the mine could produce between 350 000 t/y and 700 000 t/y, over the first two years of production.
Singleton said that the company was still negotiating the sale of ore from Windarra to another processing plant, with sales anticipated late this calendar year.
While the acquisition price for the Black Swan project remains confidential, Singleton said that the company would not need to raise additional cash to fund the acquisition.
The nickel miner has paid a 10% deposit on the project, with the remainder of the asking price due when the conditions precedent had been satisfied.
Source: Mining Weekly