COVID-19 Updates

NatRoad is your voice to government and regulators








NatRoad’s role includes making formal submissions to various government bodies on a wide range of policy issues affecting the road freight industry, with the aim of improving the business environment for our members and the industry in general.


Submitted to: Victorian Government

Date submitted: 3 February 2022

Summary:   The Victorian Government proposes to introduce standards that will set best practice in the engagement of non-employee ‘gig’ workers. In this submission NatRoad argues that the standards should not be legislated.

We also submit that there should be no changes to the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act, 2005 (Vic) (ODFC Act) as a result of the introduction of the proposed standards.

NatRoad does not believe there is any justification for there to be a change to the current manner in which owner drivers are regulated in Victoria by way of the ODFC Act.

At the least, there should be re-consideration of owner driver regulation on a national basis.

That should not occur until after the High Court has handed down its decision in Jamsek v ZG Operations Australia Pty Ltd, a case that will assess the dividing line between owner drivers as contractors and as employees.

Outcome: Awaited

Document:  Submission – Fair Conduct and Accountability Standards for the Victorian On-Demand Workforce 

Submitted to:  Productivity Commission

Date Submitted:  10 February 2022

Summary:  Boosting the efficiency of freight movement and productivity at Australia’s ports is essential if we are to improve our supply chain’s recovery from the pandemic and compete with the rest of the world. Long waiting times at port facilities to load and unload containers and cargo are placing massive strain on heavy vehicle operators – particularly owner operators – and are eroding safety, contributing to driver shortages and compounding the impacts of the pandemic. Fees that punish truck drivers for events like delayed or absent pickups are grossly unfair and should be abolished. NatRoad also wants a cap applied to the steep rises in landside port charges that its members have experienced over the last five years. There is no justification for the 325% rise in the average fee for unloading an import container off a ship in Eastern Seaboard ports from mid-2017 to March 2021. Inefficient, anti-competitive and unethical provisions in Enterprise Agreements governing waterfront industrial relations have a knock-on effect that is felt by not only the road transport sector but the national economy. More efficient, environmentally-friendly High Productivity Vehicles (HPVs) must be encouraged to be used at ports. Some stevedores are actively discouraging their use by charging greater fees for deliveries by ‘long vehicles.’ NatRoad does not agree that these fees reflect the true cost of accommodating HPVs. But the reform process needs to go further than the port gates. Road access to ports by heavy vehicles needs to be dramatically overhauled. Priority around-the-clock access on key freight routes needs to be given to A-doubles and other heavy vehicle combinations as a matter of course with pre-approved routes for these vehicles. The current complex system of permits for High Productivity Vehicles needs to be reviewed and streamlined. There are too many permits and there is too much red tape.

Outcome:   Awaited

Document:  Submission – Australia’s Maritime Logistics System

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