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Heysen Tunnels Upgrade - Works Notification/Tunnel Switch - Crafers Bound Tunnel

As part of the continuing Upgrade Works of the Heysen Tunnels on the South Eastern Freeway,

From Tuesday, 13 June 2023, the Crafers bound (up-track) tunnel will close between 8pm and 6am
(traffic restrictions from 7pm).

During these closure times, the Adelaide bound (down-track) tunnel will
accommodate traffic in both directions via contraflow.


See the below notification for maps and further information:



Augusta Highway Junction Upgrades at Venning Road and Clements Road

Works on the  Augusta Highway Junction Upgrades at Venning Road and Clements Road  are expected to commence on Tuesday, 13 June 2023, with completion early 2024, weather permitting.


To safely undertake these works traffic will be reduced to a single lane, intermittently as required. Temporary traffic signals will be in place to control the direction of traffic on Augusta Highway. These traffic conditions will be in place at both junctions on Augusta Highway. Speed restrictions will also be in place throughout the work area.


A copy of the construction commencement notice is at the link below  for your information.



2022 Federal Budget

Below are links to  helpful summaries from the ATA of the key infrastructure funding and other initiatives provided in the Federal Budget handed down on Tuesday 25th October. Investment in South Australia includes:

  • $60 million to construct on and off ramps for the Southern Expressway at Majors Road, which will reduce traffic on Brighton Road

  • $4.9 billion for the North-South Corridor – Torrens to Darlington

  • $164 million for the Strzelecki Track Upgrade – Sealing

Its worth noting the Full Expensing decision in the attached summary. Full Expensing will end on 30 June 2023. Under temporary full expensing, eligible businesses can claim an immediate deduction for the cost of an asset, rather than depreciating it over time.




NTI Assistance with Public Relations and Crisis Management Support

In yet another great service, your NTI policy may provide additional assistance via Public Relations & Crisis Management support, in response to an accident resulting in a claim.

NTI provides the services of its own PR/Crisis Communications partner – Adoni Media – to help affected parties through a crisis situation, following an accident resulting in a claim. The Crisis Management benefit may entail:

  • Media Training (New or Refresh)

  • Drafting of statements, media releases etc. that are concise but empathetic

  • Social media support – advice, statements, employee support

  • Media Support for affected loved ones of involved persons

  • Media monitoring

  • Liaison with media

  • Media advice on what could come next, how best to respond, and what not to do when it comes to the media.

To find out more about NTI’s Public Relations & Crisis Management support, contact your local NTI Representative. In the meantime, here are four considerations to see how prepared you and your business are for a crisis:

  1. Do you have a crisis communications plan and/or media policy? Drafting of statements, media releases etc.

  2. Do you have a draft holding statement?

  3. Have you identified a media spokesperson within your business?

  4. Do you know your social media login details and passwords?

CLICK HERE for NIT's PR and Crisis Support Flyer, and the links below for some resources that can be used:


SARTA Conference a great success on Saturday 3 Sept

President Sharon Middleton welcomed everyone and highlighted key issues before inviting Minister Tom Koutsantonis to Open the Conference. The Minister recognised and applauded the vital role played by the trucking industry in sustaining the community and the economy through the COVID Pandemic and being on the front line and he applauded the work of SARTA in representing the industry. It was clear to everyone from the Minister's speech that he and the Government are serious about driving the SA economy through efficient and safe freight movement, including road freight.

That fed into an excellent session run by DIT on the development of a state wide strategic freight network which included input by the operators at the conference through a smart App and discussion; all of which Minister Koutsantonis stayed for, as did the DIT Chief Executive Jon Whelan and the two Executive Directors Emma Kokar and Any Excell.

The Minister and the DIT Execs all stayed for the discussion of the South Eastern Freeway safety issues too.

The NHVR's John Barry provided a briefing on the new Mapping system, which attracted a lot of interest from the operators.

Tony McMullen, CEO of the Truck Industry Council, along with Bill Lane, (South Central) Paul Crisp (CMV Truck Centre) and Matt Berry (DGL AUSBlue) discussed the supply issues re trucks components and AdBlue and fuel.

After lunch Careers Training and Licensing issues, including a briefing on the Austroads Review of the National HV Driver Competency Framework, were discussed by Steve Shearer, Michael Haddad (Dept Education) Jason Polgreen (MTA) and Wendy Fennell from Fennell Forestry.

The conference wrapped up with discussion, lead by Steve Shearer, of issues with safety technology and its misuse by police followed by general discussion of other issues from the floor.


SARTA Responds to TWU Call for Independent Safety Body

On Tuesday 24 May the TWU National Secretary, Michael Kaine, and SARTA’s Steve Shearer were interviewed on 5AA re the TWU’s call for the new Labor Govt to establish an Independent Safety Body for trucking.

You can listen to the interviews here


Friday 13th:  NO JOY from the Federal Government on Restoring Fuel Tax Credit


Well it seems the Federal Government couldn’t care less about the Trucking Industry and the vital role we play in sustaining the community and the economy, as we proved throughout COVID!!!

Its hard to conclude otherwise when you consider the simple fact that they, from the Prime Minister down, are refusing to respond to our clear communication and lobbying regarding the reality of the very serious economic harm, across the economy, that will result from the abolition of the Fuel Tax Credit for 6 months.

SARTA spearheaded a major push at the ATA Council Meeting and Convention in Queensland last week. It was obvious to us that the industry and most operators are in serious trouble and are rushing towards the BAS cliff fall without the usual parachute of the Fuel Tax Credit to ensure you survive.

