Membership Renewals, Surcharges, Assessing fitness & Safe Work Consultation

Freight News

16 February 2018

In this Edition:

  • CEO's Report
  • Cited: Discounted Checks for Credentials
  • Assessing Fitness to Drive
  • NTI Encourages Preparation for Severe Weather
  • Write Off Threshold
  • Correction
  • Road and Traffic Reports

CEO's Report

Membership Renewals

Membership Renewals have been sent out to members. Please don't forget to renew your Road Freight NSW membership for 2018.

As you know we are going to be a separate entity from the Australian Trucking Association for 2018 and your membership is vital to ensuring that Road Freight NSW continues its work in representing the industry with government and industry.

In the last year, Road Freight NSW has been representing you interests with TfNSW, RMS, NSW Ports, politicians including ministers and the NHVR.

Road Freight NSW has seen in an increase in partners from BP, NTI and the Ai Group to now include:

  • Linde Material Handling (Forklifts)
  • TeleTrac Navman (Telematics)
  • AEI Insurance
  • Holding Redlich (Specialist legal advice)
  • Make it Cheaper (Cheaper Gas and Electricity Bills for your home and business)
  • RT Health (Health Insurance)
  • Blue Scope

Recently you saw added benefits from your RFNSW membership with BP and an increased benefit of 25-35% on top of your current savings. The benefits from the BP fuel saving may pay your RFNSW membership plus some!

Ai Group provide free workplace relations advice on their hotline

We have more partners coming onboard and keep an eye out for great opportunities to save your business money.

Patricks Infrastructure Surcharge

Further to our media release Friday last.

On Monday the Australian Financial Review reported on the position of Road Freight NSW. As you are aware, we are against increased and unnecessary costs to our industry at the Port. It is important that our voice is heard by a broadsheet like the Fine Review with regards to this surcharge hurting business in this country.

We are proactively meeting with bureaucrats over this issue and will keep you updated.

Hutchison Side loader Levies

Hutchison commenced charging Sideloader Levies from 9/2/2018.

Apparently it was part of their original Tariff when they started operations 3 years ago. They never introduced the levy but they tried to implement it prior to Christmas 2017 but were'nt able to due to the 60 day notification period.

RFNSW is still trying to understand the rationale for the charge and will come back to members on this point.

As I understand it, Transport for NSW have been notified of the charge.

This applies to:

1) For all full import containers collected from the terminal.
2) For all full export containers delivered to the terminal.
3) For all empty containers that are returned to the terminal.

The charge is $50.00 per container movement plus GST.

Independent Regulator for Infrastructure Surcharges

Last year we called for an independent regulator to approve infrastructure surcharges at NSW Ports.

Without a supervised monitored process, it is clearly a free-for-all for stevedores to charge the increases they choose to.

Its time for regulation to ensure that transparency is part and parcel of any increases to these surcharges.

RFNSW speaks at SafeWork Transport Sector Consultation Work Shop for a new road map for health and safety

On Wednesday of this week, I was afforded the opportunity of being able to speak at this workshop at Rooty Hill about some of the benefits of joining RFNSW.

Although the Association had attended one of these workshops last year and provided our input. This was a great opportunity for industry to provide input into SafeWork policy as one of the identifiable high risk sectors.

Operation Shield

As we understand it from the ATN, New South Wales Road and Maritime Services (RMS) is at the forefront of a nationwide push on heavy vehicle compliance this week, with the launch of Operation Shield, the follow-up to Operation Rolling Thunder.

The heavy vehicle compliance action is the largest of a nation-side push on compliance being coordinated this week by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) in cooperation with state regulators.

RMS director of compliance Roger Weeks says Operation Shield would build on the results of Operation Rolling Thunder, this time targeting fatigue and speed limiter non-compliance.

From our perspective greater engagement with RFNSW over these issues and operations would be helpful for our industry. While we note that RMS has said that Operation Shield would build upon Operation Thunder it frankly would need to. A 24 hour operation entitled 'Rolling Thunder' isn't rolling and is not thunderous. A lot of our members have described Operation Rolling Thunder as expedient and aimed at the public at large as a result of the horrific incidents on NSW Roads over the Xmas break.

Our members understand that enforcement is a necessary part of the answer to ensuring safe road, but they also realise that education is essential to getting results.

