DPW engages with RFNSW, BP Offer NSW Draft Port and Freight roundtable, rest areas, Allowances and CoR updates and much more...

1st March 2018


CEO's Report

RFNSW seeking answers on DPW cancellation of slots

RFNSW has intensively worked to understand the problems with the DPW operation as it has been adversely affecting our carriers.

We can report that DP World internal charges for the slots will not be imposed on the transport industry. We understand several machines have been parked up due to technical issues.

Members are extremely frustrated by the process and we understand that some containers are still inaccessible at the terminal.

DPW tells me that DP engineering team are working through a methodical process with a staged stage ramp up. At time of printing, DPW are confident of ramping up slots and by midday the stevedore being in full operation.

An important point to note is that we have discussed with DPW how we could communicate effectively into the future as many members have been critical of a lack of transparency and communication. This evening DPW has committed to putting in place a new communication plan to ensure bodies like RFNSW have information to hand quickly for our members. We believe this is an important step for our members and the operation of the Port.

DPW issued the following notice to carriers today:

DP World Australia's Sydney Terminal is working with employee safety representatives and Safework NSW following the identification of a potential hazard relating to the safety integrity of the hoist rope on one of the quay cranes at their Sydney Terminal. We stress that no one has been injured.

DP World Australia takes a safety-first at all times approach and a full investigation is underway.

As part of the investigation, all Sydney Terminal quay cranes and RTGs are being inspected by an independent third party.

DP World Australia Sydney Terminal are currently working through equipment inspections to get the terminal back to full operation.

We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Please contact CCT Schedule if you require any further information.

Email: CCT.Schedule@dpworld.com.au
Phone: +612 9394 0131

RFNSW engages with DPWA
Bas Hokke (DPW) and Simon O'Hara (RFNSW)

Despite the above, and while RFNSW and DPW don't always agree on things at the Ports. There are a lot of things we do agree about. One of those things is to ensure that the Port operates efficiently.

So, there are other ways that RFNSW and DPW can work together productively to make it a win/win for the stevedore and our members.

To that end, RFNSW and the Container leadership of RFNSW meet with DPW to discuss areas where we could both improve our relationship.

DPW and RFNSW agree to Improvements on Hazardous Container Collection from DPW

RFNSW is looking for a work-a-round for hazardous containers as our carrier always upload the M041 documentation electronically.

If you are able to implement a workaround process for Hazardous containers that would save the transport industry a lot of time over the course of a year.

RFNSW proposed as we already provide the information in advance which is sent to the terminal electronically. This information once uploaded to the terminal changes the container hold from a RED X to a BLUE TICK.

As a consequence, operators presently have to make a detour via the R&D Office to present paperwork which adds additional time to the carrier and a waste of resources for all. As a result of DPW and RFNSW working together carriers would no longer have to do this as DPW can instruct the gates to let the truck go out but still followed by the email.

WIMs

Some of our members have been receiving letters from RMS Compliance around the Patricks WIMs readings in September 2017.

RFNSW have made representations to RMS around this issue and have sought to understand the rationale behind the letters. As we understand it, it has to do with reasonable steps and the National Heavy Vehicle legislation.

We have submitted to RMS that we believe that the WIMs are frequently inaccurate and that they don't provide accurate readings all of the time. In a meeting with the RMS, we have submitted documentary evidence of this fact.

As a member of RFNSW, you are entitled to advice from us in and around these issues and you should contact me at simon.ohara@rfnsw.com.au for any advice.

Meeting with RMS

Last week, John Preston and Paul Downey attended our quarterly meeting with RMS in which WIMS, weights and enforcement were the prevailing topics of discussion.

At the meeting we handed to RMS a number of documents that revealed discrepancies with the operation of the WIMs. We seek for this to be an open item of discussion.

At the meeting we handed to RMS a number of documents that revealed discrepancies with the operation of the WIMs. We seek for this to be an open item of discussion.

RFNSW Membership

Lastly, RFNSW is a not for profit organisation that relies on membership support for our operation. Remember to pay your subscriptions.

Simon O'Hara
CEO
Road Freight NSW
0400188815

BP Offer to RFNSW Members

Transport for NSW - Western Sydney NSW Draft Port and Freight Roundtable

Hon Melinda Pavey, Minister for Roads,
addressing the Freight and Port Draft Plan Roundtable

Last Thursday, I attended the TfNSW roundtable discussion on the NSW Freight and Ports Plan which will support Transport for NSW's Future Transport 2056 Strategy and will provide direction to business and industry for managing and investing in freight into the future.

