Fires, Drought Relief and Truck Stops

Fires, Drought Relief and Truck Stops

CEO’s Report

Happy New Year for 2020!

The year began with enormous bushfires in NSW and mass evacuations from the South Coast and elsewhere.

Throughout it all, Shane Fitzsimmons and his band of Rural Fire Service volunteers, were steadfast in their determination to save property and lives. Credit goes to the Premier of NSW for showing quiet grace and determination during extremely difficult times.

Road Freight will continue to support victims of drought and bushfire as we are doing this Australia Day long weekend.

Renewal of Road Freight NSW Membership

Road Freight NSW renewals have been sent out to members and I would encourage members to renew their membership of Road Freight NSW. It is only through you that we can continue to represent you!

So that we can continue to represent you with law makers and government like we did here in this picture in December 2019 with the Parliamentary Committee on Road Safety.

Future Policy for Bushfires and Roads

I recently made the following statement in relation to the recent bushfires:

Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) Chief Executive Simon O’Hara says members have been significantly impacted directly and indirectly by the devastating bushfires – resulting with road closures and diversions.

“One of our RFNSW members said that, ‘The majority of the impact was related linehaul activity and delays in utilising Linehaul vehicles for local activities, which meant that we were either late with deliveries or we engaged with subcontractor at higher costs’.

“Another member lost a fully loaded trailer and forklift to the bushfires when the driver was directed by NSW police to run for their lives because of imminent fire threat.

“The truckdriver in this instance did not have enough room to turn quickly, so he had to unhitch the trailer and leave speedily with the truck/tractor only.

“At our last ATA meeting in 2019, RFNSW raised the issue of roads of national importance as an agenda item for discussion going forward. What this means in effect is that RFNSW believes that some roads need to be defined as roads of national importance and should have appropriate safeguards in place like vegetation cleared and enough space for a turn for a truck and trailer so that these roads remain open for as long as possible in the types of conditions we have witnessed in December 2019 and January 2020.

“if anything, the last two months have shown that we need to rely on these roads not just for basic foodstuffs and fuel. But if necessary, they can be used for the evacuation of people. RFNSW would counsel that these roads need to be designed in a way that offers comfort and security for the people and businesses of NSW.

Bushfires and Drought – Australia Day Long Weekend Water Run

“RFNSW members have been lending a hand in fire-affected communities out of their own pockets, to help people with basic food stuffs, containers and some heavy haulage.

On the Australia Day long weekend, RFNSW, led by Leigh Smart of Formula Chemicals and our members are going to assist the drought affected town of Baradine with a water delivery of 250 000 litres, a donated water tank coming in from QLD, and a weekend for the kids of the local community with a jumping castle and a BBQ (produce sourced from local businesses).

Tony McGrath from McGrath's Transport in Newcastle is delivering the donated water tank himself from QLD and as you can see below his truck is being loaded with some of the water for the run up on the weekend. In this way the local community will have access to freshwater.

A BIG THANK YOU goes out to our members like Formula Chemicals, Vellex, Bagtrans, McGrath Transport, Winston Haulage. Sydneywide and Trojan Transport to name a few who are donating time, effort, their long weekend, capital and much more. Some of our members customers and suppliers have made significant donations to the effort and we are thankful for the collective effort.

If you are interested in being involved or wish to make a donation, please contact RFNSW on 0400188815.

Tiny Feet and Ozharvest have made donations to our cause:


In an early win for Road Freight NSW in 2020, we are pleased to report on the Northern Regions trial at the Yelgun and Arrawarra stops in line for new rules enforcement to ensure that truckies have greater opportunity to park up and rest.

"We welcome this new approach from TfNSW and the proactivity of the Northern region," Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) chief executive Simon O’Hara says.

"RFNSW has made representations on this issue to ministers regarding the need for safe, truck rest areas and we are pleased to see positive action has been taken with this trial on the busy Pacific Highway.

"We know that rest areas are essential for the safety and well-being of both truckies and light-vehicle drivers and the continued safe operation of freight in NSW.

"RFNSW believes that this trial needs to be replicated across the state, so we can ensure that truckies have enough space in rest areas to park up and rest, allowing them to adhere to fatigue laws and stay safe on the roads."

Please read the link below for more information

Sham Contracting?

The transport sector appears to be targeted for sham contracting – misclassifying workers as ‘Independent contractors’

A QLD transport company has been prosecuted for allegedly misclassifying four delivery drivers as independent contractors, despite the fact that they drove company vans, wore company uniforms and worked when directed by the company. The Fair Work Ombudsman is claiming that the drivers were in fact employees and have been underpaid as a result of the misclassification. The Ombudsman is seeking back-pay and financial penalties.

