Sec­ond Tip Top ex­pose

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

RSRT de­bate flares again after new Tip Top ex­pose on 7.30Re­port

FED­ERAL EM­PLOY­MENT min­is­ter Michaelia Cash has told Tip Top con­trac­tors that they must seek Fed­eral Court ac­tion for any griev­ances they may have.

The re­sponse came after sus­tained Op­po­si­tion ques­tion­ing on the is­sue in the Se­nate and the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, with La­bor leader Bill Shorten fo­cused on prime min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull and senator Glenn Sterle on Cash.

Both Op­po­si­tion mem­bers raised the abo­li­tion of the Road Safety Re­mu­ner­a­tion Tri­bunal (RSRT), in a co­or­di­nated ac­tion that fol­lowed a sec­ond look at Tip Top by the ABC’s 7.30 Report, though Sterle’s main line of ques­tion­ing was on what Cash had done in re­sponse to the sec­ond story.

After not­ing that “if there are any driv­ers who are con­cerned across Australia about the safety of their ve­hi­cle, they should im­me­di­ately con­tact the road trans­port author­ity in their state”, and amidst sev­eral points of or­der on rel­e­vance, Cash states: “Owner- driv­ers are cov­ered by the In­de­pen­dent Con­trac­tors Act 2006 and, if they have con­cerns in re­la­tion to their con­tracts, they can also ap­ply to the Fed­eral Court or the Fed­eral Cir­cuit Court to have a re­view of the con­tract on the grounds that the con­tract is harsh or un­fair.”

Ear­lier, a com­pli­ance op­er­a­tion by the Roads and Mar­itime Ser­vices (RMS) at a Tip Top de­pot in Chul­lora that saw 25 de­fects no­tices and for­mal warn­ings. The in­spec­tions came just weeks after a

7.30 Report item that high­lighted driv­ers’ is­sues with long hours, lost in­come and safety is­sues.

In the report, owner- driver Paul Clap­son spoke about safety con­cerns due to main­te­nance costs and low pay.

“There’s also the ma­jor safety is­sue,” Clap­son says. “And be­cause we aren’t get­ting paid what we prob­a­bly should be, your main­te­nance goes on your truck, you be­come a prob­lem out on the road if you are tired, you can’t put driv­ers on – there’s a whole range of is­sues.”

“Your main­te­nance goes on your truck, you be­come a prob­lem out on the road if you are tired”

Michaelia Cash

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