Roozendaal told to deliver deadline on paid waiting times


NSW ports minister told to put in place concrete timeframe for paid waiting times after delaying the scheme until 2011

By Brad Gardner | November 18, 2010

The NSW Government has been urged to name a date for the introduction of paid waiting times at Port Botany after delaying the scheme until next year.

NSW Transport Workers Union Secretary Wayne Forno wants the government to set a deadline, which was originally meant to be by the end of September this year.

Ports Minister Eric Roozendaal this week told the trucking industry it needed to wait until early in 2011 to be compensated for time spent queuing, which has at times stretched to five hours.

"We welcome Minister Roozendaal’s announcement in relation to paid waiting times at the port, although we believe it is well overdue given the previous minister had committed to have paid waiting times in place by September this year," Forno says.

"Therefore we call on the minister to put in place a concrete timeline with implementation as soon as possible."

Sydney Ports Corporation claims the delay is due to the Government’s decision to add rail access charges to the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy (PBLIS), which governs paid waiting times.

"We are seeking a meeting with the Minister’s office in the coming week to discuss the timeline for implementation and the practical implementation issues," Forno says.

Roozendaal will also come under a pressure to commit to building amenities and loading bays so drivers have places to rest while waiting to collect or deliver freight.

Under paid waiting times, stevedores will need to compensate trucking operators $25 for every 15 minute delay, $100 if a slot is cancelled within two hours of the agreed access time or $50 if the slot is cancelled outside the two-hour timeframe.

Trucking operators will pay $50 for a late arrival and $100 if their trucks do not show up.

Despite delaying the reforms, Roozendaal claims he understands the "urgency" of introducing them to hold parties accountable for delays.

"The main purpose of the regulations is to ensure fairness and equity between the stevedores and the truck carriers," Roozendaal says.

Sydney Ports Corporation says PBLIS will be introduced progressively from December this year through to early 2011.

The trucking industry has long complained of delays at Port Botany, which have jeopardised delivery schedules and left operators exposed to fatigue management breaches.


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