West Gate Tunnel, Tax Fight, Bulk Tippers and Aldi

It’s all happening in the trucking industry this week, there’s the West Gate Tunnel, Tax Fight, Bulk Tippers and Aldi, all getting a run in Diesel News.

A requirement for the operator of the proposed West Gate Tunnel to offer financial incentives and discounts for freight operators that use the new connection is expected to encourage heavy vehicles to use the road, creating productivity improvements for operators and amenity gains for residents of Melbourne’s inner west.

Luke Donnellan, Victorian Roads Minister, announced the Victorian Government will provide further incentives for the transport and logistics industry to use the West Gate Tunnel when the road is built, in the form of discounted shuttle rates, caps on maximum daily tolls for trucks making multiple trips through the tunnel, and night-time discounts.

“We are pleased that the Victorian Government has listened to the Victorian Trucking Association’s consistent calls for heavy vehicle operators to be incentivised to use toll roads like the West Gate Tunnel,” said Peter Anderson, VTA CEO. “The transport industry has been hit with substantial increases to tolls and infrastructure costs at the Port of Melbourne this year, so it is encouraging that steps are being taken by the Government to ensure heavy-vehicle operators are not penalised for using toll roads.”


Interstate Alliance

Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) has joined forces with its interstate counterpart the Western Australian Road Transport Association (WARTA) in a renewed fight against extra surcharges imposed by stevedores at ports across the country.

RFNSW General Manager Simon O’Hara met with WARTA Executive Officer Cam Dumesny while observing freight movements in and out of the Port Botany terminals and getting feedback from carriers about the impact the new levies were having on their day-to-day operations.

“In New South Wales and Western Australia, truck operators, particularly those smaller, family-run businesses, are hurting,” said Simon O’Hara, RFNSW General Manager. “RFNSW and WARTA have now decided to use our collective strength in bringing the stevedores to account, for the sake of our members. Again, we make the point that at ports across the country, stevedores have imposed these taxes on hardworking truck operators without any regulatory scrutiny.


Grain Results

In New South Wales, Roads and Maritime Services has released the NSW Grain Harvest Management Scheme (GHMS) Report for the harvest period, July 2015 to June 2016, including data received from 18 of the 21 participating grain receivers.

Eighty per cent (9,578,057 tonnes) of the grain deliveries for the period were delivered using the GHMS concession, and 186,906 vehicle trips used the GHMS concession. Six-axle prime mover/semi-trailer combinations moved almost 39 per cent of the total grain transport task

The most grain transported over this period was wheat, accounting for 65 per cent of all deliveries, 4.1 per cent of all deliveries were recorded as being over on mass and 4.3 per cent of GHMS deliveries were above GHMS mass limits.


TWU Protest

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) reckons over 500 truck drivers and their supporters protested at an Aldi supermarket in Mt Druitt, Sydney, protesting about the retailer’s refusal to ensure safety in its transport supply chain.

“Aldi cannot silence drivers,” said driver Mark Trevillian, said in a TWU statement. “We are on the road every day and we see the pressure transport workers are under. We want Aldi to be part of the solution and get on board to stop the carnage.”


ACT Permits

Roads ACT has handed back the processing of Class 1 heavy vehicle permit applications for the Australian Capital Territory to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR). The NHVR will process all heavy vehicle permit applications that were previously processed by Roads ACT for travel in the Australian Capital Territory.