RFNSW Conference, Wages & Contract Determination

RFNSW Conference, Wages & Contract Determination

CEO Report

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:

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.

Contract Determination

We have put some media in and around the latest claims regarding the contract determination and you can see it below for more information.

Sydney Gateway

We have recently made a submission to Transport for NSW regarding the Sydney Gateway project and here is some of what I had to say:

The proposed, Sydney Gateway, infrastructure is critically important for our members and the way they do business around the Port and across NSW.

The Sydney Gateway will reduce road congestion in the Sydney metropolitan area and improve travel times for commuters. Nevertheless, we cannot forget about the critical role heavy vehicles play in the economic development of this state and access to the Sydney Port is of paramount importance

We also acknowledge the potential contribution the project could make to improving the efficiency of freight movement around Sydney, particularly to and from the international trade gateway of Port Botany.

Road Freight NSW remains concerned that there are problems in the concept design that could mean the project will not deliver on its intended outcomes in relation to freight movement.


  • The reduced capacity by half of the Tynes St Peter’s which will have a significant effect on the return of empty containers in already congested and haphazard empty container yard industry.
  • The failure to incorporate direct, dedicated connections for heavy vehicles travelling to and from the Cooks River Intermodal Terminal (CRIT) and adjacent freight depots will jeopardise the overall ability of Sydney Gateway to achieve its objectives in terms of reducing traffic congestion in and around the Port Botany/Sydney Airport precinct.
  • Containers being slightly over height around the airport and efficient travel of containers in this precinct being reduced or curtailed. We seek clarification on the effects this will have for operators.

Road Freight NSW strongly supports the Sydney Gateway project. However, we believe its design could be vastly improved by reinstating dedicated heavy vehicle access ramps at St Peters for trucks wishing to access the CRIT and Port Botany, as per the original planning design.

DPW Container Access Agreement and Director’s Guarantor

Our discussions with DPW have been fruitful and I have fielded many calls from members about the directors guarantee and bond. An important issue for members with everything on the line. We are pleased to report that DPW has, on a case by case basis, flexibility with our operators over this question.

We have also sought to talk to DPW about the liability cap for operators in the CAA. We will keep you posted on discussions.

HVNL Review with the NTC at the NHVR

Last week, I phoned for a discussion at the NHVR about fatigue. The VTA in the form of Peter Anderson lead the discussion about future concept and operators needs with both the NHVR and NTC. This leadership gave a great deal of clarity about our collective position.


RFNSW has welcomed the announcement by Queensland’s Minster for Transport & Main Roads Mark Bailey MP that permit durations for Class 1 Oversize Overmass (OSOM) vehicles will be extended to 12 months.

This decision has emerged following the review of OSOM regulations and discussions with the ALC and QTA. This will significantly reduce the administrative burden on companies using OSOM vehicles in their operations.


On 15 February 2012, Peter’s daughter Sarah was killed in a completely avoidable road crash on the Hume Freeway south of Sydney. As a consequence of this tragedy, he and his family decided that they would contribute to improving road safety outcomes through their policy development, community education as well as their advocacy work.

Last week, I was honoured to listen to Peter Frazer talk about SARAH and his profound experience over the tragic death of his daughter. Peter has accepted our invitation to the conference.

Best regards

Simon O’Hara

July 1 Energy Price Changes

New energy price caps called the Default Market Offer (DMO) will be automatically reducing electricity rates for some small and medium business from today. The DMO affects energy customers in New South Wales, South East Queensland and South Australia. A similar price cap scheme for energy customers in Victoria known as the Victorian Default Offer (VDO) will also be taking effect from today.

What you need to know: Regardless of which energy contract type you are on, Road Freight NSW and it’s partner Make it Cheaper recommend making contact today and we can help you find a competitive market offer from our panel of retailers by looking at your recent usage profile. You’ll just need a recent bill and it takes one phone call for us to compare and switch you to a better deal. Click here to upload to a bill or call 02 8077 0173



Media Release

Peak body Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) is warning of the financial and practical impacts of significant rate increases as a result of the Transport Workers Union’s (TWU) proposed variations to the General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD).

