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RFNSW Outlines 2023 Election Priorities

Feautred Image Rfnsw Outlines 2023 Election Priorities

RFNSW Outlines 2023 Election Priorities As the State’s voters head to the polls on 25 March, Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) has issued its list of Election Priorities, which it says will deliver a range of positive outcomes for truckies, all road users and the wider NSW community.

RFNSW has identified seven critical issues currently facing the its members working across the NSW road freight sector. Importantly, the peak body also recommends what needs to be done by the incoming NSW Government to ensure a safe and sustainable trucking industry. The priorities identified are:

Priority 1: Maintaining & Strengthening PBLISRF

NSW strongly supports the continuation of the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy (PBLIS) in its current Regulation, with some minor improvements to further strengthen operations. RFNSW believes the incoming NSW Government must be wary that any sale or administration of PBLIS by a third party would potentially undermine productivity gains delivered by PBLIS across the supply chain and the broader economy. PBLIS must remain a fully funded function of Transport for NSW.

Priority 2: Port Reforms

Stevedores’ unfair landside port charges continue to compromise the viability of many NSW truck operators. RFNSW is calling on the incoming NSW Government to ensure that terminal access charges or infrastructure surcharges and other fixed fees for delivering or collecting containers from a terminal are regulated so that they can only be charged to shipping lines, not transport operators.

Priority 3: Pallets

The current pallet hire system is hurting the NSW economy, small business and consumers, with higher prices and low stock availability. Truck operators continue to deal with complicated and unfair contract arrangements from pallet companies for the use of pallets. RFNSW recommends the incoming NSW Government makes representation to the Federal Government regarding the inequity of pallet contracts for freight operators and look to commence a Federal Government review.

Priority 4: Road Repairs & Safety

RFNSW is committed to ensuring NSW road safety is the cornerstone of what our truck drivers do each and every day and is calling on the incoming NSW Government to invest in a new community road safety education campaign. The incoming Government must also collaborate with the Federal Government to strengthen a commitment to delivering a robust infrastructure pipeline across the State, with sustainable funding for truck rest areas, bridge upgrades, freight routes, regional and rural roads.

Priority 5: Tolling

Tolls in NSW are impacting road freight businesses, workers and their families. Heavy vehicle tolls have progressively been increased on most routes to three times the rate of light vehicle tolls. The recently announced NSW Government Toll Rebate Scheme offers nothing for the majority of the NSW freight industry who coincidentally carry most of the cost and deliver most of the profit on toll roads.RFNSW is calling on the incoming NSW Government to consider a range of tolling options for heavy vehicles, ensuring costs and benefits of toll roads are better aligned, including off-peak/time-of-day discounting; a ‘per km’ distance-based tolling system; incentivising truck companies to use toll roads by way of rego relief and/or a cash-back scheme; consideration of tolls based on a truck’s mass and consideration of tolls based on a truck’s environmental features (the cleaner the truck, the lower the toll). RFNSW has welcomed the widening of the M7 Motorway.

Priority 6: Rest Areas for Truckies

The lack of rest areas in the Sydney metropolitan area is of significant concern for freight operators in this State. Rest areas also represent dignity and respect for a profession that kept the Australian economy and community in food, medicines and PPE during the COVID pandemic. RFNSW recommends that the incoming NSW Government convene a summit to examine the lack of rest areas in the Sydney metropolitan area.

Priority 7: Skills & Education

Road freight in NSW faces significant shortages of labour for the foreseeable future. Not only skilled labour, but also low skilled young and new entrants at the beginning of their career. RFNSW recommends that the incoming NSW Government commence a review of the role of TAFE to best utilise fully-funded placements in partnership with the industry operators we represent.RFNSW Chief Executive Officer, Simon O’Hara said: “Our election priorities are informed by the day to day experiences of hard-working truck operators – they’re the critical issues which continue to impact the NSW freight industry.

“Ahead of the March election, RFNSW is calling on all political candidates to listen to the concerns of truck operators and commit to actions which ensure better safety and economic outcomes not only for truckies, but the wider NSW community.

“As the COVID pandemic has shown, without trucks Australia stops – the new Government will need to improve its support of the freight industry.”

The Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway, MLC, Shadow Minister for Roads John Graham, MLC and Jenny Aitchison, Shadow Minister for Regional Transport and Roads will be attending the 2023 RFNSW Conference on 2 March, where Mr O’Hara will be presenting the Election Priorities Submission to members.

RFNSW media contact: Richard Lenarduzzi 0411 254 390

You can read the 2023 Road Freight NSW Election Priorities by clicking on this link.

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