Archive for July, 2011

Unemployed truckie charged over NBN hack attack

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Pic: Australian Federal Police speak with ex-truckie and alleged NBN hacker (right) after raiding his Cowra home this morning. (AFP)

An unemployed truckie who allegedly gave himself the online nickname ‘Evil’ has been refused bail over what police say could have been Australia’s biggest hacking attack.


Twenty-five-year-old David Cecil appeared in court in the New South Wales town of Orange to face more than 40 charges related to an alleged attempt to hack into the systems of Platform Networks, one of the 13 service providers for the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Australian Federal Police officers arrested David Cecil yesterday at his home in Cowra after a six-month investigation which they say began when he started bragging about his plans in an internet chat room.

Police say David Cecil was working alone and could have caused considerable damage to Platform Networks‘ systems and to those of other companies. But they say the attack did not have the potential to cause serious disruption to the $36 billion NBN.

“What he’d basically done is that he’d tunnelled into their Platform Networks‘ system, he had bypassed their firewalls, he’d also bypassed all of their security systems,” Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan told ABC TV’s 7.30. “So he was in the position where he was mapping their infrastructure, which enabled him, if you like, to be in a position to compromise not only the network more broadly, but also the system where he could basically collapse it if it seemed necessary to do so.”

AFP commander Grant Edwards says the NBN was never on the verge of collapse because of Cecil‘s actions. Police allege that Cecil is a self-taught hacker and police say he spent up to 20 hours a day on his home computer as he worked on the attack.

They say a number of companies may have been compromised but do not believe that personal information has been accessed. David Cecil has been charged with 48 counts of unauthorised access to, or modification of restricted data. He has also been charged with one count of unauthorised modification of data to cause impairment. He has been held in custody to appear in court again on Friday.

Source: ABC News (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-27/afp-makes-hacking-arrest/2811780)

ATA Chief Executive gets a feel for the road

Monday, July 18th, 2011

ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair taking a break at a parking bay in Catherine

ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair returned to Canberra last week with a fresh appreciation of the road conditions facing truck drivers along the Warrego, Landsbrough, Barkly and Stuart highways, through Queensland and the Territory.

Stuart drove an ABB quad (semi-trailer with a dolly and a B triple) carrying a commercial load from Mitchell to Darwin with Bill Manton, the national training manager at Simon National Carriers.

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Stuart said he wanted to be able to give politicians and public servants a firsthand report about the state of the route, and said the Queensland Government should be commended for the road works underway.

Early morning at a rest area during Stuart's journey in Western Queensland

“The road from Toowoomba to Roma was appalling, but work is being done which is to be applauded,” he said.

“In Western Queensland, as a result of the flooding, the surfaces were uneven and broken. There were extensive road works going on which caused big delays, but you don’t mind because you can see the roads being repaired.”

“The Queensland Government has a big job upgrading such a major transport route.”


Stuart said the on road performance of the ABB quad was exceptional and confirmed the ATA’s argument that modern multi roll coupled combination vehicles provided safer outcomes on our shared roads.

“The on-road performance of our 53 metre vehicle was amazing, with outstanding tracking and stability,” said Stuart.

Stuart met with drivers and operators on the way, before sitting down with the Northern Territory Road Transport Association and trucking operators in Darwin to discuss the NHVR, fatigue and the proposed carbon tax.

Stuart returned to Brisbane via the same route but at the wheel of a standard Triple Road Train and was then able to have firsthand experience of the different handling and tracking of a conventional Type 2 Road Train.

New UD Condor truck series makes West Australian debut

Friday, July 15th, 2011

The all-new UD Condor series will makes its WA debut at the Perth Truck Show

The all-new UD Trucks medium duty Condor series will be making its Western Australia debut at the Perth Truck Show from July 29-31.

On display will be the all-new Condor MK 11 250 as well as the Condor PK 16 280, which will be joined by the top selling Japanese heavy duty truck over 350HP, the UD GW470, featuring an Eaton AutoShift transmission.


The Condor series of trucks made its Australian debut at the recent Brisbane Truck Show to rave reviews, with the design featuring an all new cab, engine and chassis combination.

Powered by UD’s new seven-litre ECO Fleet Euro 5 compliant engine, rated at either 180kW or 206kW, the Condor series is the first Japanese medium duty class truck to feature Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology.

