Confidence on high
Small transport businesses have reason to optimistic for 2017 in the face of change within the industry. NatRoad CEO Warren Clark writes
I HAVE just been reading a report into the small business sector that indicates small transport businesses and owner- drivers are surfing the largest wave of confidence since 2010.
A remarkable turnaround from where we were this time last year; it speaks volumes for the importance of clarity and certainty when it comes to operating small trucking businesses.
There is no doubt about it – we operate in a complex sector, with much red tape and rules.
When those rules change, it is paramount that those changes are clearly communicated to and understood by operators, and that operators are given time to access information and make the changes needed to make within their businesses to comply.
In 2017 we will continue to see change, but we will see it implemented in a way that is respectful towards small trucking businesses.
For example, chain of responsibility changes will be introduced over the next 12 months by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator ( NHVR) through a clear program of industry education.
NatRoad is supporting this effort, joining with the NHVR in a series of face- to-face one- day Regional Trucking Summits from February to June.
At these Regional Trucking Summits, which are free to attend, you can hear first hand from the NHVR, and ask questions of it.
In addition, we will brief members on enforcement and compliance matters, as well as changes in the industrial relations landscape that could well impact your business in the next two years.
Strengthening the road transport industry starts at the door of every road transport business, and we want to make sure you have the knowledge on your doorstep delivered for free because we know that you need this information to stay safe and competitive.
I hope you can attend; you will find a list of venues and dates, along with other relevant information, at www. natroadsummit.com.
It’s easy to register online, or call us on 02 6295 3000.
When it comes to industrial and workplace relations, there are many potential changes in the winds.
It is no secret that NatRoad holds the unions to account; it is part of our DNA.
I had the privilege of hearing first hand where this character trait was born when long-time industry operators recently gathered in Shepparton to mark the 30th anniversary of the formation of the National Transport Federation.
It was at the time of the infamous blockades – or union black bans – curtailing business operations in the 1980s that prompted the formation of an organisation to tackle industrial relations matters on behalf of transport operators.
And, in 2017, we continue to actively participate in these complex challenges and discussions that shape our industrial relations landscape.
These are intense commitments for our associations that can take many months, even years, to reach an outcome – yet each in their own way have the ability to impact the competitiveness of every road transport business. That is why we take our seat at the table, as we have always done, on behalf of members and the industry.
This year we will continue to be involved in proposed changes to the NSW General Contract Carriers Determination, in Victoria the inquiry into the Owner Driver and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 and the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Regulations 2006.
On a national scale, through FairWork Australia we are scrutinising the proposed changes to the modern awards, which include the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010 and the Road Transport ( Long Distance Operations) Award 2010, ensuring fairness is the key.
Last year we saw first hand, through the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal ( RSRT) debacle, what happens to the industry when rules or provisions unfairly target just one segment of it. Fairness comes when the voices and evidence from the full sector are represented during the decision making. And when the outcomes are known, this is just the kind of information we seek to give our members and the industry so that they can continue to be competitive, confident and thriving.
“IT IS NO SECRET THAT NATROAD HOLDS THE UNIONS TO ACCOUNT”