Toll Roads

You may have notice recent media around Toll roads and the M4. Please see results from Transurban ASX announcement below:

In Sydney:

  • Toll revenue is up 9.8%
  • ADT (Average Daily Traffic) is only up 2.9%
  • On the M7, toll revenue is up 13.8% but ADT is only up 3%

We support the ATA's submission for an independent regulator to approve toll increases. Particularly given one of our operators who I have spoken to pays up to $100 000.00 a month for using toll roads.


Given the current difficult with WIMs If any of our members have had discrepancy on what appears on their WIMs notices compared to weight stations. Can they please contact with that detail.

AI Group Hotline

Please don't forget as part of your membership you get free access to a hotline from Ai Group for workplace relations. That hotline number is 1300 781 905. If in doubt call.

Simon O'Hara
Road Freight NSW

Freight a Weighty Compliance Issue

Risk management is an important issue for many businesses, and for those in the large and rapidly expanding road freight industry, it's critical.

Businesses need to ensure their employees and contractors are fully compliant with regulatory obligations. The risks of non-compliance are great, and include safety, reputational, financial, legal and operational risks.

Cited is an online platform that provides businesses and individuals with the ability to check and verify people's credentials, as well as ensure qualifications stay up to date with renewals monitoring and notification.

Cited is proud to be in partnership with Road Freight NSW, helping members make checking and verification of work credentials as easy and cost-effective as possible

Cited's relationship with Road Freight NSW provides members with discounted checks for credentials including National Police checks, First Aid checks, University Qualification checks, Visa checks, Trade Certificate checks and Certificate or Diploma checks.

In February 2018, Cited announced significant discounts on a number of other workforce verifications, available only to organisations registered with Cited. A new low price of $12.90 per verification (inclusive of GST) is available for 11 different verifications, including Driver's Licence and Working with Children.

Visit Cited at to find out more about achieving proof at work.

Assessing fitness to drive - some helpful tips

The demands on heavy-vehicle drivers can often be significant when they must interact with both the vehicle and the external environment at the same time. In this article, we examine how you can assess a driver's fitness to drive and provide some helpful tips regarding the different approaches.

An element of fatigue compliance under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) is making sure that a driver is fit to drive, in the sense of not being adversely affected by fatigue. This obligation may also arise under general Work Health and Safety (WHS) law, as well as an overriding general obligation to ensure the safety of all participants in the road transport industry.

Driver fatigue is a safety hazard. Most people are well aware of the causes of fatigue but sometimes less conscious of the implications. Under the HVNL and WHS laws, all parties in the chain need to take a pro-active approach to managing their responsibilities, including assessing a driver's fitness to drive.

Driver fitness for duty covers:

  • licencing
  • fatigue compliance
  • being drug free and not exceeding any applicable alcohol limits
  • medical fitness.

Factors affecting driving

The National Transport Commission (NTC) recently assisted in the publication of a document "Assessing fitness to drive for commercial and private vehicle drivers". Although the publication is tailored towards health professionals and details medical standards for driver licensing purposes, it is useful for the heavy vehicle industry in understanding the issue.

It identifies a number of complex driver, vehicle, task, organisational and external road environment factors which can affect drivers. These include the driver's experience, training and attitude; the driver's physical and mental health (including fatigue and the effect of prescription and non-prescription drugs); the natural environment; vehicle and equipment characteristics; work-related multitasking and vehicle issues including size, stability and load distribution. In addition, there a number of further commercial considerations for heavy vehicle drivers under the HVNL, which include (but are not limited to):

  • Business requirements, for example, rosters (shifts), driver training and contractual demands
  • Legal requirements, for example, work diaries and licensing procedures
  • Vehicle issues including size, stability and load distribution
  • Passenger requirements/issues
  • Endurance/fatigue and vigilance demands associated with long periods spent on the road.

One of the most common questions we hear is "how can we test a driver's fitness to drive?"

Unfortunately, the answer is not so simple, because driver fitness can be construed very broadly. Depending on the individual situation, your assessments should generally involve evaluating some or all of the following:

a) The need for specialised equipment or vehicle modifications
b) The driver's ability to control the motor vehicle
c) The driver's functional status including cognitive function, physical strength and skills,             reaction time, insight level and ability to self-monitor their driving
d) The driver's lifestyle and the nature, frequency and requirement for driving
e) The driver's understanding and application of road laws.

