The week in trucking includes news about the FIRS Closure, SA NHVR, New Sponsor and Creative Thinking, all here in Diesel News.
NatRoad has sent a submission to the Australian Government in response to their consultation paper proposing to close FIRS to new entrants from July 1 2018. FIRS has been operating since 1987 as an alternative to state and territory registration schemes for heavy vehicles involved solely in the interstate transport of goods.
NatRoad’s CEO, Warren Clark, said that the decline in FIRS take-up is due to a complete lack of promotion of the scheme and persistent persecution by the states of FIRS operators for unfounded alleged abuse of the scheme.
“These problems were identified in the Australian Government’s own review but nothing has been done to address them,” said Warren. “We are also still a long way from implementing a completely national registration scheme and it will not offer the same benefits to transport operators as FIRS. Our members using FIRS range from large to small business operators and they have all confirmed that FIRS has had a positive impact on our industry and must continue.”
New NHVR Office in SA
National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has officially opened its offices in Adelaide. South Australian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mulligan opened the new offices as part of the transition from state-based heavy vehicle services to the NHVR.
The transition of South Australian services began in July 2016 with Prosecution, Investigation and Intelligences coming under the NHVR.
The NHVR’s new Safety and Compliance team will provide on-road compliance services from its new Adelaide head office as well as regional offices in Mount Gambier, Berri, Murray Bridge, Port Augusta and Ceduna.
“While drivers and operators will see a different logo on our vehicles and different uniforms on roadside officers, the NHVR is working to make the transition as seamless as possible,” said Sal Petroccitto, NHVR CEO. “With staff based in South Australia we can continue to work towards a national approach to heavy vehicle safety and compliance.
Creative Thinking in Melbourne
Victorian Transport Association CEO Peter Anderson has urged the North-East Link Authority that is examining proposed corridor options for the ‘missing link’ in the M80 Ring Road around Melbourne to prioritise the safe and seamless through-movement of heavy vehicles in design and planning for the road.
In his opening remarks to the Developing Greater Melbourne conference, Peter said it was important each of the four options being assessed contain innovative and creative design elements that cater to heavy vehicle drivers travelling between Melbourne’s south east and north, and who have no intention of using local roads in between.
“So many of the problems we have experienced on suburban roads in Melbourne’s north east are a result of there being no direct alternative for heavy vehicles wanting to get between the Eastern Freeway and Eastlink and on to the M80 Ring Road at Greensborough,” said Peter. “VicRoads’ traffic studies have verified most of those trucks are not doing local deliveries, which underscores the need for a future North-East Link to contain design and engineering elements that make it seamless and quicker for these vehicles to complete their journey.”
New Sponsor in NSW
Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) has announced a new sponsorship agreement with BP Australia which will provide RFNSW members with significant fuel discounts.
Announcing the agreement in Sydney, the General Manager of RFNSW, Simon O’Hara, said the relationship with BP will deliver a range of benefits to its members, including:
Access to an extensive network of truck stops and key diesel sites strategically located throughout major transport routes in Australia.
Improved discounts on BP Plus card for BP Diesel and ULP products.
During the month of November 2017, the new arrangement will include a BP Plus Card offer to new RFNSW members whereby additional discounts will apply for the first 7 months trading as well as no transaction fees for 12 months.*
Support to RFNSW through industry events, seminars and awards.
CoR Advocate Awarded
Perth logistics advocate, Urszula Kelly, has won Young Professional of the Year in the national Excellence in Transport and Logistics Awards. Urszula, who is managing director of Perth-based UC Logistics Australia and was also named a finalist in the Professional Woman of the Year category. The awards are organised annually by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia (CILT Australia).
Urszula started her own company in 2015, advocating on issues confronting the industry and providing valuable input to government on solving them. One of her particular passions is Chain of Responsibility and she has been a strong supporter for educating and training key for organisations right along the supply chain of their legal obligations.
“This year marks 10 years since I have started my career in logistics and it has been a journey filled with many challenges,” said Urszula.
Driver Meal Issue Resolved
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has agreed to reinstate the former Meal by Meal approach used to determine claimable meal expenses for drivers working away from home for the 2017/18 financial year.
CEO of NatRoad, Warren Clark, applauded the decision, “common sense has prevailed” he said. “Rather than limit the reasonable amount an employee truck driver can claim to $55.30 the meal by meal approach will now apply. This significant reversal will ease the mounting pressure already weighing on the shoulders of hard-working truck drivers.”