In a week where Container Charging, Increased Powers and Safety Award are in the news, Diesel News takes a look at the stories.
Patrick is introducing a new surcharge at its Sydney and Fremantle terminals, and is increasing the surcharge at its Fisherman Islands and East Swanson Dock terminals. It will also increase its Ancillary Charges due to increased labour and energy costs. The new rates take effect from 19 July.
The rates will be:
Sydney: $25.45 per box
Fremantle: $4.76 per box
Fisherman Islands: $32.55 per box
East Swanson Dock: $32 per box
Victorian Transport Association (VTA) CEO Peter Anderson said operators had no choice but to pass on the higher surcharge.
“At a time when operators are facing unprecedented increases to infrastructure and road user charges in and around the Port of Melbourne, it is important to ensure the increases are passed on through the supply chain for freight businesses to remain sustainable and viable in a competitive trading environment,” said Anderson.
Meanwhile in New South Wales, Simon O’Hara, Road Freight NSW CEO, described Patrick’s new levy as blatant cost-shifting.
“When DP World Australia imposed their tax back in April, RFNSW was extremely concerned that it was only a matter of time before other stevedores got in on the act. Unfortunately, our warnings have come true,” said O’Hara. “Patrick blames risings terminal costs for this new unilateral charge, but surely they can look at improving their own operational efficiencies, rather than cynically shifting costs on to carriers? We believe the tax will probably be used to off-set the costs of ongoing privatisation of the terminals.”
Increased Investigative Powers
Police and other authorised officers will have improved powers to investigate breaches of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and, where appropriate, impose sanctions, under policy changes agreed by Australia’s transport ministers.
Paul Retter, National Transport Commission (NTC) CEO, said improved investigative and enforcement powers would help to make Australia’s roads safer for everyone.
“The overwhelming majority of Australia’s transport industry complies with the law and works hard to keep everyone safe,” said Retter. “However we know there are a small number of people, whether they be operators, drivers or other parties in the chain of responsibility, who try to cheat the system. These changes to the HVNL will help the authorities crack down on illegal practices that put people’s safety at risk – not just people who work in the transport industry but anyone who uses the road.
“Where possible, these policy changes have been designed to make the rules easier to comply with by more closely aligning them to existing workplace safety regulations.”
Designated authorised officers will be able to issue prohibition notices to address an immediate safety risk. In order to address systemic maintenance issues they will also be able to require that a whole fleet or class of vehicles be inspected if the authorities have a reasonable belief that they are defective.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) will also be given the power to publish the outcomes of successful prosecutions, giving the public and industry tangible evidence about the effectiveness of our chain of responsibility laws and providing important lessons for industry on safety. Courts will also have powers to issue injunctions to address ongoing safety risks.
Safety Innovation Award
Nominations are closing at the end of this month for the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR)/Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) Safety Innovation Award, that recognises and rewards rural road transport operators who have identified Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) related to safety risks and implemented successful, innovative control measures.
In addition to the recognition associated with winning the inaugural award, the winner will receive a professional development fund to the value of $5000 as well as a commemorative plaque. The transport operator with which the winner works with will also be recognised.
The award is designed to acknowledge the achievements of leading rural road safety heavy vehicle operators and provide an opportunity to formally recognise their commitment to improving road safety outcomes. Establishing the award program with NHVR also provides a powerful motivation tool to further encourage ongoing professional development for heavy vehicle operators.
Women in Industry
Organisers have advised that limited tickets to the fourth annual Women in Industry Awards and Conference remain for next week’s event in Melbourne.
New to the 2017 edition, the all-day conference will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 9.00am to 5.00pm on Thursday 22 June, followed by the Awards night at Peninsula, Central Pier Shed 14 in Docklands.
The Awards recognise the achievements of women working within the mining, engineering, road transport and manufacturing industries, and aims to raise the profile of women within industry, as well as promote and encourage excellence.
“We’re proud to have Gorgi Coghlan to Emcee the night, which provides an opportunity for professionals to celebrate the women who have succeeded in contributing to the manufacturing, engineering, mining and road transport industries,” said Awards Facilitator, Lauren Winterbottom.
“The Women in Industry Awards has been considered a night not just to celebrate the achievements of the Award finalists, but now it is reinforced by an all-day conference where we can really discuss ways to grow the numbers of women in the respective industries.”