Tag Archives: transport

Jobs in doubt as transport company folds

Updated February 22, 2013 08:00:34

A Tasmanian courier and storage company is expected to stop trading this afternoon after 25 years in the business, with the loss of about 100 jobs.

Road Runners told its workers in Hobart, Devonport and Launceston on Thursday that it had gone into administration.

The company lost a major contract in January and administrator Paul Cook says it has been struggling to pay wages.

Mr Cook was in talks with a potential buyer last night.

The Workplace Relations Minister, David O’Byrne, says he hopes a deal can be secured to protect as many jobs as possible.

Michael Bailey from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry says it is a sign of the times.

“We seem to be taking one step forward in Tasmanian business and two steps back.”

“We’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on that and supporting any of our members that have been caught up in this and clearly it’s a very difficult situation for all people involved.”

Creditors will meet on March 4.

Topics: company-news, devonport-7310, launceston-7250

First posted February 21, 2013 15:15:12

Buyer found for transport business

Updated February 22, 2013 21:32:53

A buyer has been found for a Tasmanian courier and storage company which went into administration this week, and it is expected about 50 workers will keep their jobs.

Road Runners had planned to stop trading this afternoon, with the loss of about 100 jobs in Hobart, Devonport and Launceston.

But the administrator Paul Cook has announced the company is being sold to Chas Kelly Transport which will run it as a stand-alone business.

Mr Cook says the sale means a number of workers will keep their jobs, but others will be made redundant.

“There are still some loose ends to tie up of course, but in principle we’ve reached a sale position.

“In any event the company was overstaffed for the customer base that it had,” he said.

Chas Kelly says about 30 jobs will have to go if the business is to be financially viable.

“Fortunately we’re financially secure, and moving into the future Road Runners will have a good solid financial base.

“The brand remains the same, Road Runners, and the livery will stay the same, you know, I’m confident about the future of the company,” Mr Kelly said.

Administrators say they are still calculating Road Runners’ debts to its creditors.

Topics: company-news, hobart-7000, launceston-7250, devonport-7310

First posted February 22, 2013 18:46:44

Union backs national transport regulator


The Transport Workers Union (TWU) says a new national regulator is good for the industry.


The Brisbane-based National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will be fully operational by July once all state and territory governments have passed legislation.


Under the new regulation, laws governing trucks bigger than 4.5 tonnes will be uniform throughout Australia.


Queensland TWU secretary Peter Biagini says it is a great move for the transport industry.


“Whilst we have a concern about the next stage of it when it comes to what the penalties and fines will be for any breaches, we still think it’ll be positive but we’re keeping a good eye on it but overall for the industry, very good,” he said.

Topics: road-transport, regulation, regional, unions, australia, qld, cairns-4870, townsville-4810, mackay-4740, rockhampton-4700, bundaberg-4670, maroochydore-4558, southport-4215, toowoomba-4350, mount-isa-4825, longreach-4730

First posted January 22, 2013 09:54:47

Transport jobs at Wettenhalls could be at risk

Updated January 25, 2013 10:19:57

Up to 200 jobs could be affected at trucking group Wettenhalls, with reports part of the organisation has gone into the administration.

The Transport Workers Union says its concerned about the future of workers employed by the company, based in Laverton North, in Melbourne’s west.

The union says its inter-state freight division went into voluntary administration last night.

State Secretary Wayne Mader, says about 200 workers will be affected nationally, with half of those workers in Victoria.

“They’re just in total shock I think and concerned about their entitlements,” he said.

“We’re just hopeful that the company and the administrator will ensure that all monies that are owed to employees for their entitlements and work done is going to be honoured.”

Wettenhalls has not returned calls from the ABC.

Topics: road-transport, unemployment, unions, vic, laverton-3028

First posted January 25, 2013 10:18:51

Transport Minister mocks Labor rail costings


The Treasurer Troy Buswell has attacked the Opposition’s transport costings, accusing Labor of embarrassing itself by underestimating its figures.


Mr Buswell has asked the Public Transport Authority to put a price on the Opposition’s pledge to build a rail line to the Perth Airport.


The project is one of the commitments making up Labor’s $3.8 billion Metronet plan.


