ACCC Stevedore Report Released, Meeting with Minister and Opposition, IR and much more..

ACCC Stevedore Report Released, Meeting with Minister and Opposition, IR and much more..

CEO Report

After many discussions and meetings, the ACCC have released their much anticipated Container Report that pertains to our activity with relation to infrastructure surcharges

Here is the ACCC Container stevedoring monitoring report for 2017/2018 here

In short the ACCC says (pp16-25) that:

  • Competitive pressures from shipping lines force the stevedores to adopt surcharges
  • That the ACCC doesn't have the power to regulate stevedore surcharges
  • That Landside operators (and potentially cargo owners) don't have an option as to which stevedore they can use for imports or exports.
  • That stevedores face little competitive pressures to constrain infrastructure surcharges.
  • That the ACCC hasn't looked at the latest DPW increase of 70%.
  • That many landside operators pass on the cost of the infrastructure surcharge costs
  • If infrastructure charges on landside transport operators are left unconstrained, they may continue to increase significantly over time. Australia's importers and exporters would then face higher charges to ship their goods than otherwise, and not significantly benefit from the additional competition between stevedores at the east coast ports
  • That the NSW Minister for Roads and Ports has the power to regulate the Ports and Maritime Administration Regulation (2012) NSW.

Relevantly, the ACCC says the "recent significant increases in infrastructure charges may require a more detailed examination by state governments and if warranted, a regulatory response." The Container Report then goes onto add caveats for consideration which is the symptomatic of the dithering and buck passing on this issue to date.

Meeting with NSW Minister for Ports - Minister Pavey

To that end, we met with the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Ports last week to discuss what we believed the state government should do in concert with the federal government.

We called on the Minister and the NSW government to:

  • Launch an Inquiry into these steverdore charges
  • Put in place a moratorium on the latest charges
  • Amend the Ports and Maritime Administration Regulation 2012 to provide government the option to approve or disapprove these charges and for them to be assessed independently.

We also raised the issue of container parks and the (less than helpful) manner Container Chain conducts its business with our members.

RFNSW has been continuing to advocate and lobby for changes to the DPW infrastructure access surcharges. Our members are telling us that some subbies are now leaving the Port because costs like Port surcharges, cash flow and empty container parks are just making it too hard for them to maintain a viable business.

To that end, we met with the Hon Michael Daley MP, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and member for Maroubra last week. Michael was interested in meeting his constituents and how they were dealing with this issue.

The meeting with Michael was positive.

Additionally, the developing and significant problems with container parks were raised and we raised proposals around some policy action on this front.

NHVR Meeting

Last Monday I was invited to Brisbane by the NHVR to talk to Sal Petroccitto (CEO) and address the NHVR's senior leadership group about NSW and was pleased to report that the NHVR would like RFNSW to be involved in consultation with RFNSW members.

Daimler Future Leaders Forum

I am pleased to announce that Michelle Vella from Vellex will be RFNSW's nominee for the Daimler Future Leader forum in Canberra and in Perth next year.

Michelle comes with 13 years experience at Vellex and across a lot of roles that have given her an in depth knowledge of how transport works in NSW.

We wish Michelle in her and we will keep you updated on her progress.

rt Health Massage

Please take the time to check out the great offer from rt health for a free seated massage for RFNSW members only. Rt Health will come to your business for the massage. Give Alison a call on 0467 000 717

Best regards

Simon O’Hara
Road Freight NSW

Rt health massage

Healthy employees equals a healthy business. Partnering with rt health makes it easy to bring health and wellbeing to your workplace.

Why invest in a health and wellbeing program?

Businesses are always looking for ways to improve work performance and productivity, increase engagement and reduce costs associated with absenteeism and presenteeism. This does all three.

One study found that on average, worksite health promotion programs:

  • decrease sick leave absenteeism by 25.3%
  • decrease workers compensation costs by 40.7%
  • decrease disability management costs by 24.2%;
  • save $5.81 for every $1 invested in employee health and wellbeing.

You're in good hands with rt health.

There are many things which set us apart from the big health funds, such as the fact that we're Australian owned and operated, not-for-profit and run exclusively for Australia's transport and energy industries. Most importantly, our members rate us. Research shows that more rt health members recommend us to their friends and family than members of any major health fund (IPSOS, Health care and insurance in Australia, 2017).

Exclusive benefits for Road Freight NSW members:

  • Waiver of 2-3 month waiting periods (for Extras only)
  • $100 welcome gift card

We'd love to come talk to your people about rt health ... but we don't like to show up empty-handed. How does a seated massage visit sound?*. Please contact Alison Weatherill on 0467 000 717 or to organise a seated massage site visit for your team.

(1) Australian government Comcare, Benefits to Business: the evidence for investing in worker health and wellbeing.

* Seated massage offer only available to members of Road Freight NSW

New obligations on employers relating to employee requests for flexible working arrangements

As part of the Fair Work Commission's review of all awards, the ACTU made a claim for awards to be varied to afford employees new rights. In essence, the ACTU had argued that employees with parenting or caring responsibilities should be able to pick the hours and days that they work.

Road Freight's workplace relations partner, Ai Group, strongly advocated against such changes, arguing that affording employees an unfettered right to simply pick when they work would be plainly unworkable.