This Plan has developed with an integrated approach with close alignment with the State Infrastructure Strategy, Future Transport 2056 Strategy, Regional and Greater Sydney Services and Infrastructure Plans and the issue-specific and place-based plans.

After an introduction from Clare Gardiner-Barnes (Deputy Secretary Freight, Strategy and Planning) and other senior TfNSW executives, we were gathered in a forum to discuss amongst other items Western Sydney and technology.

This roundtable worked efficiently and productively to get a sense from participants around priorities. For Road Freight NSW, this involved the Orbital, tolls, WIMs accuracy for any large roll out, truck technologies being enabled, more weights on the road particularly for our containers coming out of the Port, our partnership with Teletrac Navman and what Telematics can offer together with rest areas, safety imperatives and education.

The Minister for Roads, Hon Melinda Pavey attended with her staff and we were able to catch up and discuss a few things pertaining to our members. Minister Pavey and her staff has shown a great willingness to engage with us over issues and we look forward to continuing to do this into the future.

In my opinion this roundtable proved to be gold standard of industry consultation with senior TfNSW officials ensuring that we were able to provide as much information as possible about areas of concern and improvement for the immediate and longer term.

Road Freight NSW will continue to participate in these forums by way of our members attending together where possible with me.

Industry Workshop - Rest Areas

Chairman - Jon Luff

RFNSW attended a workshop run by the RMS to ensure driver and industry priorities were considered when updating the framework relating to the development of the rest area network in NSW. Well designed and located rest areas with adequate facilities are vital for a safe and compliant industry. The rest areas also form a portion of the drivers' place of work and it reasonable to expect they provide a minimum level of basic amenity.

The RMS acknowledged that there is currently a significant shortfall in existing capacity across the freight network. RFNSW raised a number of concerns and considerations. These included but were not limited to:

  • The use of truck parking areas by other road users, in particular "Grey Nomads", needs to be addressed to ensure availability of spaces and to enable uninterrupted rest.
  • Facilities need to be available but also cleaned and maintained
  • Major rest areas are inadequate from both a capacity and location perspective and the strategy moving forward requires support of minor and unofficial rest areas and pull over bays.
  • Planning needs to take into consideration future needs with capacity for parking areas suitable for vehicles up to 40 metres in length.
  • Over length and over width vehicles need to be catered for.
  • Design needs to recognise driver needs including shade, toilets and mobile phone coverage
  • Location should consider safe access and exit.

Overall it was a constructive and productive discussion and we are confident that when the new framework is tabled, due 30th June, it will incorporate the imperatives that RFNSW and other industry representatives emphasised to the beaurocrats.

"Important Decision Regarding Loading and Unloading Allowance Contained in the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2010"

Brent Ferguson

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia (Court) has handed down an important decision regarding when the loading and unloading allowance contained in the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2010 (Award) is payable.

Under clause 13.6 of the Award, the allowance is payable when an employee is, "..engaged on loading or unloading duties." The Award defines "loading or unloading" as being physically engaged in the loading or unloading of the vehicle and includes tarping, installing and removing gates and operation of on board cranes.

In this case, an ex-employee of a transport company alleged that he was entitled to the loading and unloading allowance because during every shift he would unlatch, open and close curtains on the truck as well as apply and remove restraining straps on the loads carried by the truck.

After hearing evidence about how precisely he undertook these duties, the Court decided that neither operating the curtains nor strapping/unstrapping the loads could be considered part of loading and unloading. Therefore, the employee was found not to be entitled to the loading and unloading allowance under the Award.

The decision emphases that the allowance is intended to remunerate employees for the task of engaging in loading and unloading a vehicle, which necessarily involves some physical effort or exertion. The Court decided that duties that are undertaken purely to ensure compliance with safety standards and to ensure that a load is securely fastened are not necessarily loading and unloading.

The Court observed that this was consistent with the long-standing meaning of loading and unloading a vehicle, which is well-understood in the industry.

Road Freight NSW members should be aware that whether the loading and unloading allowance is payable can depend on specific circumstances. Members seeking advice about whether they should be paying the allowance to their employees should call the Ai Group on 1300 781 905. Ai Group is Road Freight NSW's industrial relations partner. "

Brent Ferguson
Special Counsel

Ai GROUP WORKPLACE LAWYERS

Reminder - Expert Workplace Relations Advice Available to Members

Road Freight NSW members are reminded that they can receive workplace relations advice from Ai Group's experienced team of workplace advisers by contacting the Road Freight NSW Advice Line on 1300 78 38 44.