Labor has costed the airport link at $731 million but Mr Buswell says the true figure would be closer to $1.6 billion.


“They have got it wrong. This is a big embarrassment for them,” he said.


“I don’t think the Opposition’s costings have given any consideration to the extreme engineering and technical difficulties around taking a railway line around the southern end of the airport.


“That means there’s a $860 million black hole. This is what happens when the Labor party adds up or develops these figures on the back of an envelope in Ken Travers’ office.”


The Labor leader Mark McGowan has hit back at Mr Buswell’s claims.


“We are very confident of our costings,” he said.


“I don’t think anyone takes anything Mr Buswell says seriously.


“He claims now that he’s costed our policies twice.


“He can release that information, considering it was paid for by the taxpayer and I call on him to do that.


“I am quite concerned that through his actions Mr Buswell has compromised those departments and I am concerned he has abused the public service.”


In what’s shaping up as a political stand off, Mr Buswell said he’s not yet prepared to release the PTA’s advice but challenged Mr McGowan to submit his plans for assessment.


“If they are so comfortable with that, next Friday, the day after Treasury hand down the pre-election financial statement, they can send that plan to Treasury for it to be costed,” he said.


“That is the process that applies under the caretaker convention.”


But Mr McGowan says it’s up to Mr Buswell to make the first move.


“Mr Buswell’s the one with all the information at his fingertips. Let him release that information and then we’ll see exactly what’s going on here.”

Topics: rail-transport, elections, state-parliament, perth-6000, perth-airport-6105

First posted February 01, 2013 14:45:52

Carers offered free public transport in Perth


The WA Liberal Party has promised to offer free public transport to carers if it wins the state election.


The Disability Services Minister, Helen Morton, says the plan would allow travel on all metropolitan buses, trains and ferries during non-peak periods, at a cost of $1.2 million to taxpayers over four years.


She says more than 8,500 carers would benefit from the pledge.


“They sometimes have to give up careers, they often sell businesses,” she said.


“The carers’ SmartRider is a small way of us acknowledging and recognising and appreciating that fantastic role that they perform.”

Topics: road-transport, government-and-politics, perth-6000

Transport jobs at Wettenhalls could be at risk


Up to 200 jobs could be affected at trucking group Wettenhalls, with reports part of the organisation has gone into the administration.


The Transport Workers Union says its concerned about the future of workers employed by the company, based in Laverton North, in Melbourne’s west.


The union says its inter-state freight division went into voluntary administration last night.


State Secretary Wayne Mader, says about 200 workers will be affected nationally, with half of those workers in Victoria.


“They’re just in total shock I think and concerned about their entitlements,” he said.


“We’re just hopeful that the company and the administrator will ensure that all monies that are owed to employees for their entitlements and work done is going to be honoured.”


Wettenhalls has not returned calls from the ABC.

Topics: road-transport, unemployment, unions, vic, laverton-3028

First posted January 25, 2013 10:18:51

Union backs national transport regulator


The Transport Workers Union (TWU) says a new national regulator is good for the industry.


The Brisbane-based National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will be fully operational by July once all state and territory governments have passed legislation.


Under the new regulation, laws governing trucks bigger than 4.5 tonnes will be uniform throughout Australia.


Queensland TWU secretary Peter Biagini says it is a great move for the transport industry.


“Whilst we have a concern about the next stage of it when it comes to what the penalties and fines will be for any breaches, we still think it’ll be positive but we’re keeping a good eye on it but overall for the industry, very good,” he said.

Topics: road-transport, regulation, regional, unions, australia, qld, cairns-4870, townsville-4810, mackay-4740, rockhampton-4700, bundaberg-4670, maroochydore-4558, southport-4215, toowoomba-4350, mount-isa-4825, longreach-4730

First posted January 22, 2013 09:54:47

ACT public transport policy ‘a failure’


A report has described Canberra’s public transport policy as a spectacular failure.


The national study by a Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) academic found Canberra was no where near meeting any of its sustainable transport targets.


It says the national capital has experienced a sustained decline in public transport and a steady rise in car driving over most of the past two decades.


Canberra was the only capital city where public transport share actually fell in the five years to 2011.


