Second Tip Top expose
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”