Weekly News – RSRT Proposes Minimum Rates for Contractors

RSRT PROPOSES MINIMUM RATES FOR CONTRACTORS

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal has issued the draft Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016.  The Order will affect most operators and drivers undertaking work for supermarket chains or long distance operations (more than 500kms).

As the name suggests, the primary impact of the Order will be to establish minimum rates for contract drivers. The proposed rates are based on a standing rate ($/hr) plus a running cost (c/km) that are paid together.  In addition, there is an additional loading that applies to the running costs when more than 50% of the trip occurs in NT, Tas or regional WA.  All rates will increase by 3.2% each year from 1 January 2017.

There are also a number of other elements to the Order including:

  • Promotion: The order must be displayed at the depot, posted on your website, and drivers must be advised if the Order applies to them.
  • Contracts: Must be consistent with the Order. Includes requirements for record keeping and audits, PLUS mandatory reporting of non-compliance and options for unilateral contract termination if found non-compliant.
  • Payment for all Work Time: Requires payment for performing the work, loading, waiting, washing, inspecting, refuelling, paperwork etc.
  • Unpaid Annual Leave: Regularly engaged contract drivers must be allowed 4 weeks unpaid leave a year.

If a final Order is made, it will apply for a period of four years from 1 January 2016.

The ALRTA is carefully considering the implications of the draft Order and will make a submission to the RSRT by 23 September 2015.

You can find more information at: http://www.rsrt.gov.au/

DEVELOPING A HEAVY VEHICLE FATIGUE DATA FRAMEWORK

The NTC has released a discussion paper on Developing a Heavy Vehicle Fatigue Data Framework.

The goal of the heavy vehicle fatigue data framework project is to improve road safety by collecting and analysing heavy vehicle driver fatigue data.  The discussion paper identifies how governments and industry can work together to collect real-life operational data to better inform future fatigue policy.

The ALRTA will work with the ATA to provide feedback on the development of the data framework, including the priority fatigue issues and proposed data collection and research activities.  Submissions are due to the NTC by 16 October 2015.

You can find more information at: http://www.ntc.gov.au/current-projects/heavy-vehicle-driver-fatigue-data/

WORKING WITH NHVR TO IMPROVE LOCAL ACCESS

Now we all know that the NHVR didn’t have the best of starts on access issues when the doors first opened on 10 February 2015.  Some might even say that things haven’t improved much since then.

However, it is important to acknowledge the progress that the NHVR has been making on access over the past 12 months in general and also some of the specific instances where NHVR has assisted in improving access at the local level.

The NHVR has an internal project that is mapping the access process, generating data about the progress of applications and developing tools to assist road mangers to understand assessment requirements.  Permit turn-around times have generally been improving and where this has not been the case, the problems can be much more clearly identified so that appropriate actions can be taken. This project has been making good progress and industry expects to hear more about it at the NHVR Industry Reference Group meeting next week.

Against this background, the NHVR is also assisting the ALRTA’s state associations in dealing with local councils to make it easier to get to the farm gate by opening up specific roads so that individual permits are no longer required.

For example senior NHVR staff have accompanied our LRTAQ representatives in meeting with the mayors and engineers of Queensland regional councils in Toowoomba, Western Downs and North Burnett.  We have found that having NHVR technical assistance present at the meeting is of great assistance in immediately dispelling some of the misunderstandings about productivity and risk at the local level.

NHVR will also attend the annual Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and LBCA Workshop in Walcha, NSW on 7 October 2015.  Access issues will feature heavily in the program, including exploring how to encourage wider adoption of grain harvest and livestock loading schemes.

And would you believe it? With the assistance of the NHVR, one of our members was recently able to achieve a 4hr turnaround on an emergency drought permit to take cattle in a type 2 road train from Longreach in QLD to Wanaaring in NSW.  Not only was this a great animal welfare outcome but it also demonstrates just how far the NHVR has come in the last 12 months in dealing with multiple road managers in a timely and efficient manner.

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