The report blames poor policies which have focussed on road construction while reversing successful public transport measures in place until the late 1980s.


Study author Paul Mees says very little has been done in the ACT to encourage people away from using cars.


“Most of the investment has gone into building new motorways like the Gungahlin Drive extension and the widening of Parkes Way,” Dr Mees said.


“And basically nothing really meaningful has been done to improve public transport.


“There have been a few gimmicks like bikes on buses, and things like that.


“But the bottom line in terms of service frequency, connections, speed and directness of service… then that’s generally got worse in the last few years.”


The study says Sydney is the nation’s sustainable transport capital, with the highest rates of public transport.


The ACT Government has announced a fare increase for ACTION bus services from next month to cover increasing costs and network improvements.


The Minister overseeing public transport services Shane Rattenbury concedes the territory was heading in the wrong direction in its policy.


Mr Rattenbury says the study highlights an over-reliance on road building.


“Certainly we need to get the balance right and put more effort into public transport, Mr Rattenbury said.


“That’s why I’m very pleased that as a result of the Greens-Labor parliamentary agreement we are moving towards developing light rail in the ACT.


“I think that can provide the paradigm shift to really shake up public transport and improve it in the ACT.”

Topics: road-transport, states-and-territories, canberra-2600, act

First posted January 15, 2013 08:33:39

First elements of Indonesian transport deal sealed

By Indonesia correspondent George RobertsPosted December 11, 2012 19:33:46

Australia’s Federal Transport Minister has signed a safety agreement with Indonesia, but key elements on asylum seeker boat rescues are yet to be finalised.

Anthony Albanese, who is in Jakarta, signed off on elements of the transport cooperation plan which was announced in September.

The agreement covers air, sea, rail and road transport.

Some elements of ocean rescue cooperation, such as ship tracking and an exchange program between the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and Indonesia’s equivalent group, BASARNAS, have been included.

But proposals to allow Australian ships and planes to have so-called rapid clearance to enter Indonesian territory and refuel have not been completed.

The plans are aimed at speeding up asylum seeker boat rescues.

Details of how the arrangement would work are yet to be finalised, but Mr Albanese said there had been three cases of rapid clearance granted.

“That is occurring already and we look forward to it being put into practice,” he said.

Indonesia’s transport minister, EE Mangindaan, said procedures for it should be signed in February.

Topics: air-transport, sea-transport, rail-transport, road-transport, transport, foreign-affairs, government-and-politics, indonesia, australia

Stadium transport to cost $300 million

Updated December 14, 2012 19:19:56

The State Government has released its transport plan for the new Perth stadium revealing an estimated cost of $300 million dollars.

The funding covers the construction of new bus and train stations at the stadium as well as a pedestrian bridge across the river.

The government expects 83 per cent of ticketholders to take public transport to and from games with only 1000 car parking bays.

The cost has been estimated at $298 million in 2011 terms, with an escalated total bill of $340 million.

The figure brings the stadium project’s total expected cost to $1.2 billion by the time it is completed in 2018.

Mr Barnett says he is confident the project will be delivered on time and budget.

“It’s exactly what we expected and the project is now moving into the stage of seeking expressions of interest, preparing tender documents and contracting,” he said.

“We expect site works to be underway by mid-2013, so not far away.”

Topics: transport, perth-6000

First posted December 14, 2012 15:02:16

TasRail flags transport hub lease

Posted December 06, 2012 16:31:37

TasRail hopes to secure Tolls’ tenancy at the new Brighton transport hub within days.

The $71 million Brighton transport hub was expected to be operating a year ago but is still empty.

The main intended occupant, Toll, has been refusing to sign a lease.

TasRail’s chairman Bob Annells used a government business hearing to reveal that is about to change.

“We will tie them up, I hope, in the next 24 hours or thereabouts,” he said.

The Infrastructure Minister, David O’Byrne, was asked when the hub will be fully operational.

He says it will take a couple of months for Toll to build sheds at the hub.

The terms of the lease were not revealed.

Toll’s relocation will make way for development of TasPorts’ old rail yards at Macquarie Point on Hobart’s waterfront.

