Welcome Back – 2016

WELCOME BACK TO 2016

Welcome back to the first edition of the ALRTA Newsletter for 2016.  On behalf of the ALRTA National President and Council we hope you had a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.

There is no doubt that 2016 will be another big year for road transport reform and your National and State Secretariats will be working hard to secure the best outcomes for your business.

MINIMUM PAYMENTS FOR CONTRACT DRIVERS

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (the Tribunal) has issued a road safety remuneration order (RSRO) on minimum payments for contractor drivers.

The Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016 (2016 RSRO) will take effect from 4 April 2016 and will, for the first time, set national minimum payments for certain contractor drivers in the road transport industry, for drivers involved in:

  • the distribution of goods destined for sale or hire by a supermarket chain; or
  • long distance operations in the private road transport industry.

The order also imposes requirements on the hirers of those contractor drivers and participants in the supply chain.

The 2016 RSRO includes clauses regarding:

  • minimum payments for a distribution operation;
  • minimum payments for a long distance operation;
  • unpaid leave;
  • supply chain contracts;
  • facilitative provisions;
  • promotion of orders; and
  • dispute resolution.

The full RSRO can be obtained here: http://www.rsrt.gov.au/default/assets/File/decisions-files/PR350441.pdf

The Tribunal will publish an online payments calculator on its website in early 2016.

There have been a number of significant changes to the final RSRO arising from the consultation process.  The ALRTA made a comprehensive submission to the Tribunal on the draft RSRO in September 2015.

The ALRTA Secretariat will issue a special analysis concerning the implications of the 2016 RSRO for your business before it takes effect on 4 April 2016.

INTERCEPTION ALERT: REVIEW OF LIVESTOCK LOADING IN QLD

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) in Queensland will be intercepting and weighing laden and unladen livestock vehicles for approximately two months between January and March 2016.

This will occur as part of a review of the Concessional Livestock Loading – Vehicle Rating Code S10 (Code S10) as part of an overall review of the Guideline for Livestock Loading in Queensland, Form 3.

Data collected will be used for analysis purposes only except in cases where there are clear road safety risks.

The stated objective of the review is to develop an approach to livestock transport in Queensland that better meets industry needs in consideration of the unique challenges of operating livestock vehicles on Queensland’s remote area road infrastructure.

In particular, the review will focus on appropriate management of livestock trailer tare and gross masses under the Code S10 and the Livestock Loading Guideline.

WORK DIARIES AND BFM / AFM

The NHVR has announced that the National Work Diary Exemption for 100km work under BFM or AFM in NSW (Notice) 2014 (No.1) will be extended until 6 March 2016, and thereafter discontinued.

This means that from 7 March 2016, all drivers, (including those in New South Wales) working under BFM or AFM must carry and complete a National Driver Work Diary, even when they are working within a 100 km of their base

The NHVR considers that drivers operating under BFM or AFM have access to longer work hours and maintaining work diaries is an essential component of their fatigue risk management system, allowing schedulers and operators to monitor drivers’ work hours and potential fatigue

While this represents the removal of a concession for drivers in NSW, it is a necessary step in delivering nationally consistent fatigue rules.  The ALRTA has argued strongly for a nationally consistent system, and on this basis, we were able to extend the 160km Primary Producer Exemption from NSW and QLD into VIC, SA, TAS and ACT.

The requirement for all BFM and AFM drivers to carry a work diary is also consistent with rules under the 160km exemption.  So, if you are already operating under the 160km exemption in NSW the change will have minimal impact on you.

REGULATION OF AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURE

The Productivity Commission has released an issues paper on ‘Regulation of Australian Agriculture’ with comments due by 12 February.

The inquiry will focus on regulations that have a material impact on the competitiveness and productivity of Australian agriculture, with the aim of:

  • defining priority areas for removing or reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens on farm businesses, where doing so would raise the productivity of farm businesses and wider economy; and
  • identifying unnecessary restrictions on competition.

The ALRTA considers that road transport and animal welfare requirements are a significant cost-component in the agricultural supply chain and we will make a response to the Commission highlighting the areas in which red-tape should be reduced.

NTC REVIEW REPORT

The Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council has responded to the recommendations of the NTC Review conducted last year.

In summary, it will be business as usual as far as the Intergovernmental Agreement to establish the NTC, funding levels and decision making processes are concerned.

However, Ministers have also agreed that the NTC will increase cooperation with technical bodies for evidence-based decision making; reduce the consultation burden on industry stakeholders; focus on higher-level strategic policy (including road pricing / technology) and develop required staff skill-sets.

Ministers will also re-consider the mix of NTC Commissioner appointments which expire during 2016.

Given that both the NTC and NHVR are increasingly intent on pursuing a higher-level strategic focus, this raises a very important question for the ALRTA: Who will be responsible for regulatory reform at the grass-roots or industry sector level?

REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN FOR LBCA CONFERENCE 2016

Rural transporters – big and small – are invited to attend the 2016 LBCA Conference, 4 – 5 March 2016.  Registrations are open now!

Rural transport owners, operators and drivers, along with government, regulators and industry suppliers will come together to tackle the big road freight issues head on. Mount Panorama in Bathurst will be the back drop for the entire conference with all sessions, accommodation and social events close at hand.

Conference Highlights include:

  • Friday Dinner at the Mount Panorama Pit Complex
  • Saturday Gala Dinner and Auction – Rydges Mount Panorama
  • Exciting Partners Program (2 half- day tours)
  • Trade Exhibition and Conference – Mount Panorama Pit Complex
  • Happy Hour – Mount Panorama Pit Complex and also the National Motor Racing Museum

Don’t forget partners and families are welcome to come along too.

NATIONAL COUNCIL TO MEET IN CANBERRA – 29 JANUARY 2016

Members are reminded that the ALRTA National Council will next meet in Canberra on Friday, 29 January 2016.  If you would like to raise any issues for discussion, please contact your state association.  If you would like to observe the National Council meeting, please contact the ALRTA National Secretariat.

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