Safety and driver comfort has also been a priority in the design of the new trucks, with SRS driver’s air bag now standard across the range, while UD’s Front Underrun Protection System (FUPS) has been integrated into all PK model trucks.
The cab interior of the Condor series has been completely redesigned, with the centrepiece being a new CVG driver’s seat, which features multiple adjustments, as well as an all-new touch screen communications / entertainment / navigation system.

The Condor series features a new powerplant, chassis and cab.

UD Trucks have carved a highly respected reputation for trucks that perform well and return strongly on investment, and this new range is another big step up,” John Bushell said.
“Not only have we focussed on the performance of the trucks, but we have paid special attention to the truck’s exhaust emissions, as well as safety and driver ergonomics.
“With the adoption of our ECO Fleet exhaust emissions technology across the board, we are showing leadership inline with our position as a part of the greater Volvo Group.

“While some people believe that it was the European manufacturers who first introduced SCR technology for road transport, it was actually UD Trucks in Japan, and we are proud to still be further developing the system to this day.
UD continues to also lead the way with Automatic transmissions, with our customers who have already converted to autos now reaping the benefits due to their ease of use, good fuel consumption and less maintenance downtime.”
The Perth Truck Show will be held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, with opening times from 10am 6pm Friday and Saturday, and 10am 4pm on Sunday.

For more info: www.udtrucks.com.au.

Australian Truckies quit over cattle trade delays

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

All loaded up and nowhere to go

By David Lewis
Australia’s largest livestock trucking company says cattle trucks are sitting idle in western Queensland, despite the lifting of the ban on live cattle trade to Indonesia.


Road Trains of Australia (RTA) has about 12 trucks parked in Mount Isa and another eight in Longreach. RTA Queensland manager Mike Bailey says most of his clients are still waiting for Indonesia to approve import permits.

“The Indonesian permits ran out on the 30th of last month and they haven’t been renewed and we can’t do anything until they are renewed, so nothing’s changed really,” he said. “We’ve had to deregister a couple of sets of trailers.” Mr Bailey says the delay in getting import permits from Indonesia was too much for some employees.

“They’re just on a minimum wage at the moment,” he said. “They’re not making any great fortune at the moment – it’s a minimum wage while they’re sitting in the yard. “There are some that have left because it’s quiet and they can’t make ends meet with the wage they’re on at the moment.”

Source: ABC News (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/07/12/3267159.htm)

ATA dismisses truck poll results

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

143 two-axle rigid truck trips would create 66 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions than using semi-trailers to deliver the same tonnage

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has dismissed the results of a poll showing that 50 per cent of Australians want large trucks banned from cities.


The Auspoll survey was commissioned by seven organisations, including the Australasian Railway Association.

ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair said replacing big rigs with smaller trucks would just increase congestion, with more trucks needed to deliver the goods Australians use every day.

“A semi-trailer can carry three times more than a smaller, two-axle rigid truck,” Mr St Clair said. “As a result, it takes 42 semi-trailer trips to deliver a thousand tonnes of goods, such as the items you see on the shelves of every supermarket. They’re delivered by truck, not by rail. It would take 143 trips for two-axle trucks to deliver the same amount of freight”.

“There would be more trucks on the road and congestion would be worse”. Mr St Clair said banning larger trucks from cities would also worsen greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr St Clair referred to figures from a 2007 study¹ by the Monash University Accident Research Centre, which showed that replacing large trucks with a greater number of smaller trucks would increase the number of road accidents.

“Using larger trucks to deliver goods reduces the number of vehicles on the road. The statistics show there are fewer accidents as a result.” “Instead of talking about trucks, the ARA needs to focus on getting its own house in order, with disappointing results from a recent environmental survey.”

“Australia’s freight locomotives are, on average, 36 years old and some use diesel engines up to 40 years old,” he said

“Compared to leading edge locomotive technology used in the United States, these 40 year old locomotive engines are estimated to emit more than six times the level of carbon monoxide and up to 30 per cent more carbon dioxide per tonne kilometre, than a heavy vehicle,” said Mr St Clair.

Brown and Hurley sells stock online

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Kenworth Trucks and Brown and Hurley..... Australian icons

Brown and Hurley, a well known new and used truck sales business on the east coast of Australia, has embraced online advertising and list the majority of their used trucks and trailers in Australia.


