Transport News

Road Freight NSW outlines 2023 election priorities

Road Freight NSW has discussed seven key priorities that it is about to submit to NSW politicians ahead of the upcoming state election

Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) has announced its list of election priorities that it says will deliver positive outcomes for truckies and all road users before the state heads to the polls on March 25.

RFNSW has identified seven critical issues facing members working across the entire NSW road freight sector, while also recommending what the NSW government must do to ensure a safe and sustainable industry.

The first priority is maintaining and strengthening the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy (PBLIS) in its current regulation, with minor improvements to be made to strengthen operations.

RFNSW says the government should be wary that any sale or administration of PBLIS by a third party could undermine productivity gains delivered across the supply chain and the broader economy, with the body wanting it to remain as a fully funded function of Transport for NSW.

The second priority centres around port reforms. RFNSW says stevedores’ unfair landside port charges continue to compromise the viability of many NSW truck operators.

“RFNSW is calling on the incoming NSW government to ensure that terminal access charges and other fixed fees or surcharges for delivering or collecting containers are regulated so that they can only be charged to shipping lines and not transport operators,” RFNSW says.

The next area RFNSW wants prioritised is pallets, as the group says the current pallet hire system hurts the state’s economy.

RFNSW says truck operators continue to deal with complicated and unfair contract arrangements from pallet companies for the use of pallets, with the body recommending the government to consult the federal government about this inequity and call for a review to be launched.

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Road repairs and safety remains a key pillar for the NSW industry. RFNSW says the incoming government needs to invest in a new community road safety education campaign while collaborating to strengthen commitments around delivering an infrastructure pipeline that includes truck rest areas, bridge upgrades and rural and regional freight route upgrades.

When it comes to tolling, RFNSW says the government must consider a range of tolling options for heavy vehicles rather than using the current toll rebate scheme.

“Next, the lack of rest areas in the Sydney metropolitan area is of significant concern for operators in this state,” RFNSW says.

“RFNSW recommends that the incoming government convene a summit to examine the lack of rest areas in the area.”

The final priority centres around skills and education, as RFNSW wants to see a review of the role of TAFE to help fix the skilled worker shortage.

“Our election priorities are informed by the day to day experiences of hard-working truck operators – they’re the critical issues which continue to impact the NSW freight industry,” RFNSW CEO Simon O’Hara says.

“Ahead of the March election, RFNSW is calling on all political candidates to listen to the concerns of truck operators and commit to actions which ensure better safety and economic outcomes not only for truckies, but the wider NSW community.

“As the COVID pandemic has shown, without trucks Australia stops – the new government will need to improve its support of the freight industry.”

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