As a consequence of a TWU’s Application filed in the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW to vary the rates payable under the GCCD, Principal Carriers could be subjected to substantial increases of between 6 and 6.64% on the standing rates and between 11 and 14.68% on the running rates.

Chief Executive Officer Simon O’Hara said RFNSW had raised concerns about the impact the significant increases would have on its members, who are already facing challenging market conditions.

“The delay in the TWU seeking variations to the GCCD means the quantum of the increase is now so large that Principal Carriers would undoubtedly have difficulties in either absorbing or passing on these additional costs to their customers through the supply chain,” Mr O’ Hara said.

“Whilst we accept increases to rates are payable under the ‘rise and fall’ formula in the Determination, RFNSW and our members are concerned that proposed price rises of between 6.64% and 14%, would prove to be a significant impost on our members’ operations.”

RFNSW’s workplace relations partner, the Ai Group, opposed the TWU claim and has argued for the phasing in of the increases in various stages over the next 12 months, as well as relief from further application for increases during this period. This compromise has been agreed to, in principle, by the TWU.

Mr O’Hara said the matter will return to the Commission on 18 July for a Hearing, where it is expected that orders giving effect to the GCCD agreement in principle will be made. However, the TWU has also foreshadowed claims for other problematic changes to the GCCD, including the introduction of new mandatory rates for vehicles with a carrying capacity of less than two tonnes.

“Through our alliance with the Ai Group, which has been party to proceedings, RFNSW will also be challenging additional claims as foreshadowed by the union, in order to protect our members now and in to the future.”

Access Requests Class 1 and 3 (OSOM)

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), as a road manager under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), is responsible for considering access requests for Class 1 and 3 oversize and/or overmass heavy vehicles on the state road network (whether applications are received via the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) Portal or direct to RMS).

The road manager function for the organisation is performed in two business units – Freight Branch and Regional Operations Branch within the Regional and Freight Division. In 2017/18, RMS provided access consent (either an access permit directly to a customer or a road manager consent request to the NHVR to enable the issuing of an access permit) for approximately 10,700 Class 1 and 3 heavy vehicles and 3,600 Class 2 heavy vehicles. Some access requests require a route assessment to determine the suitability of the vehicle including its mass and dimensions to travel on specific routes or networks.

RMS is seeking to improve our service to the heavy vehicle freight industry when carrying out our road manager function:

  • Transparency, clarity and consistency in the road manager activities undertaken by RMS
  • Reducing business continuity risks and increasing customer value in the delivery of services performed in the organisation’s road manager activities
  • Improving the integration of the road manager activities across the organisation and the NHVR to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery
  • Increasing customer value by managing customer service expectations
  • Greater use of Notices to reduce access permits (where appropriate)
  • Creation of a risk-based assessment model whereby access decisions and conditions are proportionate to the risks to road safety, productivity and road infrastructure
  • Alignment with the organisation’s legal obligations under the HVNL, Roads Act and any other relevant laws

Wherever possible, RMS introduces HVNL Notices in partnership with the NHVR to remove the need for operators to seek permits for standard journeys. For example, in December 2017, the NHVR and RMS in partnership introduced a new Notice to enable oversize/overmass flat racks to be transported thus reducing the need for transport operators to apply for access permits. This is part of RMS’ ongoing commitment to working proactively with industry to streamline access and reduce costs and delays.

RFNSW and RMS are seeking to involve you in discussing recent experience of obtaining access for Class 1 and 3 heavy vehicles, and obtaining evidence (where available) of any issues around current processes or potential impacts of changes to processes.

Your Wage Rates

Long Distance Operation Award

Road Transport and Distance Award

Clerks – Private Sector Award

Review of HVNL – Update

Release of safe people and practices issues paper

Our next paper on ‘Safe people and practices’ is now open for comment.

The purpose of this paper is to:

  • outline the factors that lead to safe people and practices
  • review the regulatory environment for safe people and practices in heavy vehicle transport, including the role of the HVNL and other complementary legal instruments
  • review how the current HVNL works in this regulatory environment
  • identify the high-level principles that a new law should cover
  • seek feedback on whether this paper has captured all the relevant issues.

We invite written submissions and online feedback by Friday, 30 August 2019.

You can upload a written submission via the NTC website or submit your ideas through our dedicated HVNL Review site

The next paper due for release is about safe vehicles. These are the final papers relating to ‘what is regulated’ under the HVNL in our rolling consultation to mid-2019.

Reminder: Seeking feedback on effective fatigue management and access to suitable routes.  Consultation for effective fatigue management and access to suitable routes closes on Friday, 16 August 2019. 

You can upload a written submission via the NTC website or submit your ideas through our dedicated HVNL Review site

Project updates

The next group of issues papers will cover ‘how to regulate’ under the HVNL, including accrediting operators and managing compliance.  For more information on the review timeline, upcoming key dates and further project updates, see the HVNL Review site.

Men’s Health

Men and boys account for:

2 in 3 preventable deaths

92% of workplace deaths

3 out of 4 suicides

2 out of 3 violent deaths

74% of road transport deaths

63% of all deaths by accident or injury

Read more from rt health about the challenges facing men and why we should take care of our health. Click here

SafeWork NSW At Risk Worker Program Update


Draft guidance for employers, particularly in the labour hire sector, has been developed by Intervention Design as part of the At Risk Worker Program.  Stakeholders have requested advice on what a great induction should look like / what points should be covered. 

As part of our customer centred design focus, we are currently seeking input from many stakeholders, teams or individuals internally and externally that could add insight and content to the draft and members are invited to provide feedback on the document. Please see the induction document here.

Once feedback is received a legal review of the document will be conducted. 

As always, if you have ideas, questions or feedback on the AT RISK WORKER PROGRAM email us: InterventionDesign@safework.nsw.gov.au

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.

Who's the unsung hero in your workshop?

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Craig Roseneder Award, recognising technical and maintenance excellence in the workshop.

First awarded in 1998, the Craig Roseneder Award celebrates the professionalism of the hardworking men and women in Australia's trucking workshops and highlights the amazing calibre of people who work behind the scenes to keep our trucks safe on the road.

The prize? A fully paid trip to the U.S to attend the Technology and Maintenance Council's 2020 Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition, including $1,500 spending money, flights and accommodation and partners' program if applicable.

Nominations close on 13 September, with the winner announced at the Australian Trucking Association's 2019 Technology and Maintenance Conference.

For more info or to nominate someone great, head to www.truck.net.au/CR19


Port Botany roadworks: mobilisation to site Monday 1 July 2019

As previously advised, NSW Ports has appointed Ward Civil to carry out critical roadworks between Simblist and Friendship Roads through to the Charlotte Road intersection.

From today, 1 July 2019, mobilisation to site will commence, with roadworks to get underway from next week, Tuesday 16 July. The project will be completed on 12 October 2019.

In order to maintain traffic flow on the affected roads and in the interest of creating as little disruption to traffic as possible, the works will be staged to allow for 24/7 access to all tenant sites.

A further update with details regarding the timeline of works for each stage will be provided later this week.

We will continue to provide regular updates on the progress of these works in order to keep everyone informed. Please cascade this notification and all future updates to your own stakeholders.

If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please contact me:

Carsten Varming, Port Development Manager on 0411 067 560 or via Carsten.varming@nswports.com.au.

Road Reports

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Road Freight NSW contact details

56 Fitzroy Street Marrickville NSW 2204

Tel: (02) 9557 1205



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