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Fuel pay rate increase for freight transport operators

New pay rate increases will help owner drivers cover the cost of fuel

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has successfully filed a claim in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) for an increase in the rates paid to owner drivers for fuel costs.

The unprecedented rise in diesel fuel costs has seen owner drivers in the transport industry face financial problems, with the cost of carrying freight increasing recently.

While transurban toll road costs are also on the rise, fuel costs are pushing small business operators across the transport industry to breaking point.

The TWU has responded, fighting for a rise in the rates paid under the general carriers’ contract determination in NSW.

The order from the NSW IRC provides some relief to owner drivers in terms of their cost recovery for doing the job of carrying freight for clients.

“The TWU have taken this action today in the IRC to protect small businesses in the transport industry and the owner drivers,” TWU NSW state secretary Richard Olsen says.

“This action contributes to the security and wellbeing of their future. In the light of past performance, the TWU isn’t surprised that the varying levels of government provided inadequate responses to the needs of small business in the transport industry.”

The rates that owner drivers were being paid were set when diesel costs were around $1.23 a litre, with the TWU searching for relief for owner drivers now prices have climbed as high as $2.21 a litre.

The TWU says the Federal government’s fuel excise reduction was cold comfort to owner drivers forced to absorb these diesel prices, while describing the removal of the fuel tax credit scheme as “an outrageous act that was hidden amongst budget papers”.

RELATED ARTICLE: Freight operators get no relief on fuel tax

“This means that the Federal government is not committed to the transport industry, they have robbed truck drivers of any benefit the fuel excise cuts brought,” Olsen says.

The TWU wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison demanding the Federal government to provide targeted support to put money into the pockets of truck owner drivers in the absence of a tribunal to support cost recovery.

After getting no relief this way, the TWU worked with the IRC in NSW to introduce these new orders that come into effect on April 18.

All details specific to the rate changes for certain heavy vehicles can be found on the TWU NSW website.

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