VTA wants tribunal to deliver changes at the waterfront

Transport association wants investigation into port-related container work.

VTA wants tribunal to deliver changes at the waterfront
The VTA says trcuk drivers hauling containers to and from Australia's ports often face delays for hours at a time.


The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is looking to the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) to deliver sweeping changes to the operation of ports throughout Australia.

Following a submission from the VTA, the RSRT put an investigation into the landside practices of ports on its agenda for 2015.

The VTA wrote to the tribunal last month complaining of sub-par waterfront practices that were undermining safety and productivity.

"The demands on Australian ports are continuing to increase as do the efforts of all port related service entities and a review by the RSRT would be of enormous benefit to the supply chain," VTA CEO Peter Anderson says.

Its submission recommends the RSRT assess best practice at various ports and then develop a draft order for industry consultation proposing new national standards.

The VTA claims increasing pressure is being placed on the trucking industry due to a rise in import and export volumes.

"There are continual stories of drivers being held up at the various ports around the country, sometimes for hours at a time. This directly impacts on the cost structure of operators in the industry," the submission says.

"Many practices for the movement of containers to and from the wharf are outdated, operator specific and are not harmonised to meet modern standards and expectations," the submission says.

It says delays are causing inefficiencies and eating into the profits of companies and the pay of sub-contractors involved in hauling freight to and from ports.

"It is the VTA’s view that these delays and other inefficiencies potentially impact the safety of truck drivers and the community at large," the submission says.

"Changes need to be driven to ensure that drivers are not subjected to poor practices, standards and ad hoc direction."

The RSRT is also planning to investigate the waste management industry and the oil, fuel and gas sectors in 2015.

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