Road Freight NSW throws weight behind operator licencing

Stance puts state body at odds with national organisation and aligns it with ALC on the issue

Road Freight NSW throws weight behind operator licencing
Jodie Broadbent wants rules to deflect unready entrants to the industry.


Road Freight NSW has backed the concept of road transport operator licensing.

The announcement came just after the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) called for the Transport and Infrastructure Council to "task the National Transport Commission [NTC] to consider the implementation of operator licensing in Australia as a matter of priority" in its submission to the NTC on that body’s chain of responsibility and executive officer liability reform proposals.

The New South Wales peak road transport industry organisation’s move puts it at odds with Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA’s) position agreed at Trucking Australia 2015 in March.

Road Freight NSW general manager Jodie Broadbent says an operator licensing system would protect professional trucking drivers and operators from the financial and reputational damage caused by short-lived, cut-price transport ventures.

"Our members are fed up with ignorant people entering our industry who have no knowledge of how to run a business, no concept of the costs associated with running a trucking company, and some daft idea that undercutting others is the only way to win contracts," Broadbent says.

"Because they have never performed a cost analysis, these ventures will undercut other operators by offering prices that don’t even cover the cost of keeping the wheels turning on their trucks.

"The result is their employees are not paid properly, they do not meet their tax obligations, and they cut corners in managing their business, such as maintaining their vehicles.

"Eventually these businesses go bankrupt, leaving many people negatively affected by unscrupulous or poorly-informed management decisions."

The Road Freight NSW policy council, made up of both large and small businesses, voted unanimously to work with governments and the NHVR to develop a system that ensures legitimate businesses with solid and safe business practices are protected from those looking to make a quick buck, she adds.

"There are almost no barriers to entry in our industry. You can literally grab a laptop and become a freight forwarder, or buy a vehicle, stick a driver in it and call yourself a transport company, without any knowledge of the obligations and costs associated with running a business," Broadbent says.

"Having some requirements to ensure trucking business owners are well aware of their business and safety obligations will help the industry become safer, more viable, and more professional."

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