This week we have had some Good News on NSW Rates, DP World Back Down, Bridges and Weighbridges, plus Industry Awards and a new Minister.
After creating an uproar about its introduction and the short notice given, DP World Australia has announced it will be deferring the introduction of the new Infrastructure Surcharge at its Sydney Terminal by two weeks. The company cited, “the impracticalities for transport operators to provide notice to their customers of a new charge prior to becoming effective,” as the reason for the postponement.
This deferral of the Infrastructure Surcharge is said by DP World to provide the industry with 30 days to provide notice to their customers and up to six weeks from the initial announcement. However, they are advised that the Infrastructure Surcharge will now apply from April 17.
At the end of a long debate, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission has approved a modernised version of the General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD) in NSW. Rates under the old determination had not been adjusted since December 2014 but will be gradually increased over a number of years, starting in January 2019. The sectors covered by the determination was expanded to other areas such as furniture removals and refrigerated transport.
However, the sought after expansion of coverage of the GCCD to include all of New South Wales was denied. The most significant change for owner-drivers is the introduction of a new freight corridor for single trips commencing in Sydney and finishing close to either Newcastle or Wollongong.
The Federal Governmnet is supporting the transition to the new Chain of Responsibility laws with an $800,000 information campaign by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, including a series of forums across Australia.
“More than 160 companies will receive information about the Chain of Responsibility reforms which are currently being rolled out nationally,” said Darren Chester Federal Transport and Infrastructure Minister. “There were 213 deaths from 191 fatal crashes involving heavy trucks or buses in 2016. I am determined to see that number continue to fall and make heavy vehicle safety everyone’s business.”
Minister Chester also announced round three of the Bridges Renewal Programme to be open for submissions. Proposals from state, territory and local governments will be accepted until May 15 to upgrade and/or repair bridges to enhance access for local communities and to facilitate higher productivity vehicle access.
In 2015 the Australian Government committed $300 million to the Bridges Renewal Programme from 2015-16 to 2018-19 and in the 2016-17 Federal Budget this was extended by $60 million per year from 2019-20.
Modified weighbridges on the Western Highway at Bungaree and Leigh Creek, Murray Valley Highway at Kerang and Sturt Highway at Merbein South feature external digital displays. This free VicRoads initiative allows drivers to check their vehicles comply with mass regulations and to make necessary adjustments to avoid penalties or potential damage to vehicles and roads.
“We know from working closely with the trucking industry that when carting an unfamiliar load it can be difficult to judge the new combined weight,” said Eric Henderson, VicRoads Heavy Vehicle Services Director. “We want operators to know that these sites are available for self-service checks when not being operated by VicRoads and Victoria Police officers.”
The Australian Trucking Association is calling for nominations for the 2017 National Trucking Industry Awards. The awards acknowledge the achievements of individuals and organisations in all fields of endeavour throughout the trucking industry.
The awards now open for nominations are: the Outstanding Contribution to the Trucking Industry, National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year, National Professional Driver of the Year and National Training Excellence Award
The awards will be presented at Trucking Australia 2017 on June 23 during the Gala Dinner on the ATA Foundation Sponsors Day, 23. The Don Watson Memorial Award and the TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award, will also be presented on the night.
Following the change of Government in Western Australia, Rita Saffioti has been appointed the Minister for Transport, Planning and Lands in WA.