Among the stories doing the rounds on Diesel News this week have been Linfox Awards, Port Rail Shuttle, PBS Trial and Driver Expenses, plus TruckSafe, Port Botany and the Grain Harvest Scheme.
Transport industry spokespeople have roundly welcomed the announcement by the Victorian and Commonwealth governments of $58 million in funding for the Port Rail Shuttle at the Port of Melbourne.
“We have long called for greater investment in rail at the Port of Melbourne,” said a statement from the Victorian Trucking Association (VTA). “The announcement will go a long way to improving productivity for operators and easing congestion on inner west Melbourne roads.”
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) was also vocal on the issue.
“Moving more freight to rail, where it makes sense commercially, has the potential to significantly improve freight efficiency, while at the same time improving urban amenity, reducing road congestion and decreasing queuing times at ports,” said ALC Managing Director Michael Kilgariff.
Each year, two Linfox employees are recognised and rewarded for outstanding performance. At this year’s Linfox Senior Leadership Conference in Melbourne, Andy Gissing was presented with the Chairman’s Award from Executive Chairman, Peter Fox. Clint Terbogt received the CEO’s Award from Annette Carey, CEO Australia and New Zealand.
As Group Manager Consumer in the Retail business unit, Chairman’s Award winner Andy manages customer contracts across the household brands sector. Thirty-two years of experience at Linfox have given him a keen eye for identifying and rectifying operational issues.
CEO’s Award winner Clint Terbogt is responsible for Linfox Intermodal’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) customers. As Group Manager – Customers, Clint has built a strong and dynamic group of professionals, of whom 40 per cent are Linfox graduates. The team has established deep relationships with their 40 FMCG customers.
Common truck and dog combinations can be pre-approved under changes to Australia’s world-leading Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme. A six-month trial to reduce the administrative burden on operators and manufacturers developing high-tech heavy vehicles has been successful, according to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).
“Since March we have been trialling a simplified design approval process for specifications pre-approved by the expert PBS panel for six- and seven-axle truck and dog combinations,” said Sal Petroccitto, NHVR CEO. “During the trial we saw turnaround times for 33 design approvals reduce from an average of five weeks down to three business days, which is a significant benefit for operators and manufacturers. These applications account for 30 per cent of all PBS design approval applications and 50 per cent of all new truck and dog applications.
Trucksafe and Animal Welfare
In conjunction with the re-naming of the sixth module of the TruckSafe program from the TruckCare module to the Animal Welfare, former Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association (LBRCA) Young Driver of the Year, Raymond ‘Reggie’ Sutton was announced as the TruckSafe Ambassador.
High Productivity in Botany
NatRoad is claiming a win after successfully lobbying against the confusing Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) decision to stop access to Port Botany for high-productivity vehicles (HPVs). Access decisions for HPVs will now be decided on a case-by-case basis by RMS.
“We’re pleased that the blanket restriction has been removed as a result of our involvement,” said Warren Clark, NatRoad CEO. “It’s an important win for NatRoad and the industry.”
RMS decided it would no longer allow HPV access on the basis of an ‘interim strategic plan’ developed by Transport for NSW. This unpublished plan apparently supported the use of rail rather than road to transport containers to and from the port.
Port Botany Pricing
Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) is calling on the Australian Competition and Consumer Competition (ACCC) to act on new stevedore taxes imposed on truck operators following a Federal Court decision relating to price increases at the Port of Newcastle. The Federal Court unanimously upheld a decision that the Port is ‘declared’, which means that the ACCC now has the power to monitor and regulate pricing there.
The Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) has joined the Transport Workers Union (TWU), the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and NatRoad at a meeting in Sydney with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to explain why its 2017/19 Tax Determination should be withdrawn.
The meeting came after industry groups and the union united to express concern over the ATO determination, which reduces the amount of ‘reasonable meal expenses’ drivers can claim without substantiation by 43 per cent.
Grain Harvest Opt Out
Moree Plains Shire Council has decided not to participate in the New South Wales Grain Harvest Management Scheme (GHMS) for 2017 as they have not yet received any data outlining the results of last years’ scheme, as promised by Transport for NSW and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).
A recommendation for councillors to opt in or opt out of the scheme, which has been in place in the shire for four years, was brought to a vote recently. As a result of the lack of promised data, the councillors deferred participation in the GHMS pending receipt of the requested data.