Topics: states-and-territories, road-transport

Transport projects ‘in slow lane’

26  Construction work on the Crossrail project Lack of progress on transport projects is hampering business growth, says the BCC Economic growth is being hampered by too many UK transport projects being stuck in the “slow lane”, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has said.


Of 13 key schemes, three are going ahead, two have some funding committed, but the rest are on hold, it said.


Investment promised by successive governments remains slow, and “bold action” was needed, the BCC said.


But Transport Minister Norman Baker said he was confident the government was delivering.

Improving competitiveness

The BCC said: “While the government has taken important steps to boost infrastructure funding and delivery since the first budget, the updated assessment shows that too many transport projects, which are crucial to business growth, are stuck in the slow lane.”


“We need bold action from the government to improve the UK’s transport infrastructure,” said BCC director of policy, Adam Marshall.


“This kind of investment is insulated from global uncertainty, and it creates short-term confidence, jobs in the medium term, and improves the UK’s competitiveness in the long term”.


The three projects going ahead are:

Birmingham Motorway Box: introducing new methods to allow variable speed limits and use of the hard shoulder at peak times on the M5, M6, M40 and M42, with work due to be completed in spring 2014;Forth Replacement Bridge: replacing the current road bridge with a motorway-standard two-lane crossing, to be completed by 2016;Crossrail, London: Work on the cross-London rail link is well under way and expected to be fully operational in 2019, improving capacity across the capital.

The 13 projects cost some £30bn of private and public sector money.


The pair of projects that are being planned but that have no deadlines include the so-called Northern Hub rail improvement, which the BCC says will bring £4m worth of benefits to the economy of northern England.


The other is the the A453 widening from junction 24 on the M1 to the A52 at Nottingham in the East Midlands.


The eight projects that have seen no progress include the proposed third runway at London’s Heathrow airport.


However, Transport Minister Norman Baker said the government was doing its part.


“Making sure that the country has the transport network it needs to deliver economic growth is a top priority for us,” he said.


Mr Baker highlighted the planned High Speed 2 new rail route, “substantial investment” to increase capacity on the East Coast rail route over the next two years, and £3bn to spend on road schemes.


“We are confident that the approach we are taking will deliver the infrastructure the country needs for business to flourish.”

Transport card ready to be rolled out in Sydney

Updated November 25, 2012 16:45:40

Sydney’s first electronic single-ticketing system will be trialled on ferries in less than a fortnight, but the Transport Minister is warning it might not be smooth sailing.

Ferry users travelling from Neutral Bay to Circular Quay will be the first to trial the Opal card.

Customers can preload the card with money and then use it to tap on at the start of their journey and tap off at the end.

Launching the card today, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian says it will be rolled out progressively in order to iron out any problems.

“We know that there’s been glitches almost everywhere it’s come in; we know it won’t be glitch-free,” she said.

But she says it will create a simpler, more convenient transport system.

“We won’t have to stress about getting paper-based tickets from one mode to the other,” she said.

“The current system is clumsy, it’s confusing, and unless you’re a regular commuter doing the same thing everyday it’s really hard to break outside that box.

“Eventually people will be able to avoid the Monday morning queues. They’ll be able to avoid having to worry about buying tickets.

“You’ll just have to get this once and then it will be with you forever and how you choose to top it up will be up to you.”

The Opal card will be introduced on ferries and trains from next year, and rolled out on buses the following year.

Light rail will be integrated into the system by 2015.

Opposition spokeswoman Penny Sharpe says Sydney commuters are ready for the technology and had been promised more.

“Minister Berejiklian promised that this card would be available for all ferry passengers by the end of this year and today we find out there is just one route being used out of 11,” she said.

“She’s been unable to rule out that passengers won’t be paying more. For people in western Sydney they’ll be concerned that the longer distance they travel it means it’s going to cost them more on public transport.”

Topics: transport, sydney-2000

First posted November 25, 2012 13:59:41

Uranium transport debate begins amid Qld mining plans

Updated October 31, 2012 14:54:58

Plans to get Queensland’s uranium industry up and running have sparked debate over how the ore will be exported.

The Queensland Government has established a five-person committee to determine the rules and regulations for the industry, including its transport.

