Meeting with RMS at the Mount Ousley Heavy Vehicle Taskforce and RFNSW Conference
Last Thursday, I attended the Mount Ousley Heavy Vehicle Taskforce at the invitation of RMS. The purpose of the meeting was to receive feedback on a draft proposal for improving Mount Ousley for heavy vehicles.
During WWII the Americans built Mount Ousley to enable movement of materials to Wollongong and into the war effort. 52 000 vehicles use Mount Ousley daily and this forms the PBS A-double route (30 metres/85 tonnes) and forms the only 26 metre route into the Illawarra.
The guiding principles set out by the taskforce were to:
- eliminate major incidents
- eliminate network blockages
- plan and deliver strategies for optimal safety, efficiency and reliability
- target inappropriate speeds
- reduce weaving manoeuvers
- increase heavy vehicle education
- communicate industry risk, consequences and actions.
Consequently, a construction plan to ensure that Mount Ousley is both safer and more productive was developed. This bypass plan was tabled for discussion together with what the new Mount Ousley would look like after construction. The time line for completion, assuming sign-off, is sometime in the mid-2020s.
The TWU also spoke on engagement in the region, as well as changes to Mount Ousley, and presented a video of how heavy vehicle drivers should effectively descend Mount Ousley. While there is an argument for greater and more effective driver training, the video gives a neat snapshot of how to handle the problematic Mount Ousley.
Picton Road was raised as a more problematic road with bottlenecks along it.
Lastly, 1300 DRIVER offered their counselling services for truck drivers and provided an insight into the industry for counselling, support and referral.
All in all, it was a productive meeting on what Mount Ousley could look like in the future. RFNSW aims to keep working with RMS on this into the future to improve productivity and safety for our carriers.
Consultations on Truck Drivers’ Meal Allowance
The ATA, NatRoad, QTA, VTA and TWU met in Sydney last week to discuss the reduction in the reasonable amount for truck driver meal allowances from $97.40 per day in 2016-17 to $55.30 in 2017-18.
As well as concern about the issue itself, RFNSW is concerned about the effect on Enterprise Bargaining Agreements and how employers will deal with these changes as we are going into bargaining rounds.
RFNSW Conference – save the date!
The RFNSW Conference has been scheduled for 1 November at Rooty Hill for an afternoon conference with a dinner to follow.
There will be important announcements at the conference that can help your business save money as members of RFNSW. Tickets will go on sale soon.
Read the 21 August 2017 issue