Category Archives: Uncategorized

Freight News: NHVR and RFNSW meet with Vellex

This week, I had the opportunity to meet with the NHVR and Vellex to allow the NHVR to get a deeper understanding of its operations.

Austin was open to his business needs and spoke on matters pertaining to the National Heavy Vehicle law.

Austin then gave Tim from the NHVR a tour of his facilities, highlighting his safety and compliance mechanisms and introducing Tim to his senior management. Vellex is a standard bearer for safe operation and Austin drills this into his staff at every opportunity by way of company culture.

RFNSW is keen to facilitate meetings with our members and the NHVR. We want to give members the chance to raise any concerns, or even meet an operator to get an idea of their processes.

Tim and I shared a journey together to and from Vellex and agreed to work closely in engaging RFNSW’s members into 2018.

Read the Tuesday 5 December issue here.

Freight News: RFNSW engages The Hon Guy Zangari, The Hon Michael Daley and The Hon Ron Hoenig on Infrastructure Surcharges

Recently, I had the opportunity of meeting with The Hon Guy Zangari, Shadow Police Minister around matters affecting our members and his electorate of Fairfield. His electorate covers a number of truck depots and freight businesses. As the shadow Police Minister it was also essential to let him know about some of the concerns our members face on the roads day-to-day.

I also had the opportunity to let Guy know about DPW’s recent infrastructure fee increase at the Port. Guy was open to engagement from RFNSW and our members in and around the Port, and also on other matters closer to his portfolio.

Fortunately, we were also able to touch base with other senior members of the Opposition, including The Hon Michael Daley and the Hon Ron Hoenig to discuss what is happening at the Port. We also raised the troubling increase of infrastructure surcharge fees—that seems to come with little real justification—with both Mr Daley and Mr Hoenig.

Read the Wednesday 29 November issue here.

Freight News: 78% DPW infrastructure surcharge increase, RFNSW meets with Bill Shorten and Jason Clare and free rego for NSW light vehicles

Last week we emailed members about an increase to DPW infrastructure surcharges for 2018. This increase comes six months after its first and last rise, which at the time signaled to industry that new charges were coming. Soon after Patrick’s put in place its own surcharge, and these have proliferated within the industry and mark a new form of revenue raising.

In January this year, we had no surcharges. There were no costs per container and this wasn’t being contemplated by industry. Fast forward to November and not only do we have surcharges, but we’re witnessing the next round of increases at the DPW facility.

RFNSW supports justifiable increases if these are evidence-based. To date we don’t have any of that detail and the rationale for increases such as rent and electricity seem generic and provide not a fig leaf of respectability for these increases or claims.

Read the Tuesday 21 November issue here.

Media release: RFNSW slams DP World over second port tax hike


A ‘kick in the guts for truckies’

Peak body Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) has slammed DP World Australia (DPWA) over plans to hit truck operators with another increase to the existing infrastructure levy at the Port Botany terminal – the second big price rise forced on carriers in less than a year.

From 1 January 2018, DPWA will introduce a surcharge of $37.65 per container received or delivered at the terminal. This is an increase of $16.49 on the earlier infrastructure tax of $21.16 DPWA imposed on truckies in April this year.

RFNSW General Manager Simon O’Hara described the latest price hike as outrageous.

“Our members are stunned, they’ve effectively been hit with two big price increases at the port in less than a year,” Mr O’Hara said today.

“Once again, the latest price gouge has been cynically blamed on so-called ‘increased costs’ at the port, but the ACCC has already acknowledged that extra taxes could earn DPWA and Patrick a combined revenue of $70 million, equivalent to a 5 to 6 per cent increase in unit revenues.

“The ACCC also noted that ‘unit costs for both stevedores remain stable’, so from our perspective there is simply no justification for yet another price hike – it’s nothing but a greedy cash grab from DPWA.

“It’s a kick in the guts for our RFNSW members who are still reeling from the first round of unscrupulous surcharges forced on them by the stevedores.

“We’re now concerned that truckies’ operational costs will continue to rise and be passed on through the supply chain and eventually on to consumers.

“What’s worse is that the other stevedores will undoubtedly follow DPWA down the slippery slope and impose their increases on port charges. Where will it end?

“We’ve welcomed the ACCC’s statement that the infrastructure taxes raise a number of issues for the port supply chain and we are again urging the ACCC to step-in and stop the stevedores from using their market power to force these ever-increasing charges on to truckies.” 

Freight News: RFNSW meets the Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Westconnex

RFNSW meets the Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Westconnex

The RFNSW Board met with the NSW Premier, Treasurer and cabinet members last week to discuss key issues including:

  • safety on the road
  • infrastructure surcharges
  • truck use of NorthConnex
  • joint campaigns
  • toll costs on transport and their impact on the bottom line.

We put a number of key points to these leaders and highlighted members’ concerns.

Read the Monday 13 November issue here.

Freight News: RFNSW Welcomes ACCC Examination of New Port Taxes


Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) has welcomed the ACCC’s acknowledgment that infrastructure taxes imposed by DP World and Patrick “raise a number of issues for the port supply chain”, leaving transport carriers with higher operating charges and the inability to switch to other stevedores.

In its 2016–17 Container Stevedore Monitoring Report released yesterday, the ACCC said the taxes “could earn DP World and Patrick a combined $70 million in revenues, which would be equivalent to a 5 to 6 per cent increase in unit revenues”.

According to the ACCC, “it is concerning that truck and rail operators face these higher charges but are limited in their ability to take their business elsewhere”. 

The stevedores announced the new taxes earlier this year without consulting RFNSW or other industry groups. Charges were justified by claiming that increases in rent, land tax and rates were a ‘cost burden’ that could no longer be absorbed and that the increased surcharges would be used to fund new infrastructure.

Read the Monday 6 November issue here.

Freight News: Members Win Big in RFNSW/BP Fuel Deal

New agreement provides major fuel discounts for truck operators

Peak body Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) is pleased to announce a new sponsorship agreement with BP Australia Pty. Ltd. (BP) which will provide RFNSW members with significant fuel discounts.

Announcing the agreement in Sydney, the General Manager of RFNSW, Simon O’Hara, said the relationship with BP will deliver a range of benefits to its members, including:

  • Access to an extensive network of truck stops and key diesel sites strategically located throughout major transport routes in Australia.
  • Improved discounts on BP Plus card for BP Diesel and ULP products.
  • During the month of November 2017, the new arrangement will include a BP Plus Card offer to new RFNSW members whereby additional discounts will apply for the first 7 months trading as well as no transaction fees for 12 months.*
  • Support to RFNSW through industry events, seminars and awards.

Read the Tuesday 31 October issue here.

Freight News: Road Freight NSW To Operate As Independent Body

Breaking: RFNSW will become independent from the ATA on 1 January 2018 

Road Freight NSW––the peak industry organisation representing trucking operators in NSW––will become an independent organisation from 1 January 2018 to better serve its NSW membership base.

The organisation––currently a subsidiary of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA)–– delivers a range of services and benefits to members, including advice on workplace relations, legal counsel and engagement, discounted off the pump and bulk fuel through BP, and representation on industry issues, interests and concerns to state and federal governments.

It began as ATA NSW in 2007 and is recognised as a respected advocate for trucking operators, and a conduit to government, regulators and enforcement agencies.

Road Freight NSW took on its current name in 2015. It will now work independently to campaign on policies affecting the NSW transport sector, primarily heavy vehicle safety, the regulatory regimes stifling business growth and the unwarranted surcharges, like stevedores’ port taxes, being imposed on carriers.

Road Freight NSW Chairman Jon Luff says that while the organisation is committed to policy development nationally, there is a need for an independent body in NSW to allow strong advocacy at a state level.

Freight News: RFNSW meets with Qube over surcharge

RFNSW Conference postponed to 2018 so that RFNSW can focus on exciting news

The ATA and Road Freight NSW have made the tough decision to postpone this year’s RFNSW conference to focus on 2018 and some exciting news we’ll have for you in the next few days.

We’ll have more information for you later this week.

Tragedy at Berrima

Last week we met with a team from UNSW around fatigue issues facing drivers and I attach some helpful posters here for your workplace.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the family affected by this tragedy at Berrima and we will work with compliance and enforcement government agencies where we can to get the message out about fatigue in our industry.

To that end, Chief Inspector Phil Brooks has made an offer to visit our member’s workplaces to discuss the issues around driver fatigue over the Christmas period. Some of the larger transport companies have already taken up that offer. If you would like to know more, please contact 

Read the Wednesday 18 October issue here. 

Freight News: RFNSW conference to answer media critics of truck safety and much more

Media goes after truckies in NSW over safety: Come to the RFNSW Safety/CoR Conference to safeguard yourself from these attacks…

Over the weekend, the Sydney Morning Herald published this story:

RFNSW would have liked the opportunity to put our members’ viewpoints to the publication and allow readers the ability to assess some of the facts about truck safety. As a consequence, we put to the Sydney Morning Herald the following view of our membership:

“We would have appreciated the opportunity to have some input into the articles to give our members’ perspectives on truck safety. After all, they balance safety and compliance, with their cost imperatives, as few others do,” Mr O’Hara said today.

“RFNSW meets with our members and stakeholders like RMS and NHVR regularly to raise any issues we have around safety policies and compliance, with strategies then developed and implemented, as part of our commitment to heavy vehicle safety on NSW roads.”

The RFNSW annual conference, to be held in Sydney on 1 November, will focus on how carriers can gain the knowledge and expertise to successfully operate under the new CoR, ensuring that safety and compliance is at the centre of their businesses.

Read the 11 September 2017 issue here