As­so­ci­a­tions back RSRT re­port re­sponse

Owner Driver - - News -

THE FED­ERAL gov­ern­ment has promised to “never” re- es­tab­lish the Road Safety Re­mu­ner­a­tion Tri­bunal ( RSRT) or a sim­i­lar body that sets up manda­tory pay rates that only ap­ply to owner- driv­ers and small busi­nesses.

The pledge comes in its re­sponse to the Aus­tralian Small Busi­ness and Fam­ily En­ter­prise Om­buds­man’s (ASBFEO) inquiry re­port based on the impact of the RSRT’s min­i­mum pay­ment or­der on the truck­ing in­dus­try.

The Aus­tralian Lo­gis­tics Coun­cil (ALC) and the Na­tional Road Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion ( NatRoad) have backed the gov­ern­ment’s re­sponse, both bod­ies draw­ing par­al­lels be­tween the Con­trac­tor Driver Min­i­mum Pay­ments Road Safety Re­mu­ner­a­tion Or­der ( RSRO) and the changes pro­posed within the NSW Gen­eral Car­ri­ers Con­tract De­ter­mi­na­tion (GCCD), and urge au­thor­i­ties to be cau­tious while making changes that could cre­ate con­fu­sion within the in­dus­try.

While NatRoad sup­ports the NSW gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to be­come party to the GCCD vari­a­tion pro­ceed­ings, the ALC rec­om­mends the task of set­ting up safety reg­u­la­tions for the in­dus­try should be left with the Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Reg­u­la­tor ( NHVR).

“The tri­bunal was in­ten­tioned to im­prove heavy ve­hi­cle safety and pre­vent fa­tal­i­ties on the road,” ALC man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Michael Kil­gar­iff says.

“In re­al­ity, it had the op­po­site ef­fect, tak­ing fo­cus away from chain of re­spon­si­bil­ity laws that place a le­gal obli­ga­tion on sup­ply chain op­er­a­tors to take ac­tion to pre­vent speed­ing, fa­tigue, mass lim­its and load­ing in­fringe­ments.

“The only tan­gi­ble out­come of the tri­bunal was the de­liv­ery of sig­nif­i­cant reg­u­la­tory over­lap, con­fu­sion, in­ef­fi­cien­cies and costs.

“For this rea­son, ALC shares the gov­ern­ment’s con­cern that the ap­pli­ca­tion by the Trans­port Work­ers Union to vary the NSW Gen­eral Car­ri­ers Con­tract De­ter­mi­na­tion will rein­tro­duce the same in­ef­fi­cien­cies in that state, with no tan­gi­ble safety ben­e­fit.”

NatRoad chief ex­ec­u­tive War­ren Clark says road trans­port is a na­tional in­dus­try that does not need more red tape and com­plex state­based in­dus­trial awards.

“Com­mon­wealth pro­tec­tions for small op­er­a­tors and con­tract car­ri­ers are in place through the Fair Work Act and the In­de­pen­dent Con­trac­tors Act – let’s strengthen th­ese so we have a level op­er­at­ing field for small and big op­er­a­tors,” Clark says.

“There is a gen­eral con­sen­sus that what oc­curred with the RSRT should never be re­peated.

ALC man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Michael Kil­gar­iff

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