The single greatest concern of the hundreds of operators at the ATA Convention and the topic that filled the corridors and coffee breaks, was “HOW THE HELL WILL WE SURVIVE AND PAY THE BAS IF WE CANT MAKE UP THE LOST OF THE 18cpl FUEL TAX CREDIT?”

Sure some operators, including maybe you, have been fortunate enough to have understanding customers and have managed to adjust your freight rates, or explain why you cant pass on the 22cpl Fuel Excise cut, or at least not 18cpl of it, but that puts you in a small minority.

Most operators are clearly unable to do that and so for them the loss of the 18cpl Fuel Tax Credit is an actual and major loss of cashflow that is absolutely fundamental to their business model.

The zero Fuel Tax Credit for 6 months rips $700m in revenue OUT of the trucking industry.

Let’s be nice and pretend that the Government didn’t know that the FTC is a core element of our business model, despite how hard that is to believe, so what!

We have been explaining it to them clearly and effectively since the handing down of the Federal Budget, so they absolutely DO KNOW ABOUT:

  1. SARTA alerted the ATA the day BEFORE the budget when we heard media whispers that the Fuel Excise would be cut. The ATA immediately, that day and every day following, was in direct contact with Ministers and senior officials explaining the reality that freezing the FTC to zero for 6 months would be catastrophic …. Deaf ears all round;

  2. SARTA contacted the leaders and senior Ministers of both Parties in SA and briefed them fully;

  3. SARTA raised the issue in good media interviews on TV and radio and in the papers, including the Australian, the Financial review and the Advertiser;

  4. SARTA raised it again in interviews on the eve of Easter as media noticed food prices climbing;

  5. On 21 April SARTA had a 15 minute one-on-one with SA’s Senator Simon Birmingham, the federal Minister for Finance, and got him to fully understand the issue, handing him a clear one-page brief. It was a very positive discussion and he undertook to see if he could find a solution.

  6. SARTA has chased this up with Senator Birmingham’s advisors several times, receiving promises of a response but never actually receiving a response;

  7. SARTA secured the full support of the ATA and its Member Organisations (the peak bodies like SARTA in each State/Territory and NATROAD, ALRTA and AFRA) to a strategy we all agreed;

  8. SARTA wrote the letter that was then sent to the Prime Minister on Monday 9th May through the ATA with the logos of everyone of those industry bodies attached. A copy of that letter is attached. All we seek is:

    1. A pre-election commitment to restore the Fuel Tax Credit from 30 March if the Government is re-elected; and

    2. An urgent meeting to resolve this.

  9. DEAF EARS ALL ROUND. You’d hear more out in deep space!

Sadly the Labor Party has been equally unmoved. It seems that are all either trying not to be the first to blink or they just don’t care, because there is no way they don’t understand it; my 8 year old grandson gets it!

So with one week to go, we will intensify the pressure in this extremely tight election and may be, just maybe, we will get a fair result.




Federal Government MUST Restore the Fuel Tax Credit immediately.


1. We will see empty shops shelves and hundreds of collapsed truck companies within months if this isn’t fixed;

2. The Fed Govt has halved the Fuel Excise AND ABOLISHED the 18cpl Fuel Tax Credit;

3. For an operator with 30 rigs on interstate work that means a loss of $532,000 in Fuel Tax Credits

4. We can NOT absorb that;

5. The solutions are:

a. The Fed Govt Reduces the RUC by the same amount as the Fuel Excise, preserving the Fuel Tax Credits

i. Which is the BEST SOLUTION that guarantees the community gets the intended Cost of Living Relief;

b. OR we retain the 22.1cpl reduction in the Excise …. And do NOT pass it on to customers;

c. OR we increase Freight Rates to offset the loss of the Fuel tax Credits.

6. Both major Parties need to consider this in the impending federal Election and they should adopt Option A (reduce the RUC and preserve the Fuel Tax Credit).



Stuart Highway Flood Update


The latest information from the Dept Infrastructure and Transport as of 11am Friday 4th Feb is that:


  1. The flood waters have lowered but there is still significant water across the Stuart at Glendambo and other spots;

  2. An assessment is underway BUT NO RESULT is as yet known;

    1. DIT will advise SARTA asap when the result and decisions are made and we will inform members;

  3. DIT’s intention if to allow HV access as soon as possible. SARTA believes that this is most likely to be in a controlled way initially.


Meanwhile, operators and drivers should comply with the road closures and not travel across sections of the highway that are closed off.


  1. You should be aware that in addition to the fines for  doing so, which some might see as a cost of doing business, there is a very real risk of far greater CoR fines under the HVNL;

  2. The HVNL imposes on all parties, including the business, directors and individuals, a Duty to ensure as far as reasonably prtacticable that their transport operations do NOT pose a risk to the safety of people OR TO INFRASTRUCTURE;

  3. The max fine for doing so is $500,000.


There is no doubt that the Government is well aware of the situation and the huge impact on the communities affected by the floods including pastoralists and others and the transport sector.


SARTA made very clear comments about this on the national ABC Radio World Today Program, urging governments to acknowledge:


  1. the scale of the emergency;

  2. that it has been so protracted and may last for another week or two before roads are repaired and fully operational; and

  3. it is now necessary to consider risking damage to the infrastructure by allowing rigs through to meet the myriad of freight needs of the affected communities.


You can listen to that interview at this link.

ABC Floods Interview

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