ALRTA News – 18 November 2016

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT TO REVIEW OWNER DRIVER ACT

The Victorian Government has this week announced a review of the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 (ODFC).  The OFCD provides a framework for resolving disputes and prescribes the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Code of Practice which contains some mandatory requirements concerning the engagement of contractors, and provides guidance on conduct that is likely to be unconscionable and contract terms that are likely to be unjust for the purposes of the ODFC Act. The Code also provides guidance to promote fair and equitable business relationships between contractors and their hirers.

While the ODFC does not currently specify mandatory rates of pay, the terms of the review are quite broad including coverage of the Act, objectives and all voluntary and mandatory components.  There also appears to be a particular focus on tip truck drivers including the development of a comprehensive, industry based rates and costs schedule and/or code.  The Victorian Transport Council has previously recommended a ‘facilitative’ rates code that is not mandatory in nature.

While still unclear at this stage, certain elements bear a resemblance to the RSRT at the Federal level and the GCCD in NSW.  It is highly likely part of a broader TWU campaign to progress minimum rates by any means possible on a state-by-state basis.

The ALRTA is investigating yesterday’s announcement and will provide further information when possible.  We will of course take appropriate action in response as required.  Submissions to the review are due 31 January 2017.

FLYING THE FLAG IN TASMANIA

This week, the ALRTA National President (Kevin Keenan) and Executive Director (Mathew Munro) headed to Powranna Saleyards, near Launceston Tasmania to attend an LTAT Committee meeting and AGM.

There were 27 attendees at the LTAT meeting from across the state.  ALRTA underscored the importance of maintaining a viable state association in Tasmania and offered to assist in building and sustaining the association.    We outlined our policy achievements at the national level and heard about the issues that need urgent attention in Tasmania.  With the support of our national sponsors BP, Beaurepaires and PACCAR Parts, we were able to provide $350 rewards packs for some new members who joined the association on the day.

The ALRTA congratulates the LTAT Executive team elected at the AGM:

  • President – Spencer Griggs
  • Senior Vice President – Nick Hingston
  • Junior Vice President – Adam Viney
  • Secretary / Treasurer – Tony Steers

Earlier in the day, President Griggs and Vice President Hingston attended a Powranna Truckwash Steering Committee meeting along with the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, Northern Midlands Council, Northern Midlands Business Association and the State Government.  The State and Federal Governments have allocated approximately $500,000 to build a new two bay truckwash on land owned by Roberts Limited that will be operated by the Council.   It was a productive meeting with construction tenders to be complete by 30 June 2017 and operation to commence by the end of 2017.


ALRTA and LTAT representatives pose in front of the future truckwash site (the tree’d area behind). 

WHAT DO RETAILERS WANT?

Over the next two weeks the ALRTA and ATA representatives are meeting with major retailers as part of our review of the TruckSafe system.  On Friday this week, the ALRTA National President and Executive Director met with Coles in Melbourne and on Monday next week ALRTA will link up with the TruckSafe Manager Justin Fleming to visit Woolworths and ALDI in Sydney.

We have also now received feedback on the TruckSafe system from Animal Health Australia and the RSPCA.

The aim of the consultation is to learn more about how community expectations are changing and how this is translating into consumer attitudes.  The TruckCare system is still a great way to demonstrate compliance with animal welfare laws, but we want to ensure that it is also recognised as ‘best practice’ by all other parties in the supply chain, governments and the community.

Being TruckCare accredited should be more than a ‘feel good’.  Knowing what markets want is the key to re-designing a system that will be sought after by consumers and purchasers of transport services.

ATA COUNCIL MEETS IN CANBERRA

The ATA Council met in Canberra this week to consider issues including constitutional changes, the ATA strategic plan, NHVR code of practice guidelines, and investigation and enforcement powers of HVNL authorised officers.

ALRTA was represented by David Smith (LRTASA President, ALRTA ATA Rep & ATA Vice Chair) and Mathew Munro (ALRTA Executive Director).  We were particularly pleased with the constitutional change that now enables the ATA to convene short notice ‘committee’ meetings of the entire Council to consider urgent policy issues.  ALRTA had been calling for such changes in the wake of the problems experienced when we proposed vital motions to the ATA Council concerning the RSRT.  At the time, the RSRT was proposing significant regulatory changes with only 7 days for industry to respond, yet our motions could not be properly considered by Council with less than 21 days notice.   We expect that the ATA will now be able to respond far more rapidly to similar threats in future.

TRUCKSAFE ANNOUNCED AS INDUSTRY FINALIST FOR PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE

The ATA’s TruckSafe accreditation program has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) annual awards for excellence for 2016.

The category in which TruckSafe was nominated, Excellence in Professional Development, recognises organisations that demonstrate exceptional commitment to the development of its employees, and in this instance, TruckSafe’s members.

TruckSafe accreditation has delivered management, operational and safety benefits to more then 820 businesses that have adopted its standards.

In its nomination to CILT for the Excellence in Professional Development Award, National Transport Insurance (NTI) endorsed TruckSafe’s nomination stating the TruckSafe program provides for an ‘operational and management infrastructure that creates an environment for operators and staff to be better than the rest’.

Stephen Marley, TruckSafe Chairman said it was an honour to be a finalist.

“To be a finalist for this award recognises the members of the TruckSafe accreditation program and their commitment during the last 20 years for choosing to underpin safety and professional development in their business operations. These businesses have come a long way,” he said.

“We pride ourselves on our safety, well maintained equipment, professional staff, and our professional business systems. TruckSafe has and continues to be an integral part of our success,” said Paul Fellows, Fellows Bulk Transport, member of the TruckSafe accreditation program.

The awards ceremony, to be held on 26 November 2016 at the CILT 2016 Annual Awards Event in Moonee Valley, will celebrate the accomplishments of some of the finest passenger, freight and defence transport and logistics companies and individuals in the world.

“Each year it gets harder and harder to judge these awards – with all submissions demonstrating excellent and innovative projects out there in the industry!” said Karyn Welsh, National Manager, CILT.

“This is great for the industry as it demonstrates heightened best practice and pushing the bar for excellence. I would like to congratulate you all; every submission is deserving of an award as it contributes to the improvement to the industry as a whole,” she said.

TruckSafe has continued to evolve and a new suite of module updates will be released on 1 January 2017.

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