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Support for transport and forestry businesses

Improving the position of businesses in the transport and forestry industries.

The Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005

The Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 aims to improve the position of people who run small businesses transporting goods or harvesting forestry products.

Owner drivers, forestry contractors, hirers and freight brokers in the transport and forestry industries all have legal obligations under this Act.  You cannot ‘contract out’ of these obligations.

For some of these obligations, failure to comply is a criminal offence. Wage Inspectorate Victoria is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Act. It may take enforcement actions such as issuing warnings or penalty infringement notices. It may also take litigation action.

Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Code of Practice

The Code of Practice contains requirements that the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 says must be followed. The Code of Practice also describes industry practice. .

The Code provides guidance on conduct that may be considered ‘unconscionable’ and contract terms that may be unjust.  This is important because unconscionable conduct is prohibited under the Act. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal can make orders if it finds that unconscionable conduct has occurred or that a contract contains an unjust term.

It is important that you read the Code and that you fully understand your rights and obligations. If you have any questions about the Code, please call the Wage Inspectorate Information Line on 1800 287 287.

Information for owner drivers

An owner driver is someone that runs a business transporting goods (but not passengers) using up to 3 vehicles supplied by them. The owner of the business must also drive one of the vehicles. The Act applies to contractors, not employees.  

An owner driver can be a natural person, company (except a publicly listed company) or partnership.

As an owner driver, you can get help to better understand the typical operating costs of running an owner driver business. You can also find information about your rights when entering into contractual arrangements with hirers and freight brokers.

Visit the owner drivers page

Information for forestry contractors

A forestry contractor is:

  • someone that runs a business to harvest forest products using motorised equipment that they supply
  • someone that runs a business to transport forest products. They supply the vehicles and operate at least one of them

The Act applies to contractors, not employees.

A forestry contractor can be a natural person, company (except a publicly listed company) or partnership.

As a forestry contractor, you can get help to better understand  the typical operating costs of running a forestry business. You can also find information about your rights when entering into contractual arrangements with hirers and freight brokers.

Visit the forestry contractors page

Information for tip truck owner drivers

As a tip truck driver, you can get help to better understand your business cost structures. You can also find information about your rights when entering into contractual arrangements with hirers and freight brokers.

Visit the tip truck drivers page

Information for hirers

A hirer is someone that engages an owner driver (including a tip truck owner driver) or forestry contractor.

Hirers of owner drivers and forestry contractors have legal obligations under the Act and may face penalties if they fail to meet these obligations.

Visit the hirers page

Information for freight brokers

A freight broker is a broker or agent that procures or arranges the engagement of an owner driver or forestry contractor by a hirer. This includes online platforms that facilitate the engagement of owner drivers or forestry contractors by hirers.

Freight brokers have legal obligations under the  Act and may face penalties if they fail to meet these obligations.

Visit the freight brokers page

Wage Inspectorate Victoria

Wage Inspectorate Victoria is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005.
If you have any questions, Wage Inspectorate Victoria is available to provide information and answer queries. Please call the Information Line on 1800 287 287 or email.

Make a complaint

If you have a complaint relating to a transport or forestry contract engagement, you can report it using the complaint form.

You also have the option to make an anonymous report if you suspect someone is breaking the rules relating to owner drivers or contractors but you don’t want to provide personal information.

Quick reference factsheets

Factsheet: Owner drivers and forestry contractors act 2020 (PDF 84.69 KB)PDF icon

Factsheet: Owner drivers and forestry contractors act 2020 | Accessible version (DOCX 189.19 KB)DOCX icon

السّائقون مالِكو مركباتهم في العمل ومُقاولو قطاع الأحراج والغابات: ماذا يجب أن تعرف (PDF 254.73 KB)PDF icon

السّائقون مالِكو مركباتهم في العمل ومُقاولو قطاع الأحراج والغابات: ماذا يجب أن تعرف (DOCX 192.28 KB)DOCX icon

自有车辆司机与林业承包商: 须知 (PDF 225.61 KB)PDF icon

自有车辆司机与林业承包商: 须知 (DOCX 147.43 KB)DOCX icon

Các Tài Xế Kiêm Chủ Xe Và Các Nhà Thầu Ngành Lâm Nghiệp: Những điều cần biết (PDF 124.59 KB)PDF icon

Các Tài Xế Kiêm Chủ Xe Và Các Nhà Thầu Ngành Lâm Nghiệp: Những điều cần biết (DOCX 189.6 KB)DOCX icon

Can’t find the information you need?

Please call the Wage Inspectorate Information Line on 1800 287 287 or email odfc@dpc.vic.gov.au.