NatRoad sees 'minor victory' on GCCD road

By: Rob McKay

TWU and NSW government also see positives as next stage looms in new year

NatRoad sees 'minor victory' on GCCD road
Warren Clark is glad the direction is to metropolitan areas only.


The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) has welcomed the initial outcome of NSW Industrial Commission negotiations on the General Carriers Interim Contract Determination.

NatRoad CEO Warren Clark believes "mum and dad-run trucking businesses have had a small win" in the NSW Industrial Commission as it moves toward an expanded NSW General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD).

"After months of debate, parties in the NSW Industrial Commission agreed to apply an old industrial determination to the metropolitan areas of Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong rather than all of New South Wales," Clark says.

"After the RSRT this year, the last thing small trucking businesses needed was further confusing changes backed by the unions and yet this is exactly what was in motion through the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.

"This is a win for regional jobs and small trucking businesses in rural and regional areas of New South Wales."

NatRoad has campaigned to keep the industrial relations instrument previously bound by the Sydney Basin’ from having state-wide power.

"We need a mix of operators to deliver Australia’s freight and industrial rules like this General Contract Carriers Determination are being used to squeeze out smaller trucking operators," Clark says.

"Members told us about union letters sent to larger trucking companies that need contracted drivers, scaring them with threats of potential fines of up to $10,000.

"This confusion directly resulted in a loss of work for our members who are independent, hardworking business people setting their own rates and meeting the compliance requirements of the most highly regulated industry.

"A new inquiry with a similar push is on the cards in Victoria, singling out mum and dad run trucking businesses.

"Australia needs a competitive and resilient road transport industry without ongoing industrial upheaval and confusion.

"Road transport is a national industry and we need to strengthen existing national industrial regulation to keep the industry safe and competitive rather than tinkering with state based arrangements."

NatRoad says it will continue to represent members as GCCD amendments are finalised through formal submissions in the coming months.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) was also pleased with progress in updating the GCCD.

"We are encouraged by the involvement of all participants in reaching a negotiated outcome with regard to amendments to the General Carriers Interim Contract Determination," TWU NSW branch secretary Richard Olsen.

"During negotiations and hearings there has been good cooperation with industry on a number of matters which affect the trucking community.

"We know there is still work to be done but the TWU is hopeful that these signs of co-operation will continue and that a final outcome can be achieved in the early part of the new year."

The NSW government is reviewing the determination and will make a submission in the coming weeks. 

It has have been liaising with key stakeholders throughout this process.

"The government is pleased that the outcome will not be a backdoor for any attempt by unions to re-establish Safe Rates," a source close to proceedings says.

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