EOFY, Conference & Contract Determination

EOFY, Conference & Contract Determination

CEO Report


This week we are offering very competitive deals for membership of Road Freight NSW. Membership comes with a great BP fuel offer, free IR/HR advice from Ai Group and gas and electricity audit. Please contact me at info@rfnsw.com.au

RFNSW Conference 2019

Preparations are well underway for the RFNSW 2019 Conference & Awards.  A major concern for all in the industry is driver safety - so we are excited to have secured cutting edge safety simulator trucks for delegates to test and hone their skills on the day.  The conference will be a stimulating mix of presentations from subject matter experts, panel discussion, peer learning and networking opportunities.  The venue is set amongst tranquil parklands with easy access and ample free parking. The award nominations open soon and the 2019 winners will be announced at the Awards Lunch hosted during the conference.

Early Bird’s register here:


I have had members calling me about the Contract Determination negotiations and I have now received an update from AiGroup which has seen a significant increase to rates in NSW. The advice is set out below.

Container Meeting July 9

We have scheduled a Container Meeting for July 9 at the Marrickville Golf Course from 1pm-3pm

If you would like to hear the latest on the Contract Carrier Agreement, Empty Parks and discussion with RMS and TfNSW come along. Lunch will be catered.

New Charges at the Port

The above letter reveals a new 'administration' fee by Patricks for Direct Payment which do not quote tax reference number or which are not accompanied by remittance advice citing relevant carrier account name and number.

The above DPW notice reflects PBLIS and Non-PBLIS charges.

For the avoidance of doubt and further to my understanding, the above image for a fee is to levied against the shipping line rather than a landside operator.

Empty Container Parks

I met with some representatives from NineSquared (the independent reviewer) on Container Parks.

Issues raised included for carriers included:

  • High Costs and Penalties
  • Low Service
  • Lost Productivity
  • The need for reform

I have encouraged the reviewers to reach out to members and chat with them and hear more from Road Freight NSW, please come to the next Container Meeting in early July. If you would like to provide your own business experience, please contact me at info@rfnsw.com.au

DPW Container Access Agreement and Director’s Guarantor

We have had some constructive discussions with DPW around the CAA and Director’s Guarantor and I can report the following compromise from those discussions.

Subject to the ultimate discretion of DPW who assess each application on their merits, members may contact DPWA accounts team and request a bond lodgement.

This would be in place of the Directors Guarantee and means that subject to the ultimate discretion of DPW, Road Freight NSW members can apply for a bond arrangement instead of directors guarantee.

Additionally, I can report that members who have paid the bond are no longer being asked to also sign the directors guarantee. As I understand it, the bond is sufficient unless otherwise notified by DPW.

We are also discussing the issue of carriers liability and we will come back to you on this front. As you might be aware, carriers liability is limited to $15 000.00. Road Freight NSW believes this should be increased to a more realistic number and will continue to engage with DPW in a constructive manner.

HVNL Review with the NTC at TfNSW

Pictured: David Simon, Gavin Hill and Ken Kanofski’s socks

Last week I attended a day long conference on the fatigue provisions of the HVNL review. A lot was discussed and I have had members (thank you, Ian!) email me about their views. A lot was discussed but in essence we all agreed that:

  • We want to future proof the legislation
  • Legislation needs to be easily changeable in the future
  • Log books are a blunt instrument for compliance
  • Lets aim to look at fatigue rather than procedure or legislation
  • Make safety a cultural practice and aim for a Just Culture.
  • And many other aspects…

If you would like to add to your 2 bob in, please contact me on info@rfnsw.com.au

Lastly check out the ACCC’s bargaining plan below for small businesses. This could be game changer for a lot of businesses.

