Safety laws a hot topic at Divisional Conference
Held over two days at Penrith in western Sydney, the Divisional Conference, which occurs every two years, was a great success, attracting 60 delegates from sub-divisions all over the state, plus interstate guest delegates from Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
Discussions included the future direction of the each division in terms of EBA processes and budget reforms, and an update on the effects of future industry infrastructure and technology changes on membership. A third day was set aside for the regular Divisional Council which will meet again in December.
The new National Rail Safety laws were a hot topic for many of the guest speakers. Branch Secretary Alex Claassens, National Organiser Roger Jowett, Colin Holmes from Independent Transport Safety Regulator (ITSR) covered issues such as the current progress of the laws and its effects on members and front-line staff.
National Secretary Bob Nanva spoke about the RTBU campaign against certain aspects of the National Rail Safety laws and the upcoming investigation into the southern rail line.
Michael Barnes from White Barnes Solicitors briefed delegates on the changes to OH&S legislation and the Workers Compensation Act, and Keith McMahon (OH&S) talked about the new Federal OH&S Legislation taking affect in 2012.
Three productive training sessions were also led by the Locomotive Divisional organisers. Steve Wright (Freight Organiser Regional) conducted a workshop on organising, running and assessing depot committees. Kevin Pryor (Freight Organiser Metro) spoke about member recruiting and communication. Bob Newham (Passenger Organiser RailCorp) gave a session on running meetings with members and management, and an update on the proposed Train Crew Reforms.