According to Doug Hurley, Brown and Hurley Dealer Principal at Coffs Harbour, online advertising is delivering the best results in terms of generating leads and sales.
“At the Coffs Harbour branch, we started using truckworld four years ago. Since then we have listed around 600 trucks and trailers. It’s proved so successful we now list all our used stock,” explained Mr Hurley.
Brown and Hurley was founded in 1946 when two mates, Alan Brown and Jack Hurley, were discharged from the Australian army after the Second World War. They went into business together and from humble beginnings running a bicycle shop and workshop, the pair went on to set up Brown & Hurley in Kyogle, NSW.

Today, the company employs hundreds and is a large truck sales business with nine branches across northern NSW and Queensland.
“As a business and sales tool, truckworld.com.au is an affordable and effective way to reach buyers across the country. It’s a very easy website to use and shows the buyer the best matches for their search, along with other options and ideas for a future purchase,” said Mr Hurley.
To help buyers find what they are looking for, dealers can include with each ad a detailed description and up to 16 photos – interior, exterior, engine and cabin shots.

Road tolls proposed for east coast highways

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Infrastructure Australia's head says tolls on major highways would raise much needed funds. (Inside Business)

The head of the Federal Government’s infrastructure body has proposed putting tolls on at least three major highways along Australia’s east coast.


Infrastructure Australia’s Michael Deegan says the Hume, Pacific and Bruce highways, servicing Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, could generate vital funds.

“We’re simply raising this as a potential funding opportunity. We are an advisory body, it’s up to governments to decide, but given the funding challenges for infrastructure right across the country, we do need to look at other forms of funding,” Mr Deegan said.

“We recognise that’s controversial, but we also recognise that given the funding challenges across all governments, we need to consider other forms of payment.” Mr Deegan says raising funds for projects such as the current Pacific Highway upgrade is becoming increasingly difficult.

Source: ABC News (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/07/05/3261372.htm)

Steel and Transport carbon concessions

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Full Details of the carbon tax are expected to be released on Sunday. (www.sxc.hu: haloocyn)

By Naomi Woodley
The Federal Government is under internal pressure to help industries like steel and transport cope with the carbon price that it plans to reveal on Sunday.

Labor MPs with emissions-intensive industries like steel in their electorates will meet Climate Change Minister Greg Combet today to push for the concessions.

The calls come after the Government announced it hopes to unveil the full details of its carbon tax and trading scheme on Sunday. The Government has announced petrol will not be taxed for householders, tradespeople and some small businesses.

The Transport Workers Union is demanding truck drivers get help too and Labor Senator Glenn Sterle has backed the calls. “We are shoulder to shoulder with Australia’s truckies to make sure that our hard-working men and women in the transport industries are fully protected and compensated for their efforts,” he said. Before the price, compensation, and renewable energy funding is announced on Sunday, there will be at least one more meeting of the committee and another meeting of Cabinet.

The Federal Government has been working with the Greens and two independent MPs since late last year to find a consensus on the way to price carbon.

Mr Combet says while there are still some details to be discussed this week, the Government is confident enough to announce “all of the package” on Sunday. “It will be very important for the future of the country,” he said. “It will cut out pollution while still allowing strong economic growth and jobs growth and growth in living standards in the future, and it’ll help drive the transformation of the economy to a clean energy future.”

Greens deputy leader and Multi-Party Committee member Christine Milne is just relieved a date has been set. “The overwhelming majority of Australians want action on climate change. They need to be convinced though, that this is the right action on climate change and that’s why getting the detail out will be so important,” she said.

The relief is also evident among Government backbenchers. The announcement is carefully timed ahead of the five week mid-winter break, giving Labor MPs time and details to sell to their electorates.

Others are hopeful the long-awaited details will blunt the Coalition’s attack.But the Opposition’s climate spokesman, Greg Hunt, says the timing of the announcement shows the Prime Minister is running away from Parliamentary scrutiny.

“They already have the details of this tax. They already have an agreement. They already have everything that needs to be tabled before the Parliament this week. If something can be done before the Parliament, it should be done,” he said.

Government MPs have become increasingly uneasy at the drip-feed of information about the carbon price plan, worried it invites more questions than answers. On ABC TV’s 7.30 program, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was claiming credit for one of those selective leaks – the decision to exempt fuel for motorists, small businesses and light commercial vehicles.

“Do you really think that petrol would be excluded had I not been campaigning hard to protect the motorists of Australia?” Mr Abbott said.

Source: ABC News (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/07/05/3261011.htm?section=justin)