In­dus­try weighs in on new trans­port min­is­ter

McCormack takes over Joyce’s fed­eral in­fra­struc­ture and trans­port port­fo­lio

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

A com­pany’s de­fence of a truck driver’s at­tempt to claim a load­ing al­lowance merely for open­ing the cur­tains of a truck has suc­ceeded in the Fed­eral Cir­cuit Court.

J&C In­de­pen­dent Car­ri­ers was forced to de­fend its stance when a ca­sual driver brought the case to trial in Au­gust, and faced a claim of $77,391 had it lost. The claim was es­sen­tially that “any part of the process of load­ing or un­load­ing as such gave rise to an en­ti­tle­ment to the al­lowance”, the judge states in his de­ci­sion.

In the rul­ing, it was found that the the load­ing and un­load­ing al­lowance in the Road Trans­port (Long Dis­tance Op­er­a­tions) Award 2010 en­com­passed more than just the un­latch­ing and open­ing of the cur­tains and use of straps.

The judge notes that un­der Award def­i­ni­tions, “load­ing or un­load­ing means be­ing phys­i­cally en­gaged in the load­ing or un­load­ing of the ve­hi­cle and in­cludes tarp­ing, in­stalling and re­mov­ing gates and op­er­a­tion of on board cranes”.

He also takes into ac­count that there have been no ef­forts to amend that pro­vi­sion in the past eight years, par­tic­u­larly to equate cur­tains with tarps, even though cur­tains, ar­guably, can have a re­strain­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic.

J&C’s po­si­tion was that us­ing strap­ping to res­train a load is a safety and driv­ing is­sue and un­re­lated to load­ing and un­load­ing.

While the driver had claimed he had used a fork­lift at the com­pany, the ev­i­dence as was sub­mit­ted was deemed in­suf­fi­cient.

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