Fortunately, the Commission accepted such arguments and rejected the ACTU claim. However, it has decided to amend awards to introduce new obligations designed to promote employee access to 'family friendly working arrangements'.

The new obligations build upon existing requirements contained in the Fair Work Act 2009.

Who will the new obligations apply in relation to?

The new obligations will apply in relation to award covered employees who make a request for flexible work arrangements under s.65 of the Fair Work Act 2009.

This includes employees, other than casuals, with at least 12 months of service (or a long term casual employee with a reasonable expectation of continuing employment on a regular and systematic basis) who request a change to their working arrangements (including hours of work, days of work, start times, finishing times etc) if they:

  • are the parent, or has responsibility for the care, of a child who is of school age or younger
  • are a carer (within the meaning of the Carer Recognition Act 2010)
  • have a disability
  • are 55 years of age or older
  • are experiencing violence from a member of the employee's family or
  • provide care or support to a member of the employee's immediate family, or a member of the employee's household, who requires care or support because the member is experiencing violence from the member's family

What are the new obligations?

The new requirements are set out in a proposed model clause.

In essence, awards will be amended to require that employers:

  • Undertake discussions with relevant employees regarding any request for a change in working arrangements made under s.65 of the Fair Work Act 2009 and genuinely try to reach agreement with them on an arrangement that accommodates their circumstances.
  • If an employer and employee agree to implement a change in working arrangements, set out the new arrangement in writing.
  • If the request is refused, provide a response setting out the reasons for this and the details of any alternate arrangement that can be accommodated.

When will the new obligations commence?

The Commission has issued draft determinations proposing to vary each award to include the new model term and is undertaking a process that will allow parties to comment on such determinations before the changes to awards are made.

Road Freight NSW members will be advised of the changes to key awards that result from this process and the commencement date of such changes, once such matters are settled. This will include the following awards of relevance to members:

  • Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010, and
  • Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2010
  • Clerks - Private Sector Award 2010

What if I have further questions?

Members looking for further information in relation to the new changes, or who need any other advice or assistance in relation to a workplace relations matter, may contact the Road Freight NSW Workplace Advice Line on 1300 781 905.

NHVR Forum

New guides for PBS approvals

The NHVR has released a new PBS Vehicle Configurations chart showing 32 common combinations approved under the Performance Based Standards scheme.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto launched the chart and a new booklet PBS: A guide for road managers ahead of a two-day meeting of 70 local government engineers in Brisbane today

"Heavy vehicles approved under the PBS scheme are continuing to use newer technology and safety features and it's crucial that those who are making decisions about network access understand the benefits of these high-tech innovations," Mr Petroccitto said.

"PBS approved heavy vehicles will make up almost one-in-five new vehicles built in Australia this year and are now a significant part of Australia's heavy vehicle fleet.

"The material released today provides road managers with robust and detailed information about the PBS approval process and the type of safety features that are common. It will assist them to make informed decisions about which vehicles can safely access their local roads, intersections and bridges."

The PBS: A guide for road managers complements the chart, providing more detailed information and examples to assist road managers better understand the benefits of PBS vehicles on the road network.

Mr Petroccitto said there were 16,000 separate PBS registered trucks, trailer and buses that make up the 7000 PBS approved combinations in Australia.

"PBS combinations are usually designed for a specific task," he said. "They are innovation leaders across our fleet, reducing heavy vehicle accidents, the number of trips and impact on roads and bridges.

"The complexity of PBS access permit applications can cause delays in the decision making process, so it's important that we continue to provide road managers with information."

The chart is the fourth in the NHVR series, including Classes of Heavy Vehicle chart, Common Heavy Freight Vehicle Configurations chart and Variations of Buses chart.

The chart PBS Vehicle Configurations and the booklet PBS: A guide for road managers are available at

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Mascot Intersection Work

Roads and Maritime Services is proposing to upgrade five intersections in the Mascot area to help reduce congestion and improve safety.

You are receiving this email because Roads and Maritime has identified your business or organisation as being within the proposed project area, or because your business or organisation may wish to contribute to the consultation process.

The Mascot intersection upgrades would include a number of upgrades to manage traffic flow and increase safety. These changes are proposed for the following intersections:

  • Gardeners Road and O'Riordan Street
  • Gardeners Road and Botany Road
  • Kent Road and Ricketty Street
  • Coward Street and Kent Road
  • Bourke Street and Coward Street

This project will help manage traffic conditions at Mascot, increase road capacity and reliability as well as improve safety for all road users.

Work would include line marking, lane realignments, changed median strips and footpaths, new pedestrian crossings and changes to traffic lights and signs. The proposal includes plans for work to be carried out for up to five nights and six days a week.

You can view details of the proposed upgrades by clicking here.

Additionally, you can use the website to view a Community Update for the project and use our interactive online portal to view the proposals in more detail and make a submission to the Have Your Say process.

Alternatively, you can contact our project team on 1800 975 222 or to make a submission.

Roads and Maritime is inviting feedback on the Mascot intersection upgrades ASAP.

A community consultation report will be prepared following the Have Your Say period, which will summarise the matters raised in the consultation process, together with Roads and Maritime's responses.

Road Reports

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Road Freight NSW contact details

56 Fitzroy Street Marrickville NSW 2204

Tel: (02) 9557 1205

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