Best regards

Simon O'Hara


Transport Industry – General Carriers Contract Determination – TWU claim for significant rate increase

Earlier this year, the TWU filed an application in the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW seeking significant increases to the rates payable under the Transport Industry – General Carriers – Contract Determination (“Contract Determination”) The Contract Determination includes a procedure that requires the TWU to make an application to vary the rates in the instrument from the 1st of June and 1st of December each year in accordance with a ‘rise and fall formula’ that takes into account changes in a range of costs incurred by contract carriers in the course of conducting their business. However, no such application has been made since 2017. As a consequence of the long delay in the TWU seeking an increase to rates, as required by the Contract Determination, a 2½ year increase needs to be factored in by the rise and fall formula.

This results in contract carriers being potentially eligible for an increase of between 6.11% and 6.64% on the standing rates, and between 11.23% and 14.68% on the running rates that most members will need to apply.

As a result of Ai Group expressing concern to both the union and NSW Industrial Relations Commission about the difficulties which will be necessarily imposed on Principal Carriers in either absorbing or passing on to customers such large increases in rates, given current market condition, agreement in principle has been reached as to a timetable to the phasing in of the increases, as follows:

  • One third of the increases to be effective 1 August 2019
  • The second third (along with the transitional changes which were to take effect on 1 January 2020) to be effective 1 December 2019
  • The last third to be effective 1 March 2020

As part of the agreement reached, the Union will forego the right to make application which they might otherwise be eligible to make in the second half of 2019 seeking further increases.

The matter returns to the Industrial Relations Commission on 18th July 2019, for a hearing where it is anticipated that orders giving effect to the agreement in principle will be made.

Will members get a copy of the new rates?

Ai Group and the other parties are currently working on reaching agreement on a schedule of rates that implements the above increases. We anticipate being able to provide this to Road Freight NSW members shortly.

Additional TWU Claims

In correspondence, the TWU has also foreshadowed making additional claims in relation to the Determination. These are:

  • The inclusion of rates of remuneration for vehicles of carrying capacity of less than 2 tonnes
  • A clause requiring Principals to reimburse Carriers for tolls incurred unless the Principal directed the Contractor not to take toll roads
  • The ‘mirroring’ of clauses which apply to General Carriers currently located in the Transport Industry – Mutual Responsibility for Road Safety (State) and Transport Industry -Redundancy (State) Contract Determinations

The additional claims have not been properly articulated by the TWU (in terms of proposed clauses being provided to parties such as Ai Group).

Ai Group has indicated its opposition to these additional claims.

Further questions

Members seeking to discuss the above matters, or any issues related to engagement of contract carriers, are invited to contact either David Bray on 02 9466 5531 or david.bray@aigroup.com.au or Brent Ferguson on 02 9466 5530 or brent.ferguson@aigroup.com.au.
Members will be advised of the specific changes to the Contract Determination once they are finalised.

Collective bargaining plan for small businesses

Competing small businesses could collectively bargain with customers or suppliers, without having to apply to the ACCC under a ‘class exemption’ currently being evaluated

Currently, groups of competitors seeking to negotiate together must first obtain formal approval from the ACCC under its ‘authorisation’ or ‘notification’ processes.

This new collective bargaining ‘class exemption’ would give qualifying businesses the ability to collectively negotiate without the risk of breaching competition law.

The proposed class exemption would apply to businesses and independent contractors which form, or are members of, a bargaining group, and each had an aggregated turnover of less than $10 million in the financial year before the bargaining group was formed.

This would cover about 98.5 per cent of Australian businesses.

For full details and the opportunity to provide feedback, follow the link below.

Publication of the NSW Class 3 Port Botany Container Transportation Mass Exemption Notice 2019

In reference to the below email, the list of prescribed Container Freight Stations has been amended.  

The updated Operator’s Guide has been published by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and is available on the NHVR website:


Upcoming fuel tax credit rate change: 5 August 2019

The next indexation of fuel tax credit rates will occur on 5 August 2019.

This is due to the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicating that the June 2019 CPI indexation number will be published on 31 July 2019.

We will let you know when the new rates are available.

In the meantime, please inform your members of the 5 August 2019 indexation date and encourage them to save the rates page as a favourite. This way, they can access the new rates as soon as they’re available.

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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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