One way to evaluate the above (in particular (a) and (d)) is to have your driver fill in a self-assessment form such as a driver health questionnaire. This will help identify conditions that might affect a person's capacity to drive safely and is a starting point regarding the person's fitness to drive a commercial vehicle until a full clinical examination is performed.

What can you ask your driver?

Short of having a fitness for duty assessment sheet (which we will cover off in the next section), some simple key questions that you can ask your driver before undertaking any work-related tasks include:

  • How are you feeling?
  • Did you have sufficient sleep?
  • When was your last working shift?
  • When is your next working shift?
  • Have you consumed any alcohol in the last 24 hours?

These questions appear obvious but they are often overlooked and can prevent unnecessary accidents/incidents from occurring. As an operator, loading manager, scheduler and consignor, maintaining a good working relationship with your drivers is essential and will help you in complying with your obligations under the HVNL.

What observations should you be making?

Certain drivers will not feel comfortable speaking the truth if they are aware of the ramifications. Therefore, it is also important that you conduct thorough visual observations of drivers from a fatigue perspective. Short of having a health professional on site to conduct a medical exam of the driver’s fitness for duty, things to look out for include:

  • Assess the driver's posture while they are standing. If they are slouched and appear without energy, it may suggest that they are not alert and are unfit to drive
  • Look closely at the driver’s eyes. Frequent blinking and/or droopy eyelids can suggest a lack of sleep
  • Smell the breath of the driver for any signs of alcohol or drug consumption

If you have an unfit driver that is involved in an accident, the implications for the driver and the company can be significant, involving not just civil but criminal liability. Therefore, it is essential that companies have adequate systems and procedures in place to monitor, detect and test a driver's fitness to drive.

Finally, drivers themselves should be concerned to ensure that they are fit to drive. Apart from exposing themselves and others to risk of injury, a driver who drives knowing that they are unfit may also expose themselves to penalty or civil liability in the event that an accident occurs.

Author: Nathan Cecil

* A version of this article was originally published in CoR Adviser. This article is © 2017 Portner Press Pty Ltd and has been reproduced with permission of Portner Press.

NTI encourages preparations for severe weather

While much of Australia is experiencing enduring sweltering heat and severe weather warnings, NTI is urging transport and logistics owners and operators to be proactive during this period by revisiting emergency plans.

NTI Chief Executive Officer Tony Clark says extreme weather can escalate quickly, so it's imperative to have an action plan and to be familiar with it.

"Have a plan and make sure it's communicated well across your people, so that when it comes time for action, it can be implemented without hesitation," said Mr Clark.

"We see severe weather interrupt business productivity through destruction of transport infrastructure, vehicles, loss of freight and vehicles or whole businesses flooded."

"Staying abreast of severe weather warnings like storm conditions and fire hazards, across areas of operation, can make all the difference," he said.

"There are some great online tools and resources for keeping informed during weather events."

For those on the road or in transit, NTI suggest keeping your radio on for the latest warnings and ensuring you have a safe action plan if driving or working in high risk areas. This may include, but not be limited to: broken-up roads, bushfires, sever rain and flooding.

In the event of continuing to operate in uncertain weather conditions, NTI recommends:

  • Arranging for regular, up to date emergency reports from a reliable source.
  • Making an alternative drive/travel plan which includes at least one detour to your destination.
  • Accounting for additional travel time if transporting time sensitive goods.
  • Devising an evacuation strategy for your people, equipment and stock.

NTI encourage talking to your broker regularly to ensure you have adequate cover. From all at NTI, get home safe.

Customers or intermediaries needing to make a claim due to a weather event should contact NTI via the NTI Accident Assist (1800 NTI NOW) service. This will allow the claim to be actioned as quickly as possible, without the need for paperwork. Trauma counselling will also be available.

The write-off threshold of $20,000 has been extended to 30 June 2018.

If you buy an asset and it costs less than $20,000, you can immediately deduct the business portion in your tax return. The $20,000 threshold applied from 12 May 2015 and will reduce to $1,000 from 1 July 2018.

You are eligible to use simplified depreciation rules and claim the immediate deduction for the business portion of each asset (new or second hand) costing less than $20,000 if:

  • you have a turnover less than $10 million (increased from $2 million on 1 July 2016), and
  • the asset was first used or installed ready for use in the income year you are claiming it in.