Transport sector businesses can expect increased scrutiny from the Ombudsman who was given 9.2 million in 2019 to establish a taskforce aimed at targeting sham contracting practices.

Please contact Road Freight NSW for more information on this development and how your membership of Road Freight NSW gives your business protection through our workplace partner Ai Group for these sorts of claims.

Vale George Feher

It is with sadness that I report the passing of George from Teletrac Navman. Go well, George. He will be missed by many in the telematics industry. Here he is last year at the Road Freight/UTS Breakfast put together by Ray Paruchuri at UTS.

Best regards

Simon O’Hara

Road Freight NSW

Teletrac Navman Driving Change Diversity Program

The 2020 Teletrac Navman Driving Change Diversity Program is a ground-breaking initiative that will celebrate industry diversity, develop diversity champions, and improve industry image. The program will showcase diversity champions to the trucking industry and wider community through program participant stories, diversity training and a marketing campaign, promoting positive perception of industry and encouraging new entrants into the workforce.

The 2020 program will consist of:

  • Filming participant stories in their workplace
  • Two days of diversity training and marketing campaign development workshops from 31 March – 1 April 2020
  • Participation in Trucking Australia 2020, in Cairns from 1-3 April 2020
  • Industry marketing and promotional campaign

For more information download a copy of the Fact Sheet and Nomination.

4.6m High Specified Semi-trailer HVNL amendment commences 28 February 2020

The Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension and Loading) National Regulation (MDL Regulation) has been amended to:

  • Include a definition of a specified semitrailer;
  • Allow a maximum height of 4.6 metres for a specified semitrailer; and
  • Provide road access to a combination that includes a specified semitrailer.

Road access for specified semitrailers will commence 28 February 2020.

What is a specified semitrailer?

A specified semitrailer means a semitrailer that:

  • Is not a PBS vehicle; and
  • Has an air suspension system with effective dampers fitted; and
  • Has a deck height not higher than 1.2m for at least 50% of its deck length; and
  • If in combination, the combination:

Consists only of;

  • A prime mover towing a single semitrailer attached to the prime mover by a fifth wheel coupling; or
  • A B-double; or
  • A B-triple; and

Has a mass not more than 90% of the prescribed mass requirements for the combination.

A semitrailer which meets these criteria is able to operate at 4.6 metres high.

Prescribed Mass Requirements (PMR)

Prescribed mass requirements are mass limits set out in the MDL Regulations and are enforceable. Breaching them carries penalties under Chapter 4 of the Heavy Vehicle National Law. PMRs for a heavy vehicle are determined by the vehicle’s configuration at the time.

The MDL Regulation outlines the PMR that for heavy vehicle combinations, which include (but not limited to) the mass limits found in Schedule 1 to 5A.

Mass exceptions

Applicable mass exception limits include:

  • Concessional Mass Limits (CML); and
  • Higher Mass Limits (HML).

These exceptions are subject to a number of conditions, and are not applicable if the vehicle is limited to General Mass Limits.

Mass condition calculation - determines the applicable prescribed gross mass limit for a combination and calculates 90% of the determined limit. The calculated result will be the applicable mass condition.

For example: A specified semitrailer combination is operating under CML with a determined combination mass limit of 44 tonne. Therefore, the mass condition calculation would be: 90% of 44 tonne, being 39.6 tonne.

A specified trailer combination that does not meet the mass condition contained in the specified semitrailer definition is restricted to whichever height limit otherwise applies – for most heavy vehicles this is 4.3 metres.

For further information download the NHVR Specified Semitrailer Info sheet.

NHVR Portal - Online NHVAS applications

Since Monday 2 December 2019 you have been able to submit NHVAS applications online through the NHVR Portal. To help people transition into the Portal, we also kept the old NHVR website submission platform available for online applications with a note that it would soon be removed.

On Friday 24 January 2020 the NHVR website submission will be removed and all online applications must then go through the NHVR Portal.

The NHVR Portal allows you to not only to submit an application, but manage all your NHVAS records. If you haven't made the switch yet, please use the information below to get started.

For more information on 'Getting started' and the benefits of the NHVR Portal - click here

NHVR OSOM Portal Training in Parramatta on 28 January 2020

Please click on this link to attend:

Road Reports

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Road Freight NSW contact details

56 Fitzroy Street Marrickville NSW 2204

Tel: (02) 9557 1205

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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