RSRT-style re­view launched

Owner Driver - - News -

THE VIC­TO­RIAN govern­ment will re­view the laws reg­u­lat­ing own­er­drivers and forestry con­trac­tors, an­nounc­ing an in­quiry into the in­dus­try’s prac­tices post the Road Safety Re­mu­ner­a­tion Tri­bunal (RSRT).

Stat­ing that “eco­nomic pres­sures” have “forced some driv­ers into un­safe prac­tices”, the state-run re­view is seek­ing sub­mis­sions by the end of Jan­uary next year.

The in­quiry comes after “the Vic­to­rian In­quiry into Labour Hire In­dus­try and Inse­cure Work re­cently heard ev­i­dence on a range of is­sues re­gard­ing rates of pay, cer­tainty of work­ing hours, and oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety for tip truck own­er­drivers”, a govern­ment state­ment says, and will “look at the in­quiry’s rec­om­men­da­tions, in­clud­ing a code of prac­tice for the tip truck in­dus­try and the thresh­old re­quire­ments on hir­ers to pro­vide ap­pli­ca­ble rates and costs to owner driv­ers”.

It will also “ex­am­ine con­tract­ing re­quire­ments and dis­pute-res­o­lu­tion mech­a­nisms avail­able to owner-driv­ers, and seek to ad­dress any avoidance of rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties un­der the ODFC Act and Reg­u­la­tions”, the state­ment says.

The move by the Vic­to­rian La­bor govern­ment fol­lows a de­ci­sion by the fed­eral Coali­tion to abol­ish the RSRT in­stalled by the pre­vi­ous La­bor fed­eral govern­ment.

The tri­bunal was of­fi­cially re­moved in April, just weeks after it came into ex­is­tence, and saw the Lib­eral party and NatRoad go head to head with the Trans­port Work­ers’ Union (TWU) and the La­bor party in a war of words.

Both sides claimed they had own­er­drivers’ best wishes in mind.

Natroad CEO War­ren Clark says the Vic­to­rian re­view has “all the hall­marks of union-pushed in­dus­trial changes that un­fairly tar­get small truck­ing busi­nesses in the trans­port sec­tor”.

“The unions have ac­tive in­dus­trial cam­paigns to bring about these un­fair changes in New South Wales and now in Victoria,” he says.

“Road trans­port doesn’t stop at state bor­ders – so why do we con­tinue to cre­ate red tape and com­plex in­dus­trial awards for a na­tional in­dus­try?”

Clark says ad­e­quate Com­mon­wealth pro­tec­tions for small op­er­a­tors and con­tract car­ri­ers are in place through the Fair Work Act and the In­de­pen­dent Con­trac­tors Act.

“The fed­eral Par­lia­ment is also ac­tively pur­su­ing greater 30-day pay­ment pro­tec­tions for small busi­nesses, which will ben­e­fit mum and dad truck­ing op­er­a­tions,” he adds.

Clark says Natroad will make a sub­mis­sion to the Vic­to­rian govern­ment’s re­view and con­tinue to rep­re­sent mem­bers’ in­ter­ests in the NSW In­dus­trial Com­mis­sion, where the unions are push­ing sim­i­lar rates on the in­dus­try. Sub­mis­sions to the Vic­to­rian govern­ment in­quiry close Jan­uary 31.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.