Assets that cost $20,000 or more can't be immediately deducted. They will continue to be deducted over time using the general small business pool.

You write-off the balance of this pool if the balance (before applying any other depreciation deduction) is less than $20,000 at the end of an income year.


Last week, we mis-described the operation of the third edition 2018 Load Restraint Guide.

Please see a full explanation of the operation of this guide below

The current National Heavy Vehicle Law, (section 115) calls up the legal requirements as those given in the "current edition" of the Load restraint guide as published by the NTC. Thus the performance requirements of the 3rd or "2018 Edition" is now the legal requirement.

In mid -June they are proposing to change section 115 to write the performance standards in that section.

In state law (WA and NT) the NHVL does not apply. In those jurisdictions the law still calls up the Appendix F1 of the 2nd edition. (In fact all states used to do exactly the same, until 10 Feb 2014 when NHVL took over heavy vehicles)

In practice the performance standards are the same. So nothing has changed legally.

The majority of the 2018 Load Restraint Guide is advisory, not mandatory, plus much from the 2nd Edition is carried over to the 3rd edition, so there is not any major change. However the 2018 edition is now the current version. My earlier advice of a mid- June changeover was incorrect.


Eastbound and Westbound off ramp to Pennant Hills Road

A full closure of the Hills M2 eastbound off ramp to Pennant Hills Road (this one is likely to have the most impact on trucks) will be in place between:

  • 9pm to 5am on Wednesday 14 February, weather permitting
  • 9pm to 5am on Thursday 15 February 2018, weather permitting.

There will be two alternate detour routes in place for motorists. A map of the alternate detour routes is provided. The primary detour is via Windsor Road, Old Northern Road, Terminus Street, Old Northern Road, Castle Hill Road and Pennant Hills Road.

A secondary detour is via Lane Cove Road, Pacific Highway and Pennant Hills Road.

A full closure of the Hills M2 westbound off ramp to Windsor Road will be in place between:

  • 9pm to 7am on Friday 23 February, weather permitting
  • 9pm to 7am on Saturday 24 February 2018, weather permitting.

There will be an alternative detour route for motorists. Motorists are encouraged to use the detour route via Old Windsor Road, James Ruse Drive and Windsor Road. A map of the detour routes is included.

Pacific Highway Clearway between Chatswood and Atarmon
Last year, Roads and Maritime Services sought feedback from the community and key stakeholders on the proposed new weekend and extended weekday clearways on Pacific Highway, between Chatswood and Artarmon. As part of this proposal, proposed alternate business customer parking was also considered.

We have summarised the feedback received and provided a response to the key matters raised in a consultation report which can be accessed on the project page

After considering the feedback, Roads and Maritime is proceeding with the proposal to install clearways on Pacific Highway between Fullers Road, Chatswood and Gore Hill Freeway, Artarmon. The new and extended clearways will be operational from Monday 5 March.

The new and extended clearways will be in operation (in both directions) on Pacific Highway, between Fullers Road, Chatswood and Gore Hill Freeway, Artarmon from:

  • 6am to 7pm on weekdays
  • 9am to 6pm on weekends and public holidays.

We will continue to work with Willoughby City Council to implement the proposed alternate business customer parking (subject to council approval).

Further information can be found in the attached project update.

For general information regarding the Sydney Clearways Program please visit our website at

Road work on Bells Line of Road, Berambing from Thursday 15 February

The NSW Government is funding this essential maintenance work under its $1.5 billion program to maintain and improve the 18,028 kilometre state road network.

Roads and Maritime Services will be carrying out repairs to the east and westbound shoulders along Bells Line of road, between Ghost Hill Road and about 60 metres west of Berambing Crest, Berambing.

Traffic changes will be in place between Thursday 15 February and Friday 2 March from 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturday.

Please contact us at or 1800 332 660 if you would like more information.

Road work on Pacific Highway, Hornsby from Monday 19 February

The NSW Government is funding this work under its Black Spot program to reduce the risk, incidence and severity of crashes on the State's roads.

Roads and Maritime Services will be installing two ramps at the intersection of Pacific Highway and College Crescent, Hornsby. This project will help improve pedestrian safety.

