Understanding business costs

Our rates and costs schedules set out the typical costs of running a forestry contractor business based on the type of vehicle or forestry equipment being used. They include variable costs, such as fuel and tyres, and fixed costs such as registration, finance and insurance.

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

  • the factors that affect operating costs
  • the amount they could expect to earn as an employee doing the same kind of work.

Rates and costs schedules do not set minimum rates of pay. They aim to help forestry contractors and hirers better understand the typical operating costs of a forestry contractor business.

Forestry contractors and hirers can use the schedules to assess whether an offer of work will:

  • cover operating costs
  • provide a good return for the contractor’s labour
  • provide a good return on the contractor’s investment.

Obligations to provide schedules

Hirers that engage a forestry contractor for 30 days or more (or for a total period of at least 30 days in any 3-month period) must make sure they give the contractor the rates and costs schedule that relates to their vehicle or forestry equipment.

The relevant schedule must be given:

  • at least 3 business days before the contractor is engaged, if the contract is for a period of at least 30 days; or
  • on the 30th day, if the forestry contractor is engaged for a total period of at least 30 days in any 3-month period.

A hirer must also provide any new versions of the relevant rates and costs schedules published by the Victorian Government to forestry contractors as soon as possible after publication.

If a forestry contractor is engaged through a freight broker, then the freight broker must provide the relevant schedule instead.

Hirers and freight brokers may face penalties if they fail to meet these obligations. Learn more about the legal obligations of hirers and freight brokers.

Rates and costs schedules

Wage Inspectorate Victoria

Wage Inspectorate Victoria is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005.

Make a complaint

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

Can’t find the information you need?

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 odfc@dpc.vic.gov.au