Industry bodies put heat into GCCD debate

By: Anjali Behl


VTA, LBCA and ARTIO NSW join discussion on the proposed changes to carriage contract rules

Industry bodies put heat into GCCD debate
Both VTA and LBCA are opposed to a fixed rate regime.

 

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA), the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation New South Wales branch (ARTIO NSW) and the Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) have joined the debate around the proposed changes to the NSW General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD).

VTA informs ATN that it is opposed to a fixed-price regime and will fight the claims made by the Transport Workers Union (TWU’s) NSW branch in support of mandatory kilometre and hourly rates.

Meanwhile, ARTIO NSW has criticised NatRoad for a "misguided" attempt seeking exemption for its members from the proposed changes and urged NSW-based transport operators to join the discussion.

ARTIO NSW secretary Hugh McMaster says NatRoad seems to have "little understanding of the NSW jurisdiction" as it has called for an exemption for, among others, livestock carriers, who are excluded from the GCCD under Section 309 of the NSW Industrial Relations Act 1996.

Noting this exclusion, LBCA has sought a clarification on whether its members, who transport freight using specialised vehicles will be excluded from the coverage of the GCCD.

LBCA is also seeking clarification on how the changes to the determination will affect its interstate members who operate within NSW and are currently not covered by any other determination.

LBCA is seeking "on behalf of our bulk members the clarification on whether our members who transport freight one removed from primary produce, in a specialised vehicle such as a tipper or tanker, with the freight being transported for the purpose of primary production, are excluded also from the coverage of the GCCD."

The livestock carriers association says it will "continue to advocate that a fixed rate model for the livestock and bulk sector is not realistic given the complexities around the task (back loading, start and finish places)".

VTA has also expressed his opposition to the union proposal to revise the existing payment rates under the GCCD.

"The VTA opposes the proposed Rates variation to the determination and, through its registered industrial relations advocacy ARTIO, will be fighting the TWU proposals," VTA CEO Peter Anderson says.

"There is no doubt that claims by the TWU through the GCCD would be devastating for many operators and customers alike, with driver cost increases as high as 45 per cent in some instances.

"The VTA has been holding member workshops to ensure interstate operators have a full understanding of the ramifications should the TWU recommendations be accepted.

"The VTA and the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation will be fighting these claims."

McMaster criticises NatRoad, Road Freight New South Wales (RFNSW) and the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) for not being part of the NSW Industrial Commission proceedings in this case.

"ARTIO NSW has been actively involved in the proceedings on behalf of members in these matters since 2013 when the TWU lodged an application to the Commission to vary the transport industry General Carriers Contract Determination," McMaster says.

"ARTIO NSW has been directly represented at numerous hearings and conferences as part of the conciliation and arbitration process.

"Road Freight NSW, its predecessor, ATA and NatRoad have not been present at any of these hearings before the Commission, nor have they made any contribution during the numerous conferences held by the Commission.

"These organisations have been silent and have not made any contribution whatsoever in an attempt to shape the outcome or show any preparedness to work with other employer interests for the collective good, let alone on behalf of the members of their respective organisations."

McMaster tells ATN that NatRoad’s exemption application is made "purely on the basis that they are members of that organisation".

"The application is misguided and quite flawed," he says.

"There is simply no basis to make that application, let alone any prospects of success.

"ARTIO NSW is not aware of any exemptions granted in the NSW jurisdiction in the manner sought by NatRoad."

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