New road council and commitment to safe rates

Agreement on new road council will go to COAG, as ministers agree to do more on remuneration in trucking industry

By Brad Gardner

A draft agreement on a new road council will go before the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), as transport ministers agree to do more on remuneration in the trucking industry.

The Australian Transport Council (ATC) settled on the terms of a draft intergovernmental agreement that outlines the operations of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC).

The ATC, made up of Australia’s transport ministers, agreed the NRSC is a new approach aimed directly at reducing road trauma.

Under the draft agreement, the NRSC is responsible for facilitating nationally-agreed road safety reforms.

It will bring together community leaders as well as safety experts to raise road safety’s profile and forge partnerships with government, industry and community sectors.

As part of the safety agenda at the meeting, the ATC discussed remuneration methods in the trucking industry and the impact it has on owner-drivers and employees.

After agreeing poor payment methods have a potential effect on safety, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese pledged to raise the issue at a federal level and report his findings back to the ATC.

"Ministers agreed that there is a case for investigating a whole of government regulatory approach to address this issue," the communiqué from the latest meeting says.

During the meeting, ministers also reported supply chain pilot studies are underway, with plans to report on each of them by early 2009.

The studies into the livestock, grain, intermodal and coal sectors were commissioned by the ATC in May.

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