Rates and costs for forestry contractors

Overview

Rates and costs schedules give contractors information on the typical running costs of a business and rates typically paid to employee drivers for similar work.

The Minister for Industrial Relations publishes rates and costs schedules after advice from the Forestry Industry Council. The schedules set out the typical operating costs of a harvesting or haulage business, including the equipment and vehicle operating costs (variable costs), and costs including registration, finance, administration, insurance and self-funding of superannuation (fixed costs). The schedules also set out the rates that would typically apply for the contractor's own labour if he or she did the work as an employee.

Forestry contractors can use the schedule to gain a better understanding of:

  • the operating cost items and the factors that affect how much each item will be;
  • the market for the services; and
  • the amount that the contractor could expect to earn as an employee for the same kind of work.

Rates and cost schedules do not set minimum rates of pay. However, the schedules aim to help both forestry contractors and hirers understand the overhead costs of the business, so they can better assess whether an offer will fully cover the operating costs, provide a return for the contractor's own labour and provide a return on the investment in the business.

Hirer obligations

Hirers must give a copy of the rates and costs schedule applicable to that contractor and the relevant class of vehicle or motorised equipment, where the contractor is engaged for a period of at least 30 days or for at least 30 days in any three month period.

The relevant schedule must be given:

  • at least three business days before the forestry contractor is engaged, if the owner driver will be engaged for a period of at least 30 days; or
  • on the thirtieth day, if the forestry contractor is engaged for a total period of at least 30 days in any three month period.

These requirements also apply to freight brokers and to tender situations.

Hirers must provide any revised schedule to all current contractors as soon as practicable after publication.

A hirer or freight broker, who is required under the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 to provide the applicable rates and costs schedule and information booklet to a contractor, may do so in hard copy or electronic form. If the document is given in electronic form, a copy of the document should be emailed to a direct email address of the contractor. Emailing only a link to this website or emailing to a generic email address will not satisfy the requirements of the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005. A contractor should be provided with a hard copy of the rates and costs schedule or information booklet if the contractor has requested either document in hard copy rather than in electronic form.

In order to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005, it is important to keep good records. It is recommended that you obtain a notice of receipt or acknowledgement from a contractor when giving/emailing the rates and costs schedule or information booklet to them.

Rates and costs schedules for forestry contractors

Page last updated: 20 July 2016