The ports nearest the state’s uranium deposits sit right next to the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.

Queensland’s uranium deposits are in the state’s north and the nearest ports are Townsville and Cairns.

Both are major tourism destinations and gateways to the Great Barrier Reef.

But chairman of the committee appointed to help Queensland’s uranium industry, Paul Bell, says both ports could be used to export the radioactive material.

“We haven’t seen any significant reaction to any of the options that we’ve probably started to look at in regards to ports – the way in which uranium transport would be carried out in Queensland,” he said.

“It’s still very early days and we think that all options should be certainly investigated.”

Queensland Resources Council spokesman Michael Roche says the state should follow Western Australia’s lead and ship it from Darwin or Adelaide instead.

“Given that the Adelaide-Darwin railway is not too long a reasonable haul from the north-west of Queensland, then it makes sense that uranium could be transported to that rail line and then sent north to Darwin or south to Adelaide,” he said.

In the next four-and-a-half-months the committee will visit uranium projects in the Northern Territory and South Australia to gather information.

Mr Bell says sending Queensland’s uranium interstate for shipping is an option.

“The discussion we’ll be having with governments from Northern Territory and South Australia will be about how do you feel about more tonnage coming through your place,” he said.

“Is that something that you would support or would you see some reluctance and therefore giving us, I suppose, impetus to come back and to certainly have some further discussions with ports here in Queensland?”

Conservationists have slammed the decision to reintroduce uranium mining in Queensland, arguing the environmental risks far outweigh the economic benefits.

But Mr Roche says the state’s known uranium resources are currently valued at $10 billion.

He says that could creep up to $18 billion if uranium prices improve as expected in the next three to five years.

Mr Roche says any mines are at least four years away from operation but the state should consider following the Western Australia Government and setting its uranium royalties at 5 per cent.

“That’s the sort of rate that would be competitive,” he said.

“Any higher than that, then you’re starting to discourage investment.

“Queensland at the end of the day will be competing for projects in Australia as well as in other jurisdictions such as in Canada.”

The committee is expected to report back to the Queensland Government in March.

Topics: public-sector, activism-and-lobbying, uranium-mining, state-parliament, mining-rural, mining-industry, mining-environmental-issues, trade, brisbane-4000, townsville-4810, mount-isa-4825, cairns-4870, darwin-0800

First posted October 31, 2012 08:59:29

Mapping highlights Sydney transport inequality

Updated November 11, 2012 12:24:56

Mapping of Sydney’s public transport network has revealed huge pockets of the city are disadvantaged when it comes to close and frequent transport services.

A coalition of 52 organisations called the Sydney Alliance has commissioned maps revealing the proximity and frequency of public transport services throughout greater Sydney.

The alliance commissioned urban geographer Dr Kurt Iveson to map Sydney’s public transport network.

He found while a significant proportion of the city’s residents live within 400 metres of public transport, just 15 per cent of those locations have services that leave every 15 minutes or less.

Alliance director Dr Amanda Tattersall says it has created a situation of transport inequality.

“There are whole patches of the city that are car-bound,” she said.

“They don’t have a choice as to whether they’re going to be sitting as commuters on the M5 or the M4 – [which is] required – and so are the tolls and the petrol costs and the car costs associated with that.

“It’s the lack of frequency of service keeping the majority of Sydney excluded from the public transport system.”

Dr Tattersall says the State Government’s multi-billion-dollar projects are not the only solution for the city’s transport woes.

“We applaud the fact that they’re wanting to invest in transport but smaller investments in some bus lines to enable greater frequency may actually be the best way to get more people on public transport, [rather] than only thinking about mega-million-dollar proposals,” she said.

Dr Tattersall also called for additional services, park and ride zones at interchanges and a single ticketing system.

The alliance wants to meet Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian to discuss its proposals.

Topics: transport, travel-and-tourism, rail-transport, road-transport, sydney-2000

First posted November 11, 2012 11:30:15

RTA, Oracle join hands on transport infrastructure

Dubai: The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said on Tuesday it has signed a deal with Oracle to develop the authority’s IT infrastructure.

Under the agreement, signed alongside Gitex Technology Week, both the parties will work to provide IT infrastructure geared at automating processes to streamline government services, RTA said in a statement.

