NSW GCCD rules to pan across entire state


Contract of carriage variations broadens scope for contractors and owner-drivers in echo of RSRT

NSW GCCD rules to pan across entire state
The new rules will be in effect from July 2.

 

The NSW Industrial Relation Commission has broadened the scope and application of the NSW General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD).

The GCCD had set rules regarding minimum rates and operating conditions for contract carriers (owner-drivers) working in a specific region of NSW.

The commission has now expanded the scope of the GCCD to include all contracts of carriage within the state – a significant move from what until now affected owner-drivers operating within the County of Cumberland (Sydney metropolitan area) or those operating within 50km from the owner-driver’s home base.

Another significant aspect of the change relates to the obligations of the principal contractors and the owner drivers they engage.

The variations will also affect transporters from other states operating in NSW.

The Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) says the new rules are reminiscent of the scrapped Road Safety Remuneration (RSRT) regime.

The QTA highlights that the determination does not include industry guidance on this issue, suggesting "it will ultimately be up to the courts to provide guidance through its rulings (presumably where a prosecution for breach of the determination is being tried)".

The changes come in response to the Transport Workers Union (TWU’s) December 2013 application to vary the GCCH, which has been operational since 1984 under the NSW Industrial Relations Act 1996.

TWU had sought to: vary the GCCD to broaden its coverage to remove all exclusions; broaden its scope to cover the entire state and any long-distance job connected to NSW; and set new minimum hourly and kilometre rates.

While the commission has not varied the payment rates for owner-drivers, it will consider the matter in later hearings.

The new scope of coverage is subject to certain exemptions for work covered by other contract determinations or performed using certain specialised vehicles.

The changes also mean that works including refrigerated transport, furniture removal, cash in transit and private pathology (in vehicles less than two tonnes) will no longer be exempt from GCCD application.

However, it will not apply to contracts of carriage covered by other contract determinations listed in Schedule F such as the Courier & Taxi Truck Contract Determination, the Quarried Material Contract Determination, the Car Carriers Contract Determination and the Waste Collection and Recycling Contract Determination.

The new rules will be in effect from July 2, with the second stage of conciliation and arbitration hearings to commence in the following weeks.

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