We will be on site for 10 night shifts between Monday, 19 February, 2018 and Friday, 13 April, 2018 excluding public holidays, weather permitting. Our work hours will be between 8pm and 5am from Sunday to Friday.

Attached is a notification being distributed to the community on Monday 12 February.

Please contact us at or 1800 332 660 if you would like more information.

Road work on Mamre Road and Saddington Street, St Marys

The NSW Government is funding this project as part of its $225 million Pinch Point Program, which aims to reduce traffic delays, manage congestion and improve travel times on Sydney's major roads. Roads and Maritime Services is delivering this project, which involves creating dedicated right turn lanes from Mamre Road into Saddington Street.

We previously notified the community that work would be completed in June 2018, due to changes to the utility design, the project is now expected to be completed in October 2018.

We will continue to be on site for the next stage of work for 50 night shifts and 90 day shifts between Monday, 12 February and Thursday, 31 May, excluding public holidays, weather permitting.

We have also identified undisturbed asbestos at this site. We are implementing an asbestos management plan that details safe work practices and will ensure it is managed to strict Environment Protection Authority requirements. The asbestos will be managed to ensure there is no risk to the public.

Please contact us at or 1800 332 660 if you would like more information.

Mooney Mooney Creek Bridge on the M1 Pacific Motorway

Roads and Maritime Services is continuing to carry out maintenance work on Mooney Mooney Creek Bridge on the M1 Pacific Motorway.

Due to the weather, two additional nights of work are required on the northbound lanes of the bridge between 7pm and 5am, on Wednesday 14 February and Sunday 18 February, weather permitting.

Detour arrangements for heavy vehicles

A detour for northbound heavy vehicles between Calga and Somersby interchanges will be in place while the work is carried out between 9pm and 4am.

The detour (attached) is expected to add up to 12 kilometres to journeys, which is about an additional 12 minutes travel time.

Oversize and/or overmass (OSOM) vehicles that meet the requirements of the 'National Multi-State Class 1 Load Carrying Vehicles Dimension Exemption Notice 2016' are permitted to travel along Peats Ridge Road while the detour is in place. OSOM vehicles wanting to travel on Peats Ridge Road at any other time will need to seek permission from Central Coast Council by contacting 02 4325 8222.

OSOM vehicles that are larger than that covered by the exemption will remain on the motorway. Roads and Maritime encourages drivers and operators to contact our Site Supervisor, Bob Weekes on 0439 805 181 at least two hours before arriving at the Mooney Mooney Creek Bridge to confirm arrangements and maximum available width. The maximum available width will vary depending on what stage the work is up to. Some OSOM vehicles will be delayed or unable to proceed through the work area.

Work on the southbound lanes is expected to be completed on Tuesday 20 February, weather permitting.

Southbound traffic changes

A 20km/h speed limit will be in place for heavy vehicles and they will be required to use low gears on the decent to Mooney Mooney Creek Bridge. Electronic message signs will be in place to provide advance notice of the changed traffic conditions. Please keep to speed limits and follow the direction of traffic controllers and signs.

Lane closures and a reduced speed limit of 40 km/h will be in place for all other vehicles and may affect travel times.

For the latest traffic updates, you can call 132 701, visit or download the Live Traffic NSW App.


If you have any questions, please contact Project Manager, Colin Goodger on 02 4352 5403 or

M4 East Community Information Sessions

You are invited to attend an upcoming community information sessions to find out more about the New M4 project.

Come along to speak to a member of our project team about construction activities, tunnelling, traffic and to get an update on the Legacy Project.

  • Ashfield/Haberfield - Tuesday, 13 February 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm
    Club Ashfield 1-11 Charlotte St, Ashfield.
  • Concord - Wednesday, 14 February 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm
    Concord Community Centre, 1A Gipps Street, Concord.
  • Homebush - Thursday, 15 February 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm
    Our Lady of The Assumption Catholic Church, 74 Underwood Road, Homebush.

Urban Design and Landscape Plan

Our urban designers will be on hand to answer questions about the latest revision of the Urban Design and Landscape Plan which you can now view on

If you are unable to attend one of our information sessions or would like further information, please contact toll free 1800 660 248 to speak to a member of the M4 East team or

Road Freight NSW contact details
56 Fitzroy Street
Marrickville NSW 2204

Tel: (02) 9922 6507

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.