COR compliance visit set Visy on right track

By: Steve Skinner


The head of chain of responsibility enforcement in NSW reveals his officers intervened at giant trucking customer Visy’s Tumut pulp and paper mill

COR compliance visit set Visy on right track
Pleasant surroundings: the drivers’ facilities building at Visy Tumut.

 

A model system for loading and unloading long distance trucks used by paper and cardboard giant Visy only came about under the cloud of legal action, says one of Australia’s top trucking regulators.

Late last year, ATN reported on the civilised set-up for long distance drivers at the big dirt parking area at Visy’s pulp and paper mill at Tumut in NSW.

"There’s a demountable building in this parking area which includes toilet, shower, coffee and kitchen facilities," we reported at the time.

"Drivers can relax on the verandah watching the log trucks drive in and out 100 metres away if they want, or watch TV, or sleep in their cabs knowing that when it’s their turn to drive in and load up, they’ll get a phone call."

ATN can now reveal that improvement at Tumut only happened after intervention from NSW heavy vehicle authorities a few years ago.

"There were a number of complaints that we received from drivers and trucking operators in regards to the scheduling management of drivers picking up and delivering loads to the Tumut factory," says Paul Endycott, general manager for compliance operations with NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

"The business practices may have, when we first started looking at it, led to a breach in fatigue requirements.

"I sent investigators to sort that out."

Endycott says Visy had a "smart lawyer" who he had previously dealt co-operatively with on a separate matter involving  different companies.

"When we inserted ourselves into Visy he said: ‘Need to talk, can I talk, we’ve got to fix this,’’ Endycott recalls.

"Smart guy, and he spoke to Visy and got them on the page.

"Coming out of the inquiries that were being conducted the company decided to build amenities so that they could ensure the drivers’ fatigue be managed properly. So they went beyond what was required of them.

"Do I have to charge everybody to get compliance? No. I didn’t charge anybody in that.

"All this stuff is happening behind the scenes and you’re not going to see it because it doesn’t hit the headlines.

"If they [customers] start to work cooperatively and implement things immediately it lessens the perhaps more court-focused outcomes."

Improvement at Visy Tumut is an example of what Endycott describes as "co-operative compliance".

He says co-operative compliance is proving effective in forcing trucking customers, freight forwarders and operators to lift their game.

A spokesperson for Visy says the privately-owned company’s policy is not to comment to the media.

You can read more about the chain of responsibility in Australia’s busiest through-trucking state in the May issue of ATN.

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