Associations back RSRT report response
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