“We are looking forward to exchanging corporate know-how and expertise at all levels,” Fadi Abdul Khalek, Vice-President of Oracle Technology Sales, Gulf Region, said in a statement, adding that Oracle’s relationship with the RTA has been in existence for over three years.

“Since its inception in 2005, the RTA has devoted itself to deliver the world’s best services to mass transit commuters including the citizens, expatriates and tourists alike, and ensure that their daily trips all over Dubai are safe, smooth, enjoyable and right on time,” added Abdullah Al Madani, chief executive of RTA’s Corporate Technical Support Services Sector.

Article continues below

He further said that the move is a step in the direction of establishing a strategic partnership with Oracle in the future.

The RTA is responsible for road, rail and marine transportation infrastructure as well as licensing and other public transport-related services in Dubai.

Transport Minister calls unions demands unrealistic

Updated October 10, 2012 14:09:18

The Transport Minister Troy Buswell says union demands for more generous rosters would push up the Fremantle Port’s operating costs by nearly 30 per cent.

More than 100 stevedoring and maintenance workers walked off the job and blocked the entrance to the Kwinana Bulk Terminal yesterday.

The members of the Maritime Union are demanding a 20 per cent pay increase and six days off for every four worked, as part of a new enterprise agreement.

Mr Buswell has told ABC Local Radio their demands are unrealistic.

“The advice I have from Fremantle Port is just the rostering change would push up the cost of operating the port by 27 per cent,” he said.

“And I reckon it’s a bit rich in the current environment for people to be expecting to get paid 20 per cent more to get extra time off.”

He also took a swipe at the Federal Government’s Fair Work system saying it is failing the State’s economy, which depends on the port.

The Maritime Union said yesterday it was determined to maintain a blockade until the port operator agrees to compromise on pay and conditions.

The union’s Chris Cain said workers were unanimously behind the strike.

“There was a secret ballot taken under the Fair Work Act, and quite basically it came back 100 per cent for strike action and we don’t walk away from that,” he said.

“That just indicates to the employer and ourselves that they’re determined to get an outcome.”

The head of Fremantle Port says a mass protest at the Kwinana Bulk Terminal is having a big impact on trade.

Fremantle Port owns the Kwinana facility.

Port chief executive Chris Leatt-Hayter says he wants the issue resolved quickly.

“We do get about $3 million value of trade that passes through the port every hour of every day,” he said.

“Any delay to shipping can impact right through the transport supply chain straight to our importers and exporters.

“So the port has a critical role to play in WA’s economy and it’s our aim to try and resolve the situation as soon as we can.”

Mr Leatt-Hayter says some of the Maritime Union’s demands are unreasonable.

Talks will continue today.

Topics: industrial-relations, kwinana-town-centre-6167, perth-6000

First posted October 10, 2012 10:22:17

Anger over transport hub snub

Updated October 04, 2012 20:13:47

The Tasmanian Government has been criticised for uncertainty over the future of the Brighton transport hub.

The development was expected to be operating 10 months ago and it has been reported that a key occupant, Toll Tasmania, is looking at other sites.

TasFreight chief executive Rob McGuire has told Local Radio the development has lacked proper planning.

“What I don’t understand is why, at this late stage, they haven’t already been locked in to go as well as other transport operators,” he said.

“Why hasn’t the State government years ago, when we had the discussions to build the transport hub, actually locked in Toll and the other operators back then?”

Brighton mayor Tony Foster says the delay in opening the site is unacceptable.

“It’s not allowing certainty for us as a council to market and promote the industrial estate for use by freight and transport operators who are just sitting back waiting to know that this is actually going to go ahead,” he said.

The Infrastructure Minister, David O’Bryne, has played down concern about the future of the transport hub.

Mr O’Byrne says negotiations with Toll and other logistic companies are in their final stages.

“These are complex, we may not always agree in terms of those negotiations but there is absolute commitment to resolve them and get the hub up and running as soon as possible,” he said.

The Opposition’s Rene Hidding says it is a major failure of management.

Topics: road-transport, states-and-territories, brighton-7030

First posted October 04, 2012 10:21:19