Road Freight NSW Awards Nominations Open!

CEO Report

RFNSW Awards nominations now open!

Excited to announce that the Road Freight NSW Award nominations are now open! Why don’t you nominate someone awesome in the industry in one of the following five categories?

  • Outstanding Contribution to the NSW Trucking Industry
  • NSW Professional Driver of the Year
  • NSW Transport Woman of the Year
  • NSW Top Technical and Maintenance Award
  • NSW Best Safety Culture Award

Click here to nominate someone you know who deserves to win.

The winners will be announced at the Awards lunch hosted at the Road Freight NSW 2019 Conference that takes place on Thursday 19 September at the Waterview in Homebush.

Please click here for more information and to book your early bird tickets.

Last year’s finalists and winners were a great mix of individuals from the industry. As you would be aware, Leigh Smart went onto win the top national award with the Australian Trucking Association in Perth.

General Carriers Contract Determination Update

We continue to raise our concerns regarding significant increases to the General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD) as a result of claims by the Transport Workers of NSW.

Whilst the union has criticised RFNSW over our public comments, rest assured that we will always stand up for our members and what’s best for them and their hard-working employees. The fact is delayed increases to the GCCD will impact their livelihoods and welfare, which is why we are advocating on behalf of our members.

Container Meeting

Last week’s Container Meeting was reasonably well attended on Tuesday 9 July, we received a lot of apologies from members tearing out their hair over the Patricks self proclaimed “unforeseen event” that saw the terminal shut until 2pm.

We welcomed Andrew Smith from ContainerChain who gave the industry a report and we welcomed their integrity at the meeting. Greg Winstanley from DPW, a respected and well known industry figure, attended and gave us an insight into empty container parks. NSW Ports attended and we welcomed their engagement. They appraised us of works commencing that will affect access to the Port and you can see that material in the road reports.

Coffee with a Cop

I recently attended Coffee with a Cop at Marulan with the ATA and the NSW Police. It was heartening to talk to Phil Brooks about our upcoming conference and I invited Phil to our conference on September 19 2019 which will have a safety focus.

Greater Sydney Road Network – Concept of Operations

Last week I attended a meeting with TfNSW and their consultants regarding the above.

A number of items were discussed. From my perspective, I made the point that trucking operators need:

  • Metropolitan rest areas
  • Dedicated HV Lanes
  • Nuanced tolling
  • Greater access

I thank TfNSW for engaging with us over these important matters.

New M4/Westconnex

Importantly, the new M4/Westconnex was opened to traffic on Saturday at 2am.

Best regards
Simon O’Hara


Safework Incidents

There has been two recent incident where truck drivers have died from crush injuries sustained while working on or near their trucks

Please see here:

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

Clarification regarding when a "loading or unloading" allowance is payable

In a decision handed down on 9 July 2019, Justice Collier of the Federal Court of Australia has clarified the circumstanced under which an employee is entitled to a loading or unloading allowance under the Road Transport and Distribution (Long Distance Operations) Award 2010.

Clause 13.6 of the Award provides for the payment of an allowance where an employee is engaged in ‘loading or unloading duties’. The award defines ‘loading or unloading’ as “being physically engaged in the loading or unloading of the vehicle and includes tarping, installing and removing gates and operation of onboard cranes’.

A dispute arose as to whether the unlatching and opening of “curtains” on a truck and the application of, or removal of restraining straps on loads on a truck was ‘loading or unloading’ as defined in the award.

The employer in this case disagreed that these tasks should be compensated with the allowance, stating that to find such activities to be loading or unloading would accord a broad interpretation of the award not contemplated by the definition of ‘loading or unloading’ in the award.

The matter was initially before a judge of the Federal Circuit Court who accepted that the placement and removal of curtains was ‘at best’, an incidental part of the loading and unloading process. The primary judge also determined that a ‘curtain’ was not the same as a ‘tarp’ although it may be a modern adaptation of a tarp in principle. The Primary judge concluded that the opening and closing of “curtains” should not be considered a normal part of ‘loading and unloading’.

The primary judge also determined that ‘strapping’ was not a necessary part of loading a vehicle, though ‘unstrapping’ may be a necessary part of loading a vehicle where that activity is left to those responsible for the unloading work. Delivering a light parcel or ‘jiffy bag’ was not considered to give rise to an entitlement to the ‘loading and unloading allowance’.

The employee took the matter to appeal in the Federal Court, arguing that the Federal Circuit Court’s judgment was made on a wrongful interpretation of the words ‘loading or unloading’. The employee argued that for payment of the allowance, what was required was ‘physical engagement in loading and unloading the vehicle’ rather than ‘physically loading or unloading the vehicle’. The employee claimed that the following activities gave rise to payment of the allowance:

  • Opening and closing curtains
  • Strapping and unstrapping loads
  • Loading any items onto the vehicle regardless of size or weight.

Justice Collier agreed with the primary judge that the employee was not physically engaged in loading or unloading when he opened and closed curtains and strapped and unstrapped loads. He also agreed with the primary judge that the removal of a small parcel from a vehicle is not encompassed by the definition of loading or unloading in the award.

To consider the removal of a jiffy bag to be ‘loading or unloading’ would, according to Justice Collier, result in a broad interpretation of the Award which would ignore its evident purpose and the context in which the terms would be interpreted in the industry.

Members are advised that the ‘loading and unloading allowance’ is an award entitlement which may be paid whenever an employee undertakes ‘loading and unloading’ duties or, where there is written agreement between an employer and the employee, as a ‘fixed’ allowance based on the hourly rate. Members who are unsure under what circumstances an employee is entitled to a loading and unloading allowance, or any other workplace relation issue, are welcome to contact the Road Freight NSW Workplace Advice Line on 1300 781 905.

From the NTC

Review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law

Release of the vehicle standards and safety paper

We have released our final paper in the first group of papers for ‘what is regulated’ under the HVNL.

The purpose of this paper is to:

  •  summarise the current vehicle standards and safety provisions in the HVNL
  •  identify the problems in the current law and how it is applied
  •  identify options for vehicle standards and safety regulation using a risk-based approach
  •  identify the safe and productive vehicle issues that a revised law should cover
  •  seek feedback on whether this paper has captured all the relevant issues.

We are seeking written submissions and online feedback until Friday, 30 August 2019.

Reminder: Have your say on other papers open for comment

We have now released five of eight papers exploring issues on effective fatigue management, access to suitable routes, safe people and practices, and vehicle standards and safety.

We want to give everyone affected by the HVNL an opportunity to have a say on what is working, what is not working and how to improve the law.

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

Get involved in NHVR's campaign promoting safety

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has developed a new information campaign to promote safety around heavy vehicles and influence light vehicle drivers’ behaviour when driving around trucks. 

The "We need space to keep you safe" campaign features three videos which provide some insight from a truck driver’s perspective on how they need space to keep road users safe, with tips on avoiding blind spots, leaving space for turning trucks and overtaking safely.  

In addition to the videos, there are animations, posters and factsheets to support the campaign, all downloadable from

Help extend the messages to as many people as possible by sharing the campaign through your own networks and social media channels. 

Stay up-to-date on the campaign by following the NHVR's social media channels on Facebook and Instagram (@nhvrofficial),  and Twitter (@nhvr). 

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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