The Advice Line is there to help you with all your "on the spot" workplace relations related questions. This includes topics such as:

  • Award matters
  • Wage rates
  • Leave entitlements
  • Hours of work
  • Employer superannuation obligations
  • Performance management
  • Termination of employment
  • Unfair dismissals
  • Redundancy
  • Discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • Employment legislation
  • Minimum employment conditions
  • Employment contracts and agreements
  • Handling Workers' Compensation claims
  • Work Health and Safety management

Members can make unlimited calls Monday to Friday, from 8.30am - 5.15pm. For additional information regarding legal advice and assistance available to Road Freight NSW members regarding workplace relations and employment law matters, please contact Brent Ferguson on 02 9466 5530 or brent.ferguson@aigroup.com.au

Documenting Chain of Responsibility compliance - is it important?

In the realms of Chain of Responsibility (CoR) compliance, 'being seen to be doing' or being able to demonstrate that you have done something is sometimes equally as important as the 'doing' in the first place.

The reasons for this are many and include:

  • Documenting your compliance policies and procedures assists in communicating them within your business and to relevant parties throughout your supply chain
  • Compliance is increasingly becoming a mandatory selection criterion in tenders and a mandatory performance term in all supply chain contracts and must be demonstrated or proved in order to secure work or respond to allegations of default
  • If your operations are investigated or you are prosecuted in Court, you will have to demonstrate to the regulators/Court that you have complied with your obligations
  • Certain provisions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) require you to retain records for a mandatory period of at least three years.

Documenting CoR compliance assists training and awareness

Under the HVNL you are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that your employees are suitably trained in CoR compliance. You are also required to take all reasonable steps to exercise control or influence over the compliance conduct of third parties in your supply chain. Spreading the message evangelically by word-of-mouth is going to be a poor delivery method to reach your target audience. Also, solely word-of-mouth delivery runs a greater risk that the message will be changed and miscommunicated as it is passed from one person to the other. Reducing your policy, procedures and training and awareness materials to writing (and this includes electronic 'writing' in the form of induction videos) ensures that they are easy to disseminate to a wide audience, their message remains clear and the same, no matter how many times they are passed on and hopefully means that they are interpreted and implemented consistently.

Documenting CoR compliance assists your tendering and contract performance management

As the CoR message spreads throughout all sectors and right up and down the Chain, CoR compliance performance is increasingly becoming a focus of contracting.

It is now very common to see CoR compliance as a pre-condition to the award of tenders or contracts in the construction, projects and logistics sectors. Principal contractors, project owners and importers and distributors of goods are increasingly wanting assurance that their subcontractors are CoR compliant before they are willing to engage them. When tendering for work then, it is important that you are able to produce CoR compliance records which paint a positive picture of your awareness of and compliance with your obligations. Obviously, your policies, procedures and training materials discussed above will be relevant. In addition, being able to produce records of compliance inspections, audits and CoR compliance performance figures will help you paint a positive picture.

Likewise after a contract has been awarded, most supply chain contracts now contain terms that penalise you for CoR breach - in fact, the HVNL implicitly requires every supply chain contract to contain CoR compliance clauses and the Courts have consistently said that they wish to see contractual penalties imposed for CoR breach. If your counterpart alleges a CoR breach, it is important that you are able to refute this by producing transport documentation records which demonstrate compliance. Alternatively, if you are in breach, it will be important for you to be able to demonstrate that you have taken steps to remedy the breach and reduce the risk of recurrence.

Documenting CoR compliance assist you in investigations

If the regulators come knocking or you are 'invited' to Court, you had better have your house in order.

The regulators are unlikely to accept your word at face value and will likely require hard evidence to back up what you say. In order to be persuasive, this must usually be in the form of documents created at the time of the relevant conduct

Even better, if you are able to demonstrate to the regulators that you are doing your best to comply, rather than that your business doesn't have any compliance framework in place, they are more likely to work with you to plug any gap, rather than taking you to Court. Having strong, complete and easily producible documentary compliance materials to hand can help you avoid ever going to Court in the first place.

If you do end up in Court, Courts are usually only persuaded by objective independent evidence and documents are usually accepted as the best evidence.

Documenting CoR compliance is the law

Last but not least, any document required to be kept under the HVNL and (under s6323) any risk and hazard assessment relating to speed and fatigue management, must be kept for a minimum period of three years. It is a breach punishable by penalty/prosecution if you fail to keep those records.

So, while 'doing' is undoubtedly supremely important, don't ever overlook the benefit of 'being seen to be doing' or being able to demonstrate that you have done something.

Author: Nathan Cecil

* A version of this article was originally published in CoR Adviser. This article is © 2017 Portner Press Pty Ltd and has been reproduced with permission of Portner Press.

Protect yourself from illegal phoenix activity

Illegal phoenix activity is when a new company is created to continue the business of an existing company that has been deliberately liquidated to avoid paying its debts, including taxes, creditors and employee entitlements. You can avoid phoenix companies by knowing who you're dealing with.

To protect your business you could:

  • Confirm the business is registered and its ABN is valid
  • Obtain a credit check
  • Ask for references
  • Get a company report from ASIC
  • Search the company and its directors online for any adverse media reports
  • Ask for payment up front or in instalments
  • Include a clause in your contract requiring the business to have all their taxes paid up-to-date. This creates a contractual right that you can enforce in the event of illegal phoenix activity.

The Phoenix Taskforce provides a whole-of-government approach to support businesses who want to do the right thing and deal firmly with those who choose to engage in illegal phoenix behaviour.
Remember, registered tax agents and BAS agents can help you with tax and super advice.

An update on the new workers insurance claims model

New claims model up and running

A bad day at work for most people might involve a broken photocopier, a missed opportunity or a tedious meeting. For the first customer to lodge a claim under icare's new workers insurance claims model it meant plummeting to earth, a bad landing, and a very serious - but recoverable - injury.

The skydiving instructor who phoned the newly-opened Claims Support Centre from his hospital bed on 1 January experienced the culmination of 18 months careful planning, consultation and preparation between icare and EML. Not only was he very grateful there was someone there to take his call, but he was very pleased at the reassurance and support he got on how he would be looked after. Since then he has been assisted - as are all injured workers under the new claims model - by a process specifically designed to provide high levels of transparency and support as he returns to health

The story so far

Six weeks into the operation of the new model the volume of online lodgements and calls are at the upper end of what was forecast. During January, more than 3,900 claims were received (around three per cent more than expected), as well as another 1,600 'injury only' notifications, which resulted in around 5,200 'how you going' (HUG) calls made in return. These HUG calls feature heavily in the positive feedback being received from injured workers, who say they appreciate the proactive contact they receive and the clarity icare can provide on their journey through the claim.

Interestingly, 28 per cent of all notifications are just that: the notification only of a claim with no medical expenses or time at work lost. This is not only a great indication of the proactive nature of employers notifying us of these, but also a reflection on the comparative ease of use of the new notification portal, with over 70 per cent of notifications lodged this way. As employers get used to the new portal, we are proactively calling them back to gather additional information that wasn't provided at lodgement.

Over 14,000 calls have been received, and Case Management Specialists are also receiving great feedback from employers and injured workers on the high level of empathic service they're providing and the simpler process for handling complex claims.

What we're learning

As with any new service, there are initial challenges no matter how much care has been taken in its design. The claims support centre is open from 7:00am until 7:00pm. We know that at this early stage of embedding the new model, call waiting times have been around six minutes during peak demand, which is outside our expected service levels. We also recognise that in some instances we've not been able to get back to customers as quickly as we intended to.

We have been working extremely hard to bring these service levels back to where we expect them to be, and are working closely with EML to introduce refinements to systems and processes. These are already resulting in improvements in waiting times for customers calling us.

In addition, we are continuing our planned recruitment of new staff, and ongoing training is centred on both the operational aspects of the new model and the customer-focused culture we know will make a difference to employers and injured workers.

The ability to lodge notifications through our online portal has allowed customers to do this at a time that suits them. We have received up to 112 lodgements on weekends. A number of customers are also taking the opportunity to notify us outside normal weekday business hours, including one lodgement received at 2:00am. While customers are using the portal more than originally anticipated and we are gathering a lot of information this way, customers are still getting used to providing the additional information that will help to get the claim underway quickly.

What's next

We have been listening to feedback from employers about the online claims portal and it will undergo some modification in the coming weeks; specifically, where and how information like policy numbers is captured. We're also amending the correspondence that's generated through the system to make identifying particular claims clearer for employers who have multiple claims being managed.

The next iteration of the technology platform will be released later in the year and provide a significant uplift in the functionality of the portal for employers and workers. In addition, development is underway to provide further tools and information that will assist customers throughout the life of a claim. These resources will have a strong focus on supporting good return to work outcomes that succeed for both the employer and the worker. Look out for further details on this in the coming months.

Road Reports


Road Freight NSW contact details
Image
56 Fitzroy Street
Marrickville NSW 2204

Tel: (02) 9557 1205

info@rfnsw.com.au

www.